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The story so far - part 3

Others trotted out such phrases such as " We haven't done that before".

Some even came out with such out of keeping comments that we knew they hadn't really fully digested the tablet. i.e. " We have a sign writer who is very good at decorative watering cans "….What ?

We also visited Crick show for the first time ever and spent several hours of looking round seventy five varieties of very fine, but very same narrow boat.

Anyway to cut a long story short the most receptive of all of the builders, and the ones which we felt we could best trust to interpret our idea without covering the outside with the very latest designs in scrumble was Fernwood. They had also built " Deck of Cards", which we had seen at the Crick show. This boat was just a bit different. It felt more homely than any of the other boats we had seen. The finish was excellent and we felt that this was the sort of boat that could act as a base for our Mediterranean concept.

Fernwood's strengths were several fold. First of all it was evident from the finish on their boats that they knew what they were doing and were good at what they did. And, they'd been doing it for a long time. Their order book also seemed to be full for the next two years which sort of suggested that they might not be the first to go under if the present surge in boat building fell through the floor. We visited them a couple of times and saw production in place.

Fernwood are " bespoke " builders, they don't offer a particular " class " or type as some of the more European or larger companies do. Each of Fernwood's boats are different and that's what attracted us to them, that's why we chose them. We would be getting a one off, a product special to us and the only one of its kind.

Fernwood's workplace too seemed a fairly " happy ship " with people keen to produce boats that they were proud of. Also we knew we would be working closely with a key team of three - Ken, Julia and Stuart who'm we felt understood the concept, knew what we wanted to do but more importantly had a feeling that we would be able to work together well.

And so was born our relationship with Ken, Julia and Stewart and the team at Fernwood. It was scheduled to last a year by which time we would be launching our pride and joy. How would it all turn out ? Would we be happy with the process ? Would it be an enjoyable experience ? Would we end up producing something which would work ? Or would it all end up as a bit of a disaster ?

NEW Now read Chapter two...