Our visit to ABNB Brokerage.
Having (almost) decided that we had the budget for a good quality used boat, we headed to ABNB Brokerage at Crick Marina in Northamptonshire to take a closer look at some of the used boats they had in stock.
We chose ABNB because we'd heard a lot of good things about them. Personal recommendation means a lot to us, and we wanted to spend some quality time with them rather than battle for attention as we would have been doing at the Crick Boat Show a few weeks earlier.
A steady couple of hours drive down the M1 and we were once again approaching Crick Marina. It was pretty strange not seeing the usual queue that we were so used to joining when we'd previously been down here for the Crick Boat Show. Literally two minutes after leaving the M1 we turned right after the canal bridge (instead of left for the show) and parked up outside ABNB's sales office.
Emma and Justin were there to greet us (with tea and cake). We sat and chatted for half an hour, discussing the boat show, and giving them ideas on what we were looking for.
In all honesty we still wanted a new boat, but we weren't sure that we could raise enough money to afford one. The ones we'd seen so far that we really liked were costing anything between £100k and £150k, whereas we could get a good quality used boat, maybe a couple of years old for about £75k.
We chose three used and one new boat to look at that matched our preferred specification and budget. I know, I can hear you from here... Why didn't you look at loads of boats? Well, two reasons. Firstly, I wasn't feeling 100%. I could feel a meltdown coming on, the weather was... bloody hot! I was stressing about meeting some YouTube viewers who wanted to say hello, and I was generally a bit overwhelmed that the whole boat buying, house selling, getting rid of my 55", 4K, Smart TV and Playstation 4 thing. So I blundered my way through some filming and did my best.
The three boats we did manage to look at were quite nice (I use the term loosely). They were nice in that there was nothing really wrong with them. A couple of them needed a bit of TLC, and one was definitely a 'doer upper', but they had charm, tradition, were quite comfortable, and one had a definite musk that I can only liken to beef flavoured Monster Munch.
If anything, seeing the used boats at ABNB (and some others online) helped make our minds up that we REALLY wanted a brand new boat. Let me just make something clear though. It wasn't anything about the boats at ABNB. They were as any used boat would be from any other brokerage. It's just that to me, they were someone else's dream.
The overriding positive that came from our day at ABNB was that it reinforced our desire to have a new build boat that was 'our baby', so to speak. We want a boat we can connect with from it's 10mm base plate creation, through it's fit-out, to launch and ultimately moving aboard. I'm really trying to say this in a way that doesn't make us sound like snobs. Come on, we're from Barnsley. We literally live next to someone with a flat cap and whippet! Snobs we definitely ain't!
We can say with overwhelming confidence that we looked at boats we would never have considered thanks to our trip to ABNB. Emma showed us a boat called Xenia. Originally from Yorkshire, it had metal badges from the local canals where we come from. It was a lovely boat and you can see Shaun and I deep in discussion about it on our vlog. Looking at boats like this didn't spur us on to buy a used boat, but it gave us experience on a wide variation of narrowboat styles. I'm glad we looked at them!
Apart from the meltdown later that day it was a good experience. We can recommend ABNB Brokerage on so many levels. The staff are just lovely, they have the nicest guest toilet I've ever seen by the canal, and their range of new and used boats make for a fantastic day out trying to find the boat that you'll fall in love with. For us, on that particular day, the boat we were meant to buy wasn't there, but I'm sure the one for you might well be :)
You can watch the vlog by Clicking Here
See you next time!