Monday, 18 October 2010

Boat Specifications

We started to get serious about living on the canals in 2003. 

One of the first decisions was “do we buy a used boat or build”.  Buying a used boat has the same implications as buying an existing house. You never get exactly what you want!  We decided on the build option.  This leads to another choice.  Opt for a standard specification boat or go bespoke.  The standard specification option has the same implications as a used boat (you don’t get exactly what you want).  Bespoke would give us the freedom to develop our own unique design.

A bespoke boat needs detailed specifications, or so I thought at the time!  Living on the far side of the world meant there would be little opportunity to visit boat builders and gather ideas.  Other boats blogs were read and the internet was scoured.  Over the next five years I developed a comprehensive set of specifications running to 20 pages. Even then I was not fully satisfied with the level of detail.

We undertook a trip to the UK in 2009 with the express purpose of meeting a shortlist of potential builders and discussing our requirements. Imagine my surprise when most of them were disinterested in my specifications.  One gently pointed out that most boat builders would want a specification consisting of a couple of pages of dot point items.  This has caused me a great deal of anxiety.  I have difficulty in accepting the notion of signing a contract for such an expensive project based on such a brief description.   My 20 page specification has now been reduced to six pages of dot points.  And how I worry over them!

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