Since my youth I've often been interested in, and thought about boating, but apart from a week on the Norfolk Broads many years ago, and more recently completing a navigation course, plus crewing for someone, participation has really been limited to subscribing to a monthly motor boat magazine, plus monitoring an on-line forum dealing with the subject. Over the past eleven years our 'sea legs' have  had plenty of stimulation however - as a glance through the yearly 'blogs' on this site should confirm.

Having reached our seventies, the thought  had struck me; if we don't get a boat now we never will - so we bought one! Lucky to note, I took to handling our new "toy" virtually as good as the proverbial duck, and she has provided us with a vast amount of pleasure. Now ten years on, partly due to health, we've decided the time has come to let "Sylvania" go - all good thing have to cease sometimes! Underneath is a 'photo of us when we took over "Sylvania", but directly below we've placed a 'photo of us in front of her on the "hard" at Lymington as she is being prepared for sale.
We decided that the best broker to manage our boats sale would be the makers main agent from whom we'd purchased it.  Offshore Powerboats the person who did the handover to us then was Steve Lane, who is now in charge at 'Offshore'. I will admit I was just a little concerned at how he dealt with the "blurb" to describe our boat. In all honesty I was well pleased.

The reason being Sylvania's  unique design among nimbus boats.  Majority of these boats have an open back known as 'coupe', but this one has an aft cabin, more room and really spacious! As the sale particulars remark: There were several "runs" in this design back in the "eighties" and "nineties", but only a single range since then, and that was a run of 25 or less, of these the model we got was the only one to be imported to this country - a rare Boat indeed.

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 "Sylvania" is a 8.8 metre  length motor boat, and she was made by 
Nimbus the Swedish firm of boat builders. Power is supplied by a 160 horsepower Volvo diesel engine. Inside are provided many facilities for civilized living,  including a two burner gas stove, plus a refrigerator. She is wired for mains electricity, so while moored in a marina, we can lay power on, and use it just as we would in our own home - indeed many boat owners seem to prefer just treating their vessel as a 'weekend cottage', and may rarely sail it out of harbour.

Mention of "weekend cottage" is to me one of the massive advantages of owning a boat of this size. Many idealize a cottage 'by the sea', but quite out of the question the majority of us - rightly so! these are required by locals. When the weather is not at pleasurable as is the case most of the year, I'd be thinking "who the heck would want a boat now", but, at that time, obviously, I had not realized its value as as some where to travel to and stay. Moreover it can be moved to many other attractive locations, specially along he English South Coast. Just an example being the Isle of Wight, based in Yarmouth, and using the islands transport, we've got to know the island as good as locals! Another advantage being that marinas are often really convenient to town centres, Ocean Village for instance is only a ten minute walk from the centre of Southamton.

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  We took delivery on 19 June 2006 at the British agents base at Lymington. It was pretty windy for the next few days, but we eventually got it back to the berth we had booked at Cobbs Quay marina in Poole Harbour, this trip under the guidance of a member of the importers staff.

As can be imagined, while we were very anxious to start using the craft, the thought of actually taking it out on our own, awed us considerably. For various reasons, including our long booked trip to France, we did not move Sylvania out of her berth till 20th July. This was a two hour cruise done at little over 'tick-over' speed, round Brownsea Island. While on the far side we did drop our rear anchor, and cut the engine for a short while. Considering our nervousness, we regarded this first trip quite a success. So the next trip we ventured further, out into the 'open' sea this time. Motoring out to off Studland, we dropped anchor, and hung around for a while. It had been my intention to do a bit of swimming. But the sea was pretty rough, so did not feel like it. We came back in time to catch the Poole Bridge opening four hours after passing out. All in all, we felt quite satisfied with our initial boating exploits.

Above: A couple of 'photo's inside the main cabin.

Two years since the above was written, and I'm really pleased with the 'boating' progress we've made since then. The  reports on voyages should be on our annual 'blog' links. Here though I will place a few more 'photo's relating to Sylvania and our trips.

The first pair below show the opening bridge we go through each time we leave our berth, and before we can reach the open sea. Once out there, if we're heading south and west as often we are, then we pass near the Old Harry cliffs off Purbeck. Just to make clear; those are people standing at the cliff tops, bottom right!