Yes, we did suffer some angst during the purchase. But maybe not the sort you’d think. We weren’t worried about the condition of the boat because some detective work on our part (the broker wasn’t telling us much) had shown that it had been in expert hands, and it was a change of circumstances that was prompting the sale, not the fact that the bottom was about to fall off. We weren’t worried about the money because that’s what 0% credit cards with stupid credit limits were invented for. We weren’t worried about running two boats because you’re only here once so you may as well have as much fun as possible.
No, the only anxiety was that we bought it without a test drive and had no idea how it would handle. The broker apparently didn’t allow test drives and I didn’t want to kick off and insist lest I risk the deal. Not having steered a historic boat before, I was a tad concerned, as the counter, while new, had been built to pretty much the original Yardwoods dimensions. So how would she handle? Would she be heavy, sluggish, unresponsive? Our modern boat is a big bottomed girl, probably drawing 33 inches when underway, and she seems to suck the canal bed most of the time. My tiller arm is also twice the size as my coffee swilling arm. Was I just letting myself in for more of the same?
So there we were, pitching up for our first run out as owners, with no idea whether we’d love it as much under way as we did as a static exhibit! Only one way to find out..well we started off and I thought the tiller wasn’t connected to anything! It was so light, reasonably responsive too. And yes, we definitely had forward motion and yes…gently does it, come on, come on, yes….we stop, and go in reverse! Result. In fact, a much better result than I had hoped for. Our other boat is distinctly heavier but then she has the thickest, biggest rudder ever that can spin her in her own length and stop on a sixpence…the fact that the historic was so relatively light touch was the final tick in the box. But then she’s a Yarwoods boat, why was I worried? So anxiety over…until the credit card statements started arriving.