Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A little boat!

Richard has always wanted a boat. As long as I've known him, anyway, and that's a pretty long time. Every time we go near the Larnaka beach, he takes a walk along the marina and admires the yachts. One of his favourite holidays ever was when some friends came out here and rented a yacht for a few days.

The trouble is, boats are expensive, they need a place to be moored, and they also need experienced crew to take them out.

Then last week, popping into Metro supermarket, he noticed a new advert on the board: a mirror dinghy for sale, including cover and trailer, for £150. He had more than that in accumulated birthday and Christmas money. Dan did some research online. These boats aren't very big (only a little over 3m long) but are about £2000 new. They hold two or three people, and are supposedly easy to learn to sail in.

So on Monday he called the number. Surely someone else would have snapped up this bargain by now? But no - nobody else had enquired at all. The owner said he was given this boat by his brother but had never found time to use it. Hence the good price. Richard arranged to go over and see it in the evening. And as he felt pretty sure he would buy it, so long as it wasn't in terrible condition, he took not just the necessary cash, but borrowed a pickup truck with a towbar, and fitted a towball. Then he and the boys drove off...

About an hour and a half later, they arrived home, having bought it. However they weren't towing the dinghy: it was roped, in its trailer, onto the back of the truck.

This seemed rather a complicated way of bringing it home, particularly after he'd gone to the trouble of fitting a towball. But apparently the trailer wasn't really intended for roads: it was a basic one for taking over the beach to the sea. They set out with the trailer behind, but one of the wheels started poking out at an odd angle, and eventually fell off. Oops! So they had to stop and find another way of bringing the boat back. This is what the wheelshaft looked like:

Next time Richard goes to see his car mechanic, he'll ask if some better wheels can be welded in place. Otherwise it will be a bit difficult to get it to the beach!

Once the boat was moved up our driveway, Sophia - always inquisitive - decided to explore it. She seemed to decide it was an acceptable intruder.

Apparently the boat is probably about the size of Arthur Ransome's 'Swallow' and 'Amazon' - though it (sorry, she) is yet to be named.

Now all that's needed, once the trailer is fixed, is for Richard to find some free time....

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