|The "Grand Union" "Stars" are usually reckoned to make a balanced conversion.|
"Planet" on the other hand looked more interesting. "Planet" is another "Grand Union" boat, but unlike our "Sickle" (and indeed "Rufford") is a Harland And Wolff built type, rather than a W. J. Yarwood and sons built example. "Planet" is what is known as a "Small Woolwich" boat of the "Star Class", and would originally have been of composite construction, with steel or iron sides, but a planked wooden bottom. Most such boats have since had their bottoms replaced in steel, and this was the case with "Planet".
|National engine and Brunton gearbox - but hand start only!|
|Comfortable and useable, but currently a bit more cluttered than some.|
The problem areas were not in the main accommodation. Externally we already knew the boat had tired paintwork, because we regularly used to see it in our area. This again we could live with, although would represent a lot of work that really needed doing quite soon.
|It's not just bad gunwales - it has rotted the steel engine room behind.|
|Engine room roof has seen better days, but can probably be fixed.|
Some helpful conversations were had both with a surveyor, and with one of the experts in this kind of steelwork, and, so far as they could without actually seeing the boat, they helped with some idea of costs of the remedial work.
|The sheathed wooden back cabin was actually far worst than it appears here.|
Ultimately the advertised price got dropped substantially, so we contacted the vendor again, but by then they had someone strongly interested. The boat seemed to change hands very shortly after that, and I believe still for more money than we would probably have wanted to spend. A shame in many ways, because it had the potential to be a truly stunning boat, and arguably the "Star class" boats with their lower hull sides make a more balanced conversion than the much chunkier deep holded "Town class" boats like "Rufford". I await with interest finding out who now has "Planet", (we still haven't worked that out), and seeing just how extensive any restoration work ends up as being.
With this one at least the seller behaved completely honorably, and I am also grateful to the experts who took time out to give us advice about the likely work involved.