Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Sunset ...followed by new dawn

They say that nothing is as bad as a doctor telling you the worst but once you've accepted the diagnosis and have recovered from the shock things start to look better. Well, that probably applies to boats as well.

Having been told poor old Starquest had picked up the pox we were pretty devastated. Our plans to buy a new, bigger, cat and put her in the Med had been blown apart. The old girl will have to go into a 'home' for the winter and be given a new bottom. Things could be worse. True, it would have been good if she'd sold and we could move "onwards and upwards" in the words of a well known horticultural broadcaster (sorry Eric) but in boating, life is never that simple. We may be playing with the elements but most of the time the elements play with us.

We have spent a silly amount of money on Starquest, much, much, much more than was sensible and now we will have to spent even more but we will have a boat that's virtually new from stem to stern. I have no doubt she's the best Prout Quest afloat and after her osmosis treatment she'll be as good as new. Actually that's not true, she'll be a heck of a lot better than new. True when we set sail next Easter she will not be as big as we'd planned, she'll sail a knot slower, she'll yield to the waves a tad more than her 40 foot cousins but we'll have a well found craft, equipped with every known navigation aid and more comfortable below than any boat coming off the German production lines.

We have grown to have a deep affection for Starquest and to be honest we felt guilty at putting her on the market. But we needed a bigger boat, we needed a boat which could shrug off the worse Biscay could throw, a boat which could entertain eight people and not feel cramped but it was not to be. Well, not this (or next) year anyway.

The sale of Starquest has almost certainly fallen through. It's our fault. We spent far too much on the refit and although we have a boat that's a shiny example of her type, indeed the best of her type, we cannot afford to write off such an investment. We know how much has been spent on turning this boat from a tired wreck into a brand leader. If we'd known how much it would cost to renovate we'd certainly not bought her in the first place, but having now spent a small fortune we cannot give her away.

Fate dictates we are to spend some more time together.

Our plans, assuming the sale falls through which seems more likely than not, is to have the osmosis treatment done asap, and as early as possible next year head south as quickly as possible. We hope to transit the Canal du Midi and get Starquest into the Med for the summer.

As we said the worst news is the doctor saying the prognosis is not good...after that it all starts to look a lot better.

Pass the Med pilot.

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The Crew

The Crew
On board at Lymington