Saturday, 9th November
This morning, Hilary discovered that the domestic water pump had sprung a leak. In fact, it looked as if it had been leaking for some considerable time judging by the state of the floorboards in the cupboard behind which it sits! We were already considering whether to put the boat into "winter mode" by draining the water system so this decided the matter and we emptied the tank and pipes as we headed back to Anderton. It seemed odd to be preparing for the winter on such a warm and sunny day, but there you are.
But that wasn't the only decision reached. Back in the summer I started to think about how much longer I should keep Starcross. She's 23 years old (I've had her for nine), and although she's mechanically sound with a newish engine and prop and a favourable hull survey this year, the interior needs updating and improving. I've spent a fair bit of time and money on maintenance this year and I can see that the need for both these will only grow in the future. There are other factors, none of which is in themselves significant enough to bring about the decision but which taken together have swung the balance.
So, Starcross is to be sold! I've spoken to Simon at Norbury Wharf, where I moored until last year and arranged to put her on brokerage in the Spring. I've chosen Norbury because they know the boat well and maintained it for several years including fitting the new engine in 2007). They also seem to attract a lot of older and cheaper boats so Starcross won't be outshone by gleaming newer craft and overlooked by potential buyers with deep pockets.Llast but by no means least, having had several years dealings with Simon and his team I'm feel I can trust them to do a good job (Better the devil you know and all that. . .).
I can't get to Norbury straight away due to stoppages on the Shroppie and in any case the chances of a sale before the Spring are very slight but some time after Christmnas we'll be heading off to Norbury Wharf on what I hope will be our final run.
Unless of course someone wants to make me an offer first! Just in case, I'll be posting some details and a spec shortly.