We had received an e-mail from Premier Marinas, publicising the Used Boat Show that they were hosting in conjunction with the Southampton Boat Show. Having advertised for sale on Apolloduck for a little while, we thought it might make sense to enter her into the boat show. Premier had confirmed that we could stay afloat, and Ancasta has been agreeable to taking her on.
Accordingly, we set off from Keyhaven for the Hamble. Premier gave us a friendly reception, and we were soon moored up, rafted with a number of other boats, and stern-to the pontoon, just below the car park. We unloaded the dinghy, and moored it on the shore side of the pontoon. All that remained was to pay for our 'berth' and to sign up with Ancasta, and we were in the show!
There was a horrendous amount of cleaning up and tidying away to do. The bikes had to come out, and all the rest of our 'stuff' had to be put away. In no time at all, it seemed, Mo had hidden all my toys. Ancasta had suggested that they would come down and take photos, but in the end it was more convenient to take some ourselves. Getting the 'particulars' right also took some time.
The first day of SBS. We were immaculately tidy, but still working on our specification. There was no steady stream of visitors, and we could count on one hand the number of people that came on board, barely any of them 'qualified', during the show. We had invited a trio on board for a drink the evening before the show opened. They had come to have a look at Sea Tramp, a substantial looking ferro-cement boat built by the owner and launched some 18 years ago. One of the trio had built a concrete boat himself, and had to break it up as he could not get it out of the garden. They were very amusing, and the story reminded us of Ken and Glenys on Galatea - another ferrocement boat where Ken solved the same problem by putting her on a trolley and wheeling her across the allotments on railway sleepers.
We grabbed one couple who were walking by who we heard mention that their friend had a Dehler. They liked the boat, but probably did not want to pay so much. Another DS41 owner with a boat for sale in Brighton came on board, and we discussed issues that we had both encountered with the boat, but clearly he wasn't a prospect! The one time we locked the boat when we went out Ancasta came on board with a client, but managed to break the key off in the lock, presumably after showing them around.
As a sales campaign it had not been effective, but we had over two weeks berthing and marina facilities for a modest £150, and had been forced to tidy the boat in order to take some photographs.That perhaps was progress?
We were under no pressure to leave Swanwick, and stayed on until Friday 27th. We have arranged to again spend the winter in Haslar marina, and if the boat is not sold will take out an annual berth from April. We decided to make for the Folly Inn for the weekend, up river from Cowes, as it seems indecent to haste into Haslar before the end of the month. I managed to fix the toilet at last, but we did not go ashore to eat and dance on the tables this time, as Mo is into Strictly and the X-factor.