Just like Noah I had a sudden urge to buy a houseboat. The Noah reference will become obvious later. Well the urge was actually inspired by an ad in the local paper for a houseboat for sale for only $9000. 20 metres by 6 metres well equipped. There had to be a catch but I just had to check this out. The sale process was a "dutch auction" where the seller seeks increasing offers until they reach an acceptable amount and then agrees to sell. A phone call and an inspection revealed why the price was so low.
PROBLEM No 1.
Heard of the droughts affecting Australia? A consequence of the drought is that the Murray Darling river system is in a state of extreme stress. Water levels have dropped 2 metres. This boat had not been moved from its mooring in a marina in time to escape the water level drop. It is sitting on the bottom and it is possible to walk around the boat on dry ground. A bit off putting as no-one knows if or when the water will return.
Some obvious wood-rot on the hull. roof, some of the frame. Much worse than the owner was letting on. My estimate was that about 10% of the boats plywood sheeting needed replacing along with a few minor sections of the framework.
Indeed the boat was well equipped. The cabin interior was well fitted out and in very goog condition. 3 bedrooms, 1 with ensuite, a great galley, a main bathroom, all rooms furnished, All plumbed and wired as new, a great forward wheelhouse, a Ford 4 cyl diesel marine inboard only 400 hrs on the clock, stern drive, hydraulic steering.
I threw caution to the wind and offered $11,000.
My offer was noted and things went quiet. A couple of months later I got acall to see if I was still interested. There had been bigger offers but n one had materialised. What was my offer now? I stuck to my original offer of $11,000 More silence for a few weeks and then the owner rings and says he will accept my offer.
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
The transaction completed, my, actually "our" (I have wife – Patricia, a trusting soul), the adventure begins.