How this blog began: Boat, garden, party venue and writer's retreat.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Ten Easy And One Difficult Stages To Fitting A New Motor

1. Get motor back from somewhere in deepest Devon to top-chap Gareth at Suzuki HQ and get it checked over

2. Send motor to top-chap Tracy at Suzuki dealer in Essex - Brightlingsea Boat Park And Ride Ltd, a few miles down river from Wivenhoe

3. Get top-chap and brother-in-law Martin to lend me his trailer for a week because all the ones at Brightlingsea are in use

4. Ask Martin to drive 40 miles from his establishment - Eastern Garage in Finchingfield - towing his trailer (but his speedboat is on it)

5. Put Martin's speedboat in the water when the tide's coming in at Brightlingsea and leave trailer at Tracy's yard

6. Bring Tracy up-river to Wivenhoe with his boat, following Martin on his speed-boat.

7. Leave Martin’s boat in my mooring outside The Rose And Crown (perhaps dashing in for a swift half), and tow my boat back by Tracy’s to Brightlingsea with the outgoing tide

8. Let Tracy use his tractor and Martin’s trailer to pull my boat into Tracy’s yard

9. Leave Tracy to fit my shiny new motor over the following few days

10. Take The Boat For My Potplants back to Wivenhoe – this time under its own power, and let out a dignified “YIPPEE”

Ten easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy stages to fitting a new motor

All I have to do is to arrange a date

a) When it’s convenient with all the top-chaps involved
b) When it can’t be at a weekend
c) When the times of the high-tides have to be right

That's the difficult stage

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Fitting Vents Or Going Shopping?

I've been waiting anxiously for news about the outboard motor that's coming from Suzuki.

Not wanting to upset any applecarts with the company's marketing manager, a few days ago I gingerly wrote a nice email to him enquiring about the motor's progress - afraid that I may discover that he's changed his mind, or left the company, or something terrible like that.

In the meantime, for months now I've been looking for window vents to replace the broken ones on the boat. After much research I discovered that they are called Vent-a-Matics, and armed with that knowledge I had eagerly ordered two from Amazon.

I came home from work last night and immediately went to the computer to check my emails. There was one that leapt out at me. It was from Suzuki, saying that the motor will be dispached next week. Brimming with excitement, I was then informed by my wife that there was a parcel for me. Could this be my Vent-a-Matics?

Yes, it most certainly was. I excitedly opened the package and marvelled at the shiny things inside.

I reflected that it's not only the big things (like 15hp motors), or even the little things (like Vent-a-Matics) that make my world in boats so good.

It is in fact having a very understanding wife, who doesn't mind when I inform her that I have 'lot's to do on the boat this weekend' and politely decline her kind invitation to go shopping.

Friday, 2 March 2012

How Much Is It Worth?

I recently was asked to work on someone's boat as a paid job. It got me thinking that it's not making much economical sense based on the value of the boat.

Then my thoughts turned to my own Boat For My Potplants.

What is it worth? What does "worth' mean? Most people's assumption of the meaning of "worth" is its monetry value - the amount of money the craft can be sold at any particular time. Other factors come in to play - how much did it cost in the first place. How old is it? Does it have a trailer? Where is it moored? What condition is it in? Was it previously owned by John Lennon?

Based on these factors, my boat's probably worth diddely squat. But I don't care.

The bottom line is that it's only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it, if we're purely talking about £££, /-/-/-, and ddd's, and that figure also goes up and down with the tide, according to the country's economic conditions as a whole.

But if we're talking about what it's "worth" based on the number of hours worked on it, then I am a boat-millionaire, especially after 'Erindoors kindly let me use the kitchen table to sand and Brasso the old steering wheel whilst having breakfast this morning.

Ker-ching! I've just added another grand to its value - to me, that is. But on the open market it's still around the zero mark.

I raise my cuppa to all the other millionaires amongst us, who spend as much time as they can afford, doing little bit here and a little bit there, increasing their boat's "worth".