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What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailors?

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10:12am 5th December 2014
(Updated 10:12am 5th December 2014)

People in Cornwall are told to stop getting drunk and buying boats.

That is the plea from officials who say too many amateurs are picking them up online then realising they can not cope.

They are warning that harbours are getting littered with abandoned boats, when buyers start getting bills.

Fowey alone has spent thousands of pounds clearing them.

Dave Coull picks the music you hear on Pirate FM (and probably should have known better). He said: "It was one summer's afternoon and I was walking around a harbour. I saw a lot of boats and saw people pootling around on them. I thought, well, that looks a lovely thing to do on a Saturday afternoon

"So a friend and I went home and logged onto ebay. We had had a few sherries. It was Saturday afternoon and the sun had been shining.

"It turns out it was cheap for a reason. The engine we thought we had bought with the boat didn't fit. The steering didn't work. The trailer was falling apart. I think we spent four times the value of the boat within ten days of owning the boat.

Asked how far he had managed to sail it, Dave replied: "Oh, three or four feet without breaking down. We met a lot of lovely people. We met a really nice solicitor who towed us back and a really nice plumber who towed us back some miles once after breaking down.

"There are two days you enjoy owning a boat: the day you buy it and the day you sell it."

John Davis is from Padstow Sailing Club. He said: "If you have got a boat, the first thing you've got to do is make sure you've got some safety equipment. The cheapest boat paints are around about £25 for a litre of paint and that is before you've paid river dues, a mooring, and then you need insurance.

"They are looking for a bargain so they're looking for something cheap. But they've got to realise why someone is selling it off. They're selling it off because it is expensive to keep - not because they don't want to keep it."

10:12am 5th December 2014

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