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Choosing a boat

Choosing a boat is one of the most difficult aspects of the whole process. There are thousands available, from old classic yachts, through to the modern GRP cruisers.

Our approach was to try and establish some basic parameters. So I wanted a wheel, and my father wanted a shower. That basic set of requirements took us to about 20 per cent of the available boats. More objective criteria were added. How many cabins did we want. That depended on who was going to be on the boat. Were we going to be going out with Grandparents - the answer was yes, so more cabins were needed.

In the end we realised that we needed a boat which was between 35 and 40 feet, which had ideally three cabins - ie two aft cabins.

Forty feet is actually very big for the Clyde - so 38 was probably about our maximum.

There was of course another constraint - budget. When you are working on a restricted budget, most boats are out of reach, and you have to look at older boats. Too old though and they tend to require expensive improvements or maintenance. So in the end we focussed on only two or three types of boats, and waited.

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