Thursday 30th August to Monday 24th September

Part 2 – The sale of Shangri La

About a week after we left the boat  in July (see South of France and Sojourn in England), I had a message from the H2O broker that we already had an offer on Shangri La, obviously subject to survey, which I then accepted as it was not too much off the asking price. When we returned on board at the end of August they still had not completed all the repairs, despite several messages asking for updates and reminding when we were returning.

Shangri La at H2O
Shangri La at H2O


The next couple of weeks were immensely frustrating! Numerous visits by an assortment of engineers to try and fix all these issues. Each time they managed to fix something but never everything. And, of course , always at great expense to myself. With all finally supposedly ok, we made the trip up to Gray and back, but actually no – there were still oil leaks.

On our return we took the engineers on a test run, so they could see for themselves.

After which they replaced yet more pipes and clamps! And obviously at more expense.

I also got them to do a thorough clean of the engine compartment and bilges. And after all that, we still have slight oil leaks, though the water leaks have finally been solved.

Engine open again
Engine open again


Meanwhile the buyer survey was scheduled for Thursday. The crane was booked for 9.30 and I had told the lock keeper we were coming, and the lock looked set for us. The buyer and his wife arrived just before 0900 and we headed for the lock. Surprise – not only was the lock now closed, but one of these ghastly hotel barges was waiting. Unfortunately, these commercial craft get priority, and we had to wait another half hour or so to get through. The buyer had a chance to handle Shangri La and he seemed very happy.

Lifting out for survey
Lifting out for survey

We finally arrived under the crane and Shangri La was lifted out and set down on the hard. The underwater hull was high pressure washed, ready for the surveyor. The coating was in excellent condition, and the surveyor was generally very satisfied. For the technically minded, the steel was originally 4 mm thickness and all his measurements indicated that at worst it was now 3.8 mm.

The surveyor pointed out a couple of other minor issues, but the buyer and I agreed that a small reduction in the final price would take care of that. And we would meet the broker next day to do final signing.

 Shangri La hull condition
Shangri La hull condition

What – no sale?

Imagine my surprise when the broker phones me to tell me the buyer has changed his mind and there is too much wrong that needs to be fixed!!

I emailed back to all at H2O that, as we did not actually have a sale, they must continue to market the Shangri La on the boat show. To which I never received any reply! The next morning, a very worried buyer comes to us and asks us what the problem is!!?? To cut a long story short, H2O/the broker blatantly lied to us. Based on the meeting we had to have to ‘solve all these problems” it appeared that this was all a ruse to hold huge sums of money back to repair these minor items using the most expensive options! At the end of the meeting, we had agreed exactly what the buyer and I had agreed – ie to knock 1000 euro off the final price. So in fact there was no real problem and this meeting was completely unnecessary!


It is such a shame that our last stint on Shangri La was marred by the shenanigans from H2O.

I must though give credit where it is due. H2O did an excellent job a few years back with the sandblasting the hull and application of the epoxy anti-fouling. And they did sell the boat in about three weeks.

But I still cant understand why they behave the way they do! Probably because they have the ideal location and there are not a lot of other options out there!

Before we took Shangri La there in 2015 I asked around, and heard much adverse comment about H2O. But as I said – not many options!

Drama – explosion and fire

Fire and explosion at H2O
Fire and explosion at H2O

While all this was going on, there was a bit of drama at the H2O marina. There was an explosion on a boat with a petrol engine. Not sure exactly what happened but apparently someone was doing repairs and drilling into the petrol tank!  That boat was eventually a total right off and sank at the berth. 2 other boats were severely damaged by the fire, while all the boats for about 100 metres radius were covered in soot and glass and debris!

But the main thing is – Shangri La got sold to good new owners who I am sure will look after her as we did. We had six fantastic summers aboard and have amazing memories and loads of photos.

Next – summary of our 2018 cruising

And you can read Karen’s version of events here.

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