Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Final Stay Aboard

We drove up to Swanley on Wednesday last week, arriving just after lunch time. The immediate task was for Mike to do those parts of the sorting and packing that he felt the need to tackle! We also made contact with the brokerage office and established that we would probably be able to leave with them a small amount of our belongings until the end of the month, if it all failed to fit into two cars.

We continued the next morning with as much as we could at this stage and after lunch we drove to Crewe station where Mike caught a train to York for the five day meeting of General Synod. Christine returned to the boat where she spent the next couple of days doing more packing. As she had no mobile phone and a weak wifi signal, the only communication with Mike was by email (on the few occasions when he was able to sit down to write an email).

Christine also wanted to contact the engineer at Middlewich but this took a little time although eventually all was clarified.

Andrew drove up on Sunday and arrived during the afternoon. They managed to scrape together enough ingredients to make a roast dinner, albeit with the meat already cooked back at home!

They set off early the following morning as they had a full schedule of boat builder visits already set up. Today they headed down to Braunston and Colecraft before returning northwards to Elton Moss at Middlewich.

On Tuesday their visits were not quite such a long drive away but still rather tiring. They began with a couple in the Stoke and Stafford area before finally calling at Aqueduct Marina on the Middlewich Branch.

By late afternoon Mike had made his way back to Crewe by train where he was met by the other two and then taken back to the boat.

Christine and Andrew then debriefed to Mike from their visits and we gradually whittled the shortish list of six down to a final three (there was a fourth but it seemed that although they could do what we wanted it was not really in their comfort zone)

What also emerged from the visits was that we could not really do much more in discussion with the various builders until we have selected one to work with. Obviously, there will be a short period before we sign on a dotted line but we cannot expect others to develop spec layouts in any detail.

A table had been booked for us at the Dusty Miller in Wrenbury where we ate at the end of our final trip on nb Take Five. Our discussion continued and by the end of the evening we were pretty confident that we were agreed on who we would talk to first and hopefully that will lead to a delivery date well before next Easter. (Some of our short listed builders had to be ruled out because it emerged that their best delivery dates were in 2018!)

The following morning, our last staying on board the boat, began quite early as we gradually took everything off the boat and lined it up at the end of the pontoons. We then  sorted into those items to go back with ourselves and those which could go with Andrew to be stored in his garage. By the end we only had a few boxes of books and a small amount of other items to leave at the marina until the end of the month.

The final task was to visit the brokerage office and finally sign the Bill of Sale so that Take Five is definitely no longer ours.

At this stage, you will no doubt understand, there is quite a bit 'under the wraps' but will will post an update when things start to be clearer. We will also have to let you know where our blog will continue.

We do have to make one last visit to do a handover briefing to the new owners right at the end of this month. Alas, our expected month-long trip during August is no more and we have booked a couple of weeks in cottages, one near Leek and one near Durham.

We are now boat-less for the next few months.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Further Update

Just a progress report:

The last blog entry was when we had just put Take Five on the market, Friday afternoon. At midday on the following Sunday Mike took a call from the broker to say that he had an offer for us, and after a little bit of debate we agreed on a price.

The next step was for them to arrange their out of water survey which could not be done for ten days.

A couple of days ago the broker from Swanley Marina rang to say that the survey had been done and that the buyers were happy with the report. A day later the broker confirmed that the money was now sitting in their client account!

When we left at the end of the last trip we were not able to prepare the boat for sale! (We had not even decided that we would sell) As a result we now have to go back up to pack up all of our belongings and leave the rest in good order. The new owners-to-be are going away for a break but would like to meet up with us before setting off to take the boat back to the Lea and Stort where they will be keeping it.

The upshot of several phone calls is that we will be going up to Swanley next Wednesday - the boat should be back in the water by then - so that we can pack up. Unfortunately all this is made more complex as Mike will be at General Synod in York from Thursday evening until Tuesday afternoon. Christine will stay aboard. He also has to be back in time for a meeting in Truro on the Thursday.

With luck - still to be confirmed - Andrew will join her on Sunday afternoon so that they can together visit our short list of builders (so far we have only seen two). The aim is that as soon as possible after that we can discuss in detail with our selected builder - we really are facing withdrawal symptoms so would like a delivery date as soon as possible. Of course, we first have to place an order.

Our plan from earlier this year was that we would be cruising all of August - one week we have to be absent from home as the Windsor family are using it as they have done several times before. As replacement, we have booked a week in a cottage in the Peak District - the day we go up at the end of July is when we will meet with the new owners. By that time they will have received the sale papers which we sign this next week. Another week is till to be fixed.

We have come to no agreement at all over the possible name for a new boat - if it is not the same then there will be perhaps one or two more posts until we change to something fresh! We will keep our readers updated and where they can find us.