I wish to buy a narrow boat. I wish to live on it, and to take it onto the canals and rivers of Europe.
I recently briefly inspected nb ‘Rosy’, and, at first glance, it seems as though she is a distinct possibility. She appears to be a sound vessel, and although there are various alterations that I will have to make, they all seem to be possible.
In view of these necessary alterations, I will not be able to meet your asking price, but I would like to make an offer to buy her for ï¿½22,500 subject to the following conditions:
One: That the boat has a current Boat Safety Certificate, and a declaration, signed by the owner detailing any structural work that has been done to the boat since the issue of the current Boat Safety Certificate.
Two: That the current owner (who, I am led to believe, has owned her from new) walks me through the boat to discuss her construction, equipment and peculiarities.
Three: That, following this walk through, the current owner (or a suitably experienced alternative) permits me to accompany them on a short (say 30 minutes) cruise to check:
* engine starting and stopping procedures
* the ability of the engine/prop to push the boat through the water and to stop her
* engine noise steering (both forwards and astern)
Four: Following this walk through, me to entertain the current owner (and partner, if appropriate) for refreshments at a suitable, nearby hostelry.
Five: That no major faults or inadequacies are discovered as the result of a survey (including an out of water survey) that will be conducted at my expense by a suitable experienced surveyor. (To this end, I attach at Annexe A a list of my immediate concerns, and the alterations that I would wish to make. I believe that these alterations are all possible, but I will seek the surveyor’s opinion regarding them, and the impact that they may have upon the safety of the boat).
Six: Me to be provided with as much documentation as is available to the current owner concerning the operation of the various equipment and systems on board.
Seven: Me to be provided with suitable documentation showing that I am the sole owner of the vessel, and that all necessary Value Added Tax has been paid.
Eight: Suitable arrangements can be made for the vessel to remain in your marina (me to pay the mooring fees which I am led to believe will be in the region of ï¿½20 per week) until such time as I can move her (expected to be within three or four weeks of the date of purchase).
Naturally, I am willing to deposit funds (I suggest ï¿½100) with a suitable person, as a token of my good faith.
I will pay the balance of the purchase price by cash/bankers draft/bank transfer/cheque (as you wish) as soon as the above conditions have been attended to.
I trust and hope that you find this offer acceptable. I look forward to your early acceptance and comments
ANNEXE A to letter dated 4 Sept 1999
As I wish to take the vessel onto the canals and rivers of Europe, where passing traffic can produce big bow waves and wash, I am concerned about the water integrity of the vessel.
My three immediate concerns are:
1. The front well deck appears not to be fitted with over the side drainage to evacuate water shipped into the well deck. I would wish to cut such drainage holes, and need assurance from the surveyor that such holes are compatible with the regulations covering the Boat Safety Scheme, or that other suitable drainage arrangements can be made, and the likely cost of these arrangements. I also need to know about the drainage holes on the well deck that seem to drain into the bilges.
2. There appears to be a problem with the weed hatch which currently seems to be held in place by some G-clamps and mole wrenches.
3. Access to the water tank for cleaning etc.
The structural alterations I would need to make (at my expense, of course – see Condition 5 in my letter) are:
1. Welding over the low-down ventilators and windows on the forward bulk-head, and installing replacement, high-level vents (or roof vents) ducted down low to compensate for the ventilators welded over.
2. Installing steel doors in the forward bulkhead.
3. Installing a second side hatch and slide in the engine ‘ole opposite the current one.
4. Installing a hatch on the stern deck for easy access to the weed hatch.
5. Provision of (diesel powered?) central heating, and increasing the diesel storage capacity (believed to be currently 25 to 30 gallons).
6. Up-rating the electrical system to providing (for example) a source of mains electricity for powering some mains appliances.
(In the end, I changed the well deck into a tug front deck and decided (on the grounds of cost) not to put in the second side hatch . The survey showed up that the fuel capacity was about 80 gallons (400 litres, which is just about sufficient).