Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aaaah, succumbed and bought a boat

Finally lived up to the Halfwit name and bought a boat. Yup, no income at all but decided it was a good idea to sell some of our shares at half price and invest in a money pit called "Bonnington". Who knows when the world economy will pick up and we're not getting any younger.
We actually went to the mainland with Mike to view a 30' Diamond he was thinking of buying. Great boat, very fast and at a good price. So there we were outside the yacht broker's office while Mike signed the papers. What did we do? We looked in the window! Aaaah, look at that one!!

Well, why not? We went and had a look and no, it wasn't a good boat. Very tired and had seen better days. But the yacht broker got our details and next day emailed us photos of "Bonnington" which is a delightful boat and just what we would have wanted ... had we been truly thinking of buying a boat.

Went over ... just to have a look ... and yup, we bought it!

So here we are, Guy Onassis and Alene O ... sorta!

"Bonnington" (odd name, isn't it?) is a 30' sloop, with a wooden hull overlaid with fibreglass. She is 10 years old and has had one owner since new.
He is selling her because at 83, he is finding it a little hard to leap around pulling sails up and down.

She has a retractable keel, which is extremely useful in Moreton Bay. There are a lot of sand bars and mud banks around and it's all too easy to get stuck at low tide ... "That wasn't there last time we were here ..." So all we have to do is pull up the keel a little, stick the engine in reverse and pull ourselves off and sail away. Magic!!

Plenty of room in the cockpit for friends to sit and sip a GnT or a Mango Daiquiri. Inside there is a very roomy cabin which sleeps four comfortably and six if you are desperate.
There is a shower and a head (ooh, I'm so nautical!!!) and a gas cooker in the galley (more nautical terms!!)

We weren't totally halfwitted! We did sign up subject to a trial sail and a survey, so last Friday saw us on the mainland at Raby Bay, motoring up to Manly (no wind) and getting the boat up on the hard for the surveyor to check it all out.

He was very impressed with it and gave it his full recommendation. After lunch we sailed it back to Raby Bay with a fresh south-easterly giving us a wonderful opportunity to try out the boat. It sails beautifully and the tiller is very responsive.

So all we had to do then was pay for it. That has now been done and we hope to be able to pick it up this Friday and sail it back to Macleay.

In the meantime, we have to spend more money on boat insurance, a tender, a motor for the tender, etc, etc. Luckily, we don't have to organise a mooring yet. A friend, Mike Stephens, whose boat is currently out of the water, has allowed us to use his mooring for a month or so until "Sirius" is back in the deep blue.
The funniest thing is that when we were telling Mike about the boat, he actually knew the owner and the boat itself. It had raced at the Tingira Boat Club often and had actually won the Brian Calvert Memorial Trophy (the big one here on the island) in 2006. So we have a winning boat! (Shame about the crew!!)

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