By Nick Ward

We certainly live in the strangest of times, when considering the last few years. Having lived through Covid and now facing the well-predicted inflation that has kicked in, together with the appalling war in Europe, one might have expected leisure pursuits such as sailing to have taken a hit. But strangely it has not been as big as anticipated.

In the brokerage world, in which I operate, we fully expected that those who had bought their first boat and those new to pleasure boating would sell when the lockdown was relaxed, the overseas holiday market opened up and the marina bills started to hit the letter box.

However, to our delight, this has not in fact happened.

From my vantage point, the market has slowed, but it has not stopped. In fact, the rate of enquiries has gone back to pre-Covid levels. However, the impulse buying we saw in the summer of 2021 has receded and buyers are returning to the normal cautious approach, with prices reflecting this.

At Waypoint Yacht Brokers we are receiving new instructions on a daily basis, our enquiry levels are healthy and it’s pretty much business as usual.

Never being one to let the grass grow under my feet, I do have time now for my own boat. Having abandoned her last year in favour of a very busy brokerage I am at last putting in the hours to finish the refit.   So far, the shopping list has run to 150 metres of tinned cable, numerous tins of paint, Spax stainless steel wood screws at 30p each, Iroko, West System epoxy resin… the list goes on.

How did a small 28ft sailing boat manage to consume 150m of electric cable, one wonders, but she did – and still I need more!

Taking on a boat that needs some work and turning it into a project boat can be daunting, and I do sometimes wonder if I will ever see the end of it. I suppose I should stop thinking of her as a mini-super yacht.

Making a cocktail cabinet with a light that comes on when you open the door was arguably a bit over the top and took yet more hours. Still, you have to put the Mermaid Gin and Glenmorangie somewhere.