And so it starts. A pipe dream, absent mindedly Googling dutch barges, drooling over the pictures and imagining a life afloat. Then it moves up a gear to reviewing endless lists of specifications and pictures of engines – far from the standard Foxtons two bed flat brochures. Figuring out that, in London at least, you don’t get a huge amount of bang for your buck… compared to boats outside London. Or even better, compared to unrefurbished boats outside London.
And then before you know it, you have motored down to Rye and been charmed. Bowled over by original teak decking (albeit with elephant pit type holes into the bowels of the boat) and the promise of brass fixtures and fitting below the inch thick crusted paint. There is some god-awful structure on the top and below deck it is virtually untouched since the 1950s.However it has POTENTIAL.
And almost as soon as you started “just looking” on gumtree, and “just visiting” Rye as it would make a fun trip from London, you are calling up about 150 tonne cranes, buying tide tables and calculating how many lorry tarpaulins you need.
Is this a third-life crisis? Or an elaborate ploy to get to meet Kevin McCloud? Or – as people are queueing up to tell me – a complete money pit which is unlikely tofloat? Either way, its certainly going to be an adventure.