Well, having done my ICC and decided that I definitely need to buy my first boat, I need the help of all you experts out there with regard to few things, so if anyone wants to contribute a word or two, I'd be very grateful!
I've pretty much decided on a Phantom or Ring 18 with a decent outboard. I reckon this would give me all the fun I can handle for a few years and be an all round good bet for a first purchase. Guys who know about these things on here have been kind enough to PM me and have confirmed that I'm thinking along the right lines, so that's always reassuring. Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts and expertise. Much appreciated.
My main problem, at least initially, is that I live in Hertfordshire, which is not exactly renowned for it's proximity to the sea. The fact that I live in a flat doesn't help either! So, I need some advice on places to rent storage space either locally, or at any place with easy access to the sea (I guess I'll be looking at sea area 4 around Essex or East Anglia, which is only an hour or so's drive from home.) I've tried numerous storage places for caravans, etc, and got nowhere so far. Any suggestions?
I don't envisage any problem with towing, as I have quite a substantial car, so I think I should be okay with an 18 footer. Seem about right?
What about insurance? I would imagine I'll need some sort of fire and theft cover for the boat, and third party liability cover for any damage I may do to anyone else out there. Anyone suggest any good brokers or policies? How does it work, is it like cars and bikes for example, with the cost worked out on size and horsepower? I'll only be buying something under five grand, so value won't be too much of an issue.
Finally, anyone know of a good place around North London to do my Marine VHF/SRC course? There's loads of places on the RYA website, but a personal recommendation is always better in my book.
I initially did my course for Level 2 Powerboat with a view to using it as an introduction to boating so that I could cruise around on inland waterways, but having tried the sea, the though of pottering along at walking speed on a river, stopping only to untangle weed, fishing tackle and carrier bags from the props doesn't really appeal anymore!
Well, thanks for reading this essay! I'll look forward to any replies with the greatest of interest!
Cheers Guys. Great site too, by the way.