boat.jpg

I used to live on a boat.

Boats cost money whether you live in them or not.

I planned to go abroad for six months, and I couldn’t afford to keep it while I was gone.

It was 7 o’clock in the evening when I realised this. The first thing I did was put a five-day auction on eBay. I got the best pictures I could find, explained where the boat was moored and listed the boat’s features as clearly as I could. I set the reserve to zero.

I didn’t know how to get a boat demolished (which is the worst case scenario), and I didn’t know anyone who can look after it.

I searched the internet for local boat businesses and got a list of people I could call in the morning. I gently ponder the legality of taking a boat out to sea, leaving it there, and then swimming back.

I woke up early the next morning to a thunderous boom. I opened the cabin door only to realize that I was in the middle of a demolition site. A medium-sized crane was tearing massive chunks out of an old, dilapidated boat propped onto the dock beside me.

I barely managed to get one shoe on before I’m crawling into a construction site trying to wave over someone in a hard hat.

In five minutes, I learned that it costs at least a thousand pounds to demolish a boat my size. More importantly, it wouldn’t get done in under a week because they need to book a crane to pull it out of the water first.

The worst case scenario is pretty bad. In fact, it is almost twice as expensive as keeping the boat for six months.

I get on the phone and call everyone on the list I created the night before.

“I have a boat, and you can have it for free as long as you pick it up before the end of the week".

I gave everyone my number and asked them if they knew anyone I should contact.

The idea was simple: News about a free boat would travel faster than the news about a cheap boat.

If anyone got in contact with me, then I could start a bidding war by pretending lots of people were interested. If nobody made an offer then at least, I had a list of people I could give it to at the end of the week.

I spent the rest of the day designing a basic agreement for potential buyers to sign. I also got hold of the necessary paperwork to transfer the mooring costs to a buyer.

At about 6 o’clock in the evening, I tie everything up and walk home. Two people were waiting for me outside my floating abode.

The free news travelled.

They turned out to be a local business owner (nothing to do with boats) and his friend, looking for storage space for six months. Apparently, a free boat is cheaper than renting garage space.

My plan had failed.

The private bidding ploy wasn’t going to work. Surely it was cheaper for them to rent garage space than buy my boat and pay for the mooring costs. Anyways, I told them that two people were already interested in the boat and that one of them was going to offer me some money.

They didn’t match the offer.

Instead, they proposed something even better. They would buy the boat (for slightly less than I had intended to sell it for) and in 6 months time I could buy it back for exactly the same price.

It was a gentleman’s agreement.

They agreed not to sell the boat till I got back. If they did decide to sell it, then I had the first refusal.

If I decided to keep the money, then the boat was theirs.

The only risk was that the vessel might not be waiting for me when I got back. Which wasn’t much of a risk since they paid for it.

The upside was that they were going to look after my boat for six months for free.

Luckily, I had all the necessary documents to hand. Everything was signed right then and there.

The next day they came back with the payment, and we handed the papers in to the dock office together. The city council checked our credentials and validated the transfer of ownership.

In less than 48 hours, it was official, I had sold my home.