I think at the time that I reckoned that we might keep her for about five years, but I'm sure now that it will be longer than that. Buying a boat was a huge decision at the time, but of course it's been worth it. Anyone reading this blog knows we love it. Having a second home that can travel the country on water is great. A bolt hole from family pressures, a means of sharing holidays with good friends, fresh air and exercise, a free pad in London when we want it, a cottage in the country etc etc. I just have to think of how many times have passers by smiled and expressed their envy.
The downside. Is it the cost?
We'll it's not free, but we went in with our eyes open and our costs turn out to be pretty much what we expected. Our next door neighbour at home has a caravan and I'm astonished to learn that their costs are about the same as ours. I'm sure we get more for our money.
Is it the work?
Not really. I can't say I actually enjoy clearing the oil out of the engine tray and such like, but it's OK. I actually do enjoy some of the DIY bits. This week I'm making the new cratch table for pleasure! As for the crewing, I can only think of two or three days when the weather was so awful that it seemed a chore.
No, the downside for me is the paranoia! Not what does go wrong, but what might go wrong.
Have the pipes frozen? Will we make a mess of the job when we repaint Herbie this year? Will a bit of engine vibration at tickover turn into something more costly? Will the stern gland leak when we're away from the boat and sink her?
That's one reason I'm glad to have friends involved in caring about Herbie. Not just because they sometimes help with jobs, but also because they sooth my anxieties and calm my fears with advice and reassurance.