Thursday, 16 August 2012

Ugly Boats and Ugly Houses

I remember once one of my ex-girlfriends was having a tantrum and picked up a heavy paperweight and made as if to throw it into the leaded glass window on the built-in-buffet...  "Don't!"  I screamed, "Tell me why I shouldn't?" she yelled back, red faced and with flaming eyes....  "Because it's beautiful." I replied.  She calmed down, lowered her throwing arm (which I can assure you was deadly accurate and powerful when used!) and said "Yes.  It is.".  Beauty managed to save itself from destruction in that case.

Another time when I was a Realtor I was working with a young woman buyer and she had a list of very practical requirements of the home (she was an accountant) and she was very tight in the budget department...  I showed her a house that ticked all her boxes except having a garage door opener...  Unfortunately what the house did have was orange (yes I mean it) shag carpet wall to wall and on those walls  was the synthetic 'genuine imitation picture of wood' fake wood panels, the basement was full of dead appliances, the upstairs had that 50's colourful striped carpet... it was UGLY!!!  She said, "I can't buy it; it's too ugly" and I said "But it has everything you want, new roof, new furnace, updated plumbing, near the bus, nice area...." etc etc ... Of course I understood... it was UGLY!  A week or so later I heard from the agent who had that house listed asking me what my buyer thought... I told him it was probably the right house for her but that it was just too ugly... He said "Put it in writing, whatever you want, make us an offer; my seller is very handy and is keen to sell."  My buyer took some persuading; it was hard to get her to see what the house would look like with the carpet all removed and the floors all polished, the paneling taken down and the walls patched and painted beige, the giant woodburning stove removed from the middle of the dining room (you can't make this stuff up seriously), AND a garage door opener installed.  It was the longest list of requests addendum I have ever seen in real estate and nearly every one was accepted.  The day we inspected the house, after the work was done and before closing, my buyer was astounded (and so was I) it was the cutest little house with beautiful maple floors.  Several years later I saw that buyer at an event and she was still in love with her house.  Ugly just might not be permanent.

I've been shopping for a boat - now that I live in tropical paradise I may as well get out on the water and enjoy it...  I fell in love with the prettiest little runabout, but it doesn't have an electric tilt button and I don't think my body can handle lifting the engine.  It also only really has room for two people, the trailer was rusty and unregistered, it is a long way away...

In my imagination I want a boat like this one (it only costs about 20 times my budget!)

Then, for the same small budget, here locally, I found a bigger boat with an engine with tilt, rego on the boat and trailer (which is decent), all the safety gear, and plenty of room....   but OH MY GOD IT IS UGLY!  This thing has been hand painted (without the need of masking tape or a good eye, perhaps Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder worked on the paint job together?)  It has all the wires running down the side just hanging there, the bench seat across the front is a lump of timber, it is hideous!  But hey as I used to say to my real estate clients... "Paint's cheap!"

This weekend I am going over to town to go to Uni for a workshop...  I have arranged to check out the boat again on Saturday (after my course) and if it all checks out on Sunday I will take the truck over on the barge and pick up the boat...  I'm not sure if I want to call this boat 'The Silk Purse' or 'The Beast' but either way it will be quite the project cleaning it up.  Maybe I will blog about my progress (with pictures of the hideous thing)...

Pretty ugly huh?  I blotted out the guy and the number though...  (Actually it looks worse than this in person).

Perhaps I will paint flowers all over it like the old VW's from the 60's and 70's?  Maybe I will install a couple of banana lounges in the back of the cockpit?

Whatever way it goes it will be an adventure!

So unless something better presents in the next 24 hours I am buying the ugly boat on Sunday!

UPDATE: not 30 minutes after I posted this blog I was contacted by someone in response to my wanted ad - now the ugly boat has a competitor!  Two to see on the weekend!


  1. I've seen uglier boats... while we were looking to buy one five years ago we saw some shockers. As long as the motor is fine and starts when you want it to start that's the main thing. Nothing worse when you're on the water and try and start the outboard and it sneers at you, sputters and then goes silent.

    I know you'll paint this boat up to make it very different... and fun :-) . Happy boat shopping!

  2. YAY let the bidding begin! Beauty is in the eye of the Visa, Banks, etc etc :)