I’ve seen a Ghost! It turned out to be a hopeful rather than frightening experience.

In March 2008 I sold my last boat, in my diary I wrote:

The ‘Onward’ had grown – over 14 years – from a small 28′ tug to – by 2008 – a much loved 60′ boat, my pride and joy.

Working with a number of skilled craftsmen, who’d become respected friends, the ‘Onward’ had everything I’d looked for in a boat, from back cabin to engine room, from covered hold to fore cabin.

Despite it being a huge wrench to sell up, I did it without regret. It was the right time to move on. The boat demanded the kind of time and attention I just couldn’t give it; what with engagement and marriage; our daughter, then twin boys born in 2008; a new and thrilling family life; and a new home to establish as well – the boat just had to go!

Sad to say, it you regularly use the South Oxford, chances are you’ll have seen the ‘Onward’, now sadly neglected by her new owner. It’s heart-breaking to see all that time, love and work simply rotting into the cut. I guess it’s the price you pay for selling up and letting go?

It seems that what I wrote in 2008 might not be the end of the story after all. If the evidence of the following photos is anything to go by, my old boat Onward is being resurrected.

Just after the Fenny ‘winding hole’, on the visitor mooring, there’s old Onward moored up. I’ve not seen her in perhaps 2 years, and feared the worst. Perhaps things are not as bad as people had said?
First impressions were confirmed by a closer inspection. The paintwork on the cabin sides has survived well, and reassuringly the roof has been repainted… Someone’s now spending some time and money on her upkeep.
And the fore-end is looking grand. I suspect the timber forecabin we’d put on was used as a template for what is now a smart steel cabin, freshly painted and looking the proper job
It’s an odd feeling seeing the boat again, as every inch of her I worked on, thought about, worried about, altered and made what I’d felt to be a boat that, despite being relatively new, nodded respectfully towards tradition…

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