Finding the Boat

Once we had decided to sail off into the Blue Yonder, much of the planning, surely, had to involve the buying of a boat?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a couple in possession of a quarter of their pension, must be in want of a boat.” to paraphrase Jane Austin.

Who would have thought it would be so tricky?  After my initial forays into the delights of websites like Yachtworld and Appollo Duck! (I kid you not!)  I soon realised there was more to it. MUCH more.

This was clearly going to need greater effort, and, much to Ian’s joy, it would need a spreadsheet.  No, wait a mo, a number of spread sheets!

One comparing our favourites and scoring them according to their various attributes and our requirements; One listing all the main facts and figures about each boat; One listing our favourites in order of their total scores; One with the motion comfort scores; One with specific data for each boat.

Who would have thought I’d have to get my head round terminology that was so completely alien as to involve actual physics!  Dr Chew, my physics teacher at SGHS would be surprised to hear that I was labouring to understand baffling terms such as the angle of vanishing stability and the ballast ratio.

Not only that, I have had to read up on and work out the benefits of skeg hung rudders over balanced rudders, bulb keels over fin keels;  in-mast furling over slab reefing!

As time went on, and I became more knowledgeable, it gradually began to dawn on me that finding the right boat, in the right place at the right price was all about compromise.

Together, Ian and I have tussled with weighing up old and strong, against newer and lighter; slightly scruffy but built to cross oceans, with clean, fresh and open accommodation; heavy and comfortable in waves against lighter and faster in less wind; solid and dependable against extra expense when things break or need replacing; newer and less expensive against a good angle of vanishing stability and ballast ratio.

One of the other problems is that these boats that we have spent hours pouring over on the internet are often in marinas far from Yorkshire. Just as when you are buying a house, it is important to be able to see, feel, touch and, most importantly, smell the boat before deciding to buy.

Our latest strategy is to say that we’re interested and then put an offer in.  If the owners are open to the offer, only at that stage can we begin to appoint a marine surveyor and think about booking flights.

So far, we have looked at hundreds, short-listed a few, visited a handful, offered on a couple and wished we had more to spend on every occasion!

Softly, softly, catchy monkey!  The right one will come along in due course and with a fair wind!

We will keep you posted.


Let’s start at the very beginning.

We are Ian and Sarah. We are a fifty something couple from North Yorkshire. For the last few months we have been planning an adventure.

Secretly, we’ve been plotting our gap years for ages, inspired by what our daughters have done and thinking of all the places we still want to go and the things we still want to do.

In reality, it all started many moons ago when Ian and his good friend Jonathan were chatting over drinks. Probably more like thirty years ago ( I can’t believe that we actually have a thirty years ago, but there you are!)

Two young management trainees, both from the north of England, who met whilst working at The Chester Grosvenor Hotel, were plotting over a few beers. The chat developed into a discussion about the places they wanted to go and adventures they were determined to have. So between them they decided that eventually they wanted to sail a yacht into somewhere spectacular like Sydney or San Francisco harbour whilst playing a saxophone from the bow! At that point neither of them had ever sailed a boat or learnt to play the saxophone!

As a testament to the power of dreams, even without the accompanying lists, plans or spreadsheets, the two friends set about developing their careers and almost incidentally achieving, at least in part, some of the dream.

More to follow


Latest activity

Well, I am happy to report that today we have finalised renting the house out and are delighted that, not only do we have a fabulous tenant who is local to the area, but he also wants to continue with AirBnB which we have enjoyed doing over the last few months.

Check out his listing ‘Manor House, Linton-in-Craven’.

We are leaving all our furniture in the house and so the only change is Jon, who is a really fun and energetic host.  He will be only too delighted to offer advice to make your stay most memorable.

Also, today we found a lovely couple who are going to hold the fort with our rental properties.  Thank you to Abigail and Tom.

So, we are now at Step Number 8 already (although still working on home improvements) and its all becoming much more real. We are actually doing this.

So, to the packing…boxes needed!

Steps to sailing off into the Blue Yonder.

Steps to sailing off into the blue yonder.
1. Tell everybody you know what it is that you intend to do, then it’s more difficult to back out.
2. Start downsizing some of the clutter of life.
3. Send the hens on an extended holiday but don’t tell them they aren’t coming back. (Thanks Alice and Ian Daggett)
4. Finally get round to finishing those household jobs and repairs that you have been putting up with and putting off.
5. Spruce up the house and garden ready for rental.
6. Find someone who would like to rent in the house for a long and goodly while.
7. Find some eager and reliable people to hold the fort back home.
8. Start packing….things for storage; things for garage; things for shed; things for daughters; things for boat; things for winter; things for trips home; things for trips to Thailand and Oxford; things for skiing ( if we are kindly invited!)
9. Make sure friends and family know that they are more than welcome to come and stay.
10. Set up a blog and start posting stuff!
11. Find the right yacht, in the right place and buy it at a price we can afford!!!
12. Do it all!!!!!!!