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About 8 or 10 years ago i saw a 32 foot Riviera at Sactuary Cove that i fell in love with. I just had to have it and i had negotiated the price down to $105k and the deal was done. The only problem i then had was how to get it to Sydney, do you sail it or put it on a Truck? I estimated the cost of fuel at about $2000 and the truck cost was about $2500. After considering it, i decided i was too much of a novice to sail it down so truck it was. I did some checking and found (no name) this certain company was the leading transporter of boats and so i engaged them. On their form was the question asking whether you wanted insurance for the journey and if so did you want transport only insurance or all risks. The difference was like $100 or so. I considered the thing and thought "what on earth can go wrong? I guess the truck could crash or be stolen and that is covered by the cheaper policy, the boat could slip off the truck but that is also covered by the policy" I decided to take the cheaper but then, the ever cautious person inside of me came out and i ticked the more expensive box thinking "its only a hundred bucks and given the size of the total cost it is nothing".

So the deal was done and all i had to do was wait until the due date for the boat to be picked up and then 3 days later it would be in the water at the Quays and the joys of boating would be mine once again. Everything went just swimmingly and i was walking to the train station one morning when my mobile rang and the call went something like this:

Caller "hi is that Harold?"

Me. "yes it is"

Caller. "well hi mate, my name is John and i am the driver of a truck with your boat on the back of it and we have a little problem".

At this point i time i started to break out into a sweat and i had stopped walking.

Me. "Oh, what sort of a problem would that be John?"

Driver "Well, i have never seen this before and i have been moving boats for more years than i can remember, this is really just..."

Me. "John, just tell me what the hell has gone wrong"

Driver "well we stopped yesterday at the motel at Macksville to have a sleep and when we put the boat onto the truck we had to take the Bimini off the flybridge so it would go underneath the bridges on the way..."

Me. John, i am getting real nervous here, what has happened?"

Driver "well, when we loaded the boat and took off the bimini, we left the keys in the ignition and we didnt turn off the battery isolation switch. Also it is customary for us to put the units in gear as it keeps the levers flat so they dont get knocked and bent."

At this point in time i am starting to breath again because i was sure he was about to tell me i had flat batteries. I mean what could that cost? 4 batteries at $250 each is a grand, no sweat.

Driver. "So when we stopped, it started to rain and we went and had a sleep and when we came out this morning we noticed one of the propellers was turning and as we got closer to the boat we could see one of the motors was running and we dont know how long it has been running for."

At this time i am sweating again, here is a Volvo turbo diesel motor running for a period of time and it is not in the water.

Driver. "As we got closer we noticed a terrible smell and when we got on board all the paint is burned off the motor and the hoses are split. It is a bit of a mess. It seems the rain has got down the side of your key and short circuited the starter switch, that has had the same effect as turning the key and the engine has started. One in a million chance and as i have said i have never sen it before. Sorry."

Me. "John, how long before you are in Sydney..."

To cut a long story short the repair bill was $38,000 and it took 4 long months. The engine was totally rebuilt with new head, block etc and the stern drive was 100% replaced. The only saving grace for me was that i had ticked the all risks box otherwise i would have had to foot the bill.

Keep your boat insured to the hilt as you just never know when weird shit happens.

Edited by harold
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