Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Missing the Boat?

I sold some radio equipment back in January on eBay to fund my boat buying. I really wanted the money available by March as that's the month when the market gets a glut of boats as its the time harbour dues and mooring fees become payable.

Prices tend to drop thanks to the increased supply of boats and the eagerness of owners to sell before having to pay the considerable sums to moor or store their boat.

Well, I've been given the run-around by the buyer, first bemoaning the fact that I'm over 200 miles away from him (when the item was clearly described as cash on collection), then saying that his shift pattern stopped him picking the equipment up as well. The only weekend day he had free was the 24th and I agreed (unwisely as it turned out) that he could pick the equipment up then. In the meantime, I've had to pay over £60 in ebay fees, so was hoping he'd turn up today. To make sure he turned up, I sent him and email this week reminding him, which unsurprisingly wasn't replied to.

Also unsurprisingly he didn't turn up today.

The thing is it's too late to go through the standard ebay non-paying bidder procedure in the resolution centre, so I've had to fire off an email to ebay to see what the chances are of getting my fees back.

I'm losing faith with ebay as non-paying bidders and non-delivering sellers seem to be on the rise. I'm already involved in a dispute with a seller who hasn't sent an SD card I ordered last month.

So at the moment not only am I without money at the second opportunity of the year to buy a cheap boat (the period just after Christmas is the first), but I'm actually over £60 worse off. Great.


Put in a complaint to ebay and they can't or won't do anything. So that's it; no fees returned, no sanction of a multiple non-paying bidder. I know caveat emptor means buyer beware, but on ebay the opposite is true.
The buyer can be given the run-around, be seriously out of pocket and the buyer doesn't even get their 100 percent rating dented. Caveat venditor.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sailing Boat Sale at Shoreham.

Shoreham Port Authority are having their annual sale on ebay at the moment.

A number of yachts, all starting at £500.

Unfortunately a tad too expensive for me and they appear to be fin keeled yachts so not suitable for my needs.

However a bargain for anyone wanting a cheap yacht that needs a bit of TLC. They are after all yachts that appear to have been abandoned.

Shoreham itself is pretty well placed to hop to anywhere on the South Coast so shouldn't take too long to sail one home.

I must admit the mirror offshore probably isn't worth £500, given the floor seems to be covered by a few inches of water. Hate to think what state the inboard Diesel is in.

Friday, 1 February 2013

What's My Type of Boat? Part 2

I suppose I should discuss what size of boat I would like.

Well, the upper limit is set by mooring limits in the harbour I'm thinking of mooring the boat. With 25ft being an upper limit before mooring fees step up significantly. However price factors highly here and a realistic affordable length limit is around 22ft.

The majority of boats in my miserly price range are between 17 and 19 feet in length, so the odds are I'll buy something in that range.

Another factor to consider with a bigger boat is increased maintenance costs: more paint, more rigging, bigger sails.... just more cost.

So, 17-20ft it will be. Plenty in that range: Caprices, Hurleys of various flavours, Leisures, Newbridges, Proctors, Sea Wych's (not my favourite), Vivacitys, Valliants......