A few boats have been changing hands recently – Olly Love writes from Itchenor:
“When we drove from Chichester to Helensburgh back in Sept 2011 to buy our Sonata (FRANK) it was always my intention to get an Impala, so when we were driving back up north with the Sonata in tow to part exchange with her original owner for an impala it was a dream come true.
I had been looking for an Impala for a few months however they were all either too expensive or had outboards then we came across Revelry, it was an inboard with new sails, and a trailer unfortunately it was 500 miles away in Scotland. After a few emails back and forth we came to a deal where Murray would have his Sonata back and we would have the Impala (plus some beer tokens).
We had a slight problem, I am 25 and Sam is 24 so neither of us can tow anything over 750kg, so after a call to Sam`s parents offering them an all expenses paid trip to sunny Glasgow we hitched the Sonata to the back of the Discovery and left Chichester at 9pm on the Friday 21th of Dec. After a good night’s sleep on the M6 with us in the back while the in-laws drove through the night we arrived in Helensburgh to be greeted by traditional Scottish weather, 30+ knots, torrential rain and flooding.
We exchanged sails and funds, and hitched up the Impala to head to our first stop the 5 star Glasgow airport Travelodge (imagine the inside of faulty towers and you have a good idea of the place). The roads were waterlogged and the locals weren’t expecting to see a land rover towing a 28ft yacht so we were met with some odd looks.
With the strong winds and small towns we were limited to 25mph which we were glad at when found the first low bridge, we all leapt out as we underestimated the height the locals were very helpful and polite in telling me it was a bit close. We parked the boat up and went into Glasgow to experience the nightlife
We set off at 8am and pointed the bow south and started the long climb to Carlisle. We had a strong cross wind so had to cruise at 25mph at points. After a second stop at Carlisle Tesco we set off again with a dying wind our speed crept up to a steady 50mph (18mpg) and we were off. We stopped again at a services and pulled up next to an artic lorry (see pic) where we realised that we are longer wider and taller than a lorry, when we arrived in Biggleswade, the boats Christmas home, at 5pm it was unhitched and locked up so we could do the tour around the families. We unloaded a boot full of sails into the garage and relaxed for a few days.
After a few days delay due to the storms in the UK we set off for the final journey from Biggleswade to Chichester. This part was very uneventful apart from the final narrow lane through Itchenor.
Now the easy bits over us can start preparing and getting her ready for the new season,
In summary we travelled 1100 miles in total and averaged 19mpg. We can now say that towing an Impala is not as daunting as we first thought (with the right car) and I would totally recommend looking further afield if you are looking to buy however factor in the other costs.
Oh and the new name “TWO FRANK”
Olly Love & Sam Flint
Two very tired but proud owners of their first proper yacht”