We hopped aboard and at once were impressed with the her. Good sturdy oversized standing rigging, big winches, her soaring stepped mast, CQR anchor, spacious cockpit. Everything looked like a boat that was ready to cross oceans, solid, such a shame we couldn't get to investigate her below decks. We returned to the office. Here we heard that Wendy had managed to contact the owner who was on his way over, from near Blackpool, and would be with us in three quarters of an hour. We went to the local pub and ordered a pot of tea. The old Vic was empty, but with a roaring fire and was crammed with nautical memorabilia, a good place to while away half an hour on a drizzly afternoon. By the time we met Dave, the owner of the Nicholson the day was coming to its gloomy conclusion but that wasn't going to stop us having a tour of the boat.
Dave is a youthful sixty something whos' obviously been sailing a long time, he had that air, and drove a black 4x4. Dave is very handy and has, as we discover on the tour lovingly transformed this 1978 Nicholson from a bog standard boat, to something of a work of art. He's rebuilt the galley and topped it off with some ceramic top that they make mortuary slabs out of, not sure if that was a selling point Dave. Its had a brand new engine with a "Z" coupling, built cupboards here there and everywhere, except he forgot to build one for hanging cloths. There seems to be a back up for anything that might fail, and all in all this is a fine boat, we're impressed. We even get every chart we may ever need for cruising Scotland, plus a decanter and more cutlery than we need to serve a full compliment of Nelsons Victory. Dave is the consument salesman, excited to show us each labour saving device he's incorporated into this labour of love, each safety first addition and every angle that he's covered to make this a boat that would keep you safe and sound. This is a boat that won't let you down, a boat to carry you any where you choose to go. We spent over an hour below with Dave and now it was dark. He now showed us round the deck, but I was getting cold and I'd seen enough. I'll start the engine, eh. It starts at the first attempt. Yes we're impressed but it's time to go, hang on, he says, I'll show you the flood lights that i've got here I'm going to fit on the aft end, enough, enough. Your now overselling it Dave, we like what we've seen but we now need to be on our way, which is what we do. We head off down the pontoon in the dark and find our way to our car outside a closed and deserted marina. We light a fag and Dave pulls up beside us in his 4x4 to explain we need him to open the gate to let us out. Good job he thought of that or we would have been stuck there all night.
On the way home we chew the fat and come up with the downsides of Daves' boat, there's not many, but they are there. But that's the way it is with boats, compromise, it's all compromise. As a sailing vessel it's going to be hard to fault this boat but at the price he wants it's perhaps a no no. However it's very close to what we should be looking for, and I'm not ruling it out, and it is here. But we need to look at lots more boats to know we've found our boat but I must say this was very close to the boat my head says we should have, my heart will need a little more convincing.