Cycled to Lower Halstow on a beautiful winter’s afternoon to admire the boats and dream once again about buying one.
I have toyed with the idea of buying a boat ever since moving to Medway. Something to escape down river in on a summer’s evening to enjoy the peace and commune with the seals or, rather more intrepidly, chug across the Thames to Essex to visit the folks. But I currently have zero boating knowledge and no spare cash. Strangely neither of these small issues is likely to deter me.
This year, having spent so much time walking along the river and meeting people living in many weird and wonderful ways along its banks, the idea has really taken hold, but just what boat should I be dreaming of? a motor boat? a sail boat? a canoe? I have no idea what a cash strapped, total novice should buy and have a healthy respect of the dangers of the estuary after being rescued by a lifeboat from an ill-fated canoeing tour. Consequently I don’t know if this is one of my many crazy desires that I should squash or one of those rare moments of inspired clarity that I should run towards. Today, with the river spread out before me and all those islands and inlets to explore, every boat looked tempting.
A few weeks ago I had spent a merry half hour perusing the ‘for sale’ board at Iron Wharf boatyard in Faversham and saw an advert for a sailing boat called Katie;
‘Sloop rigged, motor sailer, twin bilge keels, roller reefed, mailsail and furling jib, £3250.’
I have no idea what it all means but it sounds beautiful.
I am tempted, too tempted but rather fear I could become like one of the inhabitants of Iron Wharf who, having spent their life savings on the boat, realise that they don’t have the skills to keep it afloat and instead end up living in a rented railway carriage at the dock. At notice next to the boat informed me that I could rent my very own railway carriage for £10 a month. At this price life on the dockside was quite tempting too.