The first job was to see if it was possible to live and cook aboard. So I moved in and made her a live aboard. By the end of the first week I was able to cook dinner and invited friends round. There followed a summer of hard work interspaced with wine and food at sunset. The boat soon became the focal point of the sailing club. It was right outside the club house window and difficult for them to ignore. A continual stream of visitors arrived particularly at weekends. The boat had remained untouched for about five years but was now coming back to life. People who walked dogs stopped to talk, joggers, club members all wanted know about my plans and ambitions for the boat.
Sue my girlfriend came to stay with me at the boat when the weather was fine. We socialised at the sailing club and climbed aboard to sleep. Waking up at the beach made it like a holiday home at the coast. We could lay in bed at night with the hatch open and look up at the stars. Even in winter we have lay in the cockpit looking for meteors when a shower was due. It soon became obvious that we could live aboard comfortably. We pressed on with the work whenever we could but there was so much to do it was difficult to see the end of it. The most asked question was when would we be launching the boat and we really didn’t know at this time. It was difficult to estimate, let us see just the entire inside all of the outside, new rigging and sails. It could not take more than a few months. To buy a boat fit for the purpose would cost about £50,000.If I had the work completed on Prospero in a boatyard it would cost about £50,000 so I would have to complete the work myself.
Now in this area I am probably my own worst enemy because I am a perfectionist. Lists of work that needed to be completed emerged then grew because while in the process of doing one job I would see another two jobs to add to the list. I could not see how you could possibly go to sea in a boat that that was not seaworthy so all the jobs must be done. The just throw it in and complete the work later lobby where livid. The biggest job was to paint the hull and the perfectionist in me really shone through here you could see your reflection in it. Suffice to say all the jobs where completed to a high standard. I have sailed on many boats owned by quite dedicated mariners and the inside often smells of mildew sweaty socks and diesel. This does not appear to worry men. They mainly day sail and below is a place that you go to at your own peril. It certainly was not a place worth going into to pass water. What I had in mind for Prospero was a high level of creature comforts state of the art instrumentation and equipment. Self sufficiency was important because I didn’t want to be tied to marinas by an electrical cable. Solar or wind power would be needed. There is nothing cheap for the marine environment. You can double cost of anything by adding the words yacht or marine. Yacht varnish, marine ply etc. A boat is a hole in the water which you throw your money into. I was looking forward to the sailing which I have heard described as being akin to standing in a cold shower tearing up twenty pound notes.