19 May 2008

Me and my boat

I don’t do Crick but I know gazillions do and there’ll be plenty of eager beavers looking to book their build slot. I wish them luck and a safe, untroubled build. Unfortunately, there seem to be few guarantees of that lately, with some notable and long-standing firms going to the wall. It seemed very much easier even just six years ago when we had the old girl built. Times were good, sales were strong and failures appeared to be rare. We did the usual research, drove hundreds of miles to see people drawing stuff on the back of a fag packet and eventually chose MCC/Stenson on the grounds that: we liked the look of their trad/tugs - nice lines but not too ‘look at me’ showy; we liked their value pricing; we liked their business professionalism; and we liked them. And we still like them. We were their IWA 2002 show boat and they took us to Huddersfield as their guests, where we had the most fantastic time; we go back to Stenson regularly and are always warmly welcomed; and last year they took the boat in for repairs, modifications and a repaint and got it back to us in time for Christmas, which we didn’t think possible.

The old girl is not the smartest, shiniest or speediest boat on the cut. She cost half of what some of these new generation replicas cost. There’s no marquetry or fancy fiddling or Welsh dresser. But she is as sound as a pound and we love her. We’ve never had a moment’s trouble with any of the main systems and yes, while style and aesthetics are important in a boat, the integrity of the fundamentals is what really matters. I wonder if people will remember that as the shiniest of shiny boats start to cast their hypnotic spell? As for me and her, well I hope we’re never parted and thanks MCC for making a dream come true.

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