I Bought a #Narrowboat for Just ONE POUND!
Last week I told the tale of how I met my first true love, a little red narrowboat called Emily Rose, and that much as I loved her, I eventually had to sell my boat.
However, the first boat I sold was not the first boat I bought. Strangely, when I had been looking to buy my first boat all those years ago I went to view a beautiful old converted working boat that was almost one hundred years old. It had loads of character, wooden floorboards, double French doors to the front deck, a Rayburn and a kitchen dresser in the galley. The hull was riveted iron and there was an ancient but reliable and huge Lister engine. She was a 60ft trad and had originally been horse-drawn at the beginning of her working life. The owner later decided not to sell but I would see him around from time to time and give him a wave as he cruised past my boat, or we would stop for a chat on the towpath when in the same area.
He was a bit of a loner, and one day, unexpectedly he moored up next to me to ask me the strangest favour. He said that he had to go away for a while and would I please buy his boat from him for a pound? Of course I said things like, “No!” and “Why?” It is so long ago I can’t remember exactly how he persuaded me, but it seemed like he was desperately in need of my help. So I bought the boat for a pound and I promised to look after it and we drew up a hand-written bill of sale.
The talk of the pub was that “Peggy’s bought a boat for a pound!” and my friends began to joke that I now had a fleet.
Meanwhile the man stayed on board his boat for a few more days and then mysteriously disappeared. I then became worried about his welfare. About two weeks later he contacted me by phone and explained that he had been suffering from mental health issues and was now in hospital. I went to visit him there and I also continued to take care of his boat. Eventually he asked me to organise selling the boat properly, for a reasonable price. As luck would have it a friend of mine lived aboard with his two young children and had been looking to buy a bigger boat. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to buy a boat with such character and history; so the deal was easily done and I transferred the cash to the original owner. He was so sad to leave his life on the canals, but he went to live with his family in a house, and then went on to make a full recovery.
It just goes to show that with every boat comes a story, or many stories, as the boats come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Boats may be sold because of ill health, upgrading, downsizing, death or divorce – their fates are interwoven with our own human stories.
Is your life changing right now? Are you ready to sell? Check out our free eBook How to Sell a Boat: The Ultimate Guide or contact us for some friendly advice.
Next week: How I Sold a Boat in Record Time
Image: Narrowboat 50ft Trad Stern Project £24,950
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Living on a Boat: The Boatshed Guide (free) / How to Sell a Boat: The Ultimate Guide (free eBook) / Howto Buy a Boat: The Ultimate Guide / The best blog articles of 2013 / Don’t miss:The Boatshed Grand Union Daily/ A slideshow of our boat of the moment./ More articles.
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