Back in 2017, I was approached by Gestalten Books, a Berlin based publisher that wanted to make a 'coffee table' book of boats, cabins and homes on the water. They would call the book Rock the Boat. They had spotted my first boat 'Gloria' and asked if I was up for sending them some photos so they could feature it in the book. 'Yes' was my answer, and 'please will you send me a copy when it's done'?
I first set eyes on 'Gloria' when it was called 'Bifta Drifta', it wasn't quite love at first sight but there was DEFINITELY something VERY interesting about it. The second time I saw the boat I was getting hooked, it was what I'd been looking for; well built and with potential. The third time, well, I wanted to make it mine.
It all felt right and in fact the logistics of it all sped along very nicely. The out of water survey, a mooring, a licence was all seamless. The little niggly bits were inconsequential because the structure and infrastructure were sound. Its character was already formed thanks to the high gloss tongue and groove pine, which had been matured with years of nicotine (it really is in the name) from the previous owner. My influence would only enhance what was already there. The beautiful, radiant, golden hue that would fill the boat in the late afternoon sun was pure romance. In the time I owned the boat I spent many, many hours in contemplation whilst I lay down and watched the reflections of the sun on the water, bobbing around on the ceiling.
After moving off the boat and running it as a hire boat for 8 years it was time to sell up and say farewell. By then Gloria was 28 yrs old, although it still had lots of years left I was ready to make a new hire boat. The thing for me about these boats. I find a good one, I learn to understand it and respect it and we become a team. With Gloria gone, I miss the familiarity...and the confidence that brings. And then of course, there is the beautiful golden hue.