I had high hopes. It had a lovely old slow-revving Lister engine. As far as I could tell the engine was absolutely fine, starting easily from cold (OK, the weather was mild, but the owner played me a video of it starting for the first time after three months - again, it started well).
It sounded great, throbbing in its own little room. One slight problem was the fact that, as hard as she pushed or pulled on the lever, Jan couldn't actually get it to engage gear. There is obviously a knack to it, i.e. shove it as hard as you can. It was the first time I'd controlled a boat with a speed wheel and separate gear lever, and I enjoyed it.
Unfortunately there has to be more to a boat than the engine, and we felt that the rest had too many drawbacks. So we're still looking.
Jan threw another spanner into the works this afternoon when she convinced me (at the time) that we should really be looking for a semitrad rather than the trad I'd been anticipating. My carefully drawn up shortlist (of 23 trad-sterned boats) looked like it was no more than fire lighting material.
The argument is that a semitrad is more sociable than a trad, and we want to be able to invite people along when we're on board. So bang! goes my dream of a "traditional" back cabin with separate engine room.
For now, anyway.
Later this evening Jan backtracked slightly. We might yet get a trad!
This morning I went for an excellent 16 mile cycle ride with Adrian. At Barford Mill there seemed to be a small group of anglers set up with their fishing umbrellas in the middle of the River Tiffey.
The water level was low, and there was a gravel bank. Looked pretty wet to me, though.
Happy New Year, everybody.