Murray Caldwell writes: ‘When I overhead my wife talking to one of her friends about me always going on about Impalas and that she had come to terms with fact that we were probably going to end up with one. I knew it was time to start looking seriously.

I could not see any for sale up here on the Clyde so started to search the internet!  That’s where I found Apollo for sale, she was an outboard version (ideally I had wanted an inboard version) that had been mostly raced but was at a very attractive price.

So off to wales and one dodgy travel lodge later (That’s unfair because it was only £19) I arrived in Neyland to meet the owner who took me out to the boat. It looked to me structurally fine, a few war wounds and needing a fair bit of work inside; we went back ashore to look at the trailer which was sound but in need of a good service. I said my goodbyes and said I would phone in a couple of days.

So I wanted the boat but how to get it back! The trailer needed servicing, too expensive to truck up, and October would not be the best time for your first Irish Sea trip. I then got a call back from one of the boat transport companies I had emailed to say that they could do it for a fraction of the cost if they could pick up in 4 days! So I bought the boat and it was home by the end of the week!

The only issue was going to be explaining to the wife that the one I had bought was maybe not quite up to the same standard as the photos I had showed her of other impala interiors! It duly arrived at the end of the week and to my surprise there were no tears but just an ultimatum to order new foam for cushions and she would make some new covers. Result!

I spent the weekend removing all the cushions etc. and giving it a right good wash down, Skipped the toilet as since a jabsco is under £100 there was no point servicing a 30 year old one!

My intention was to see how I got on with the outboard then maybe think of an inboard at some point but a second hand 1gm10 was available locally from a man that was fitting a larger engine, so I decided that it was too good a deal not to pass up.

So the plan is to try and install the engine this winter, well I will need to as I have sold the lead from the bilge to pay for the P bracket!!!

Bilge has been cleaned out in readiness of the plans coming to help with the installation, I am pretty sure I’ll owe my brother in-law a few pints before Christmas (he’s a marine engineer)

I’ll keep you posted


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