EMPTY VESSELS

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The Independent Online
The Harlequin (see main text) is on the market at pounds 28,000 through the owners, Sarah Udo-Affia and Paul Redman. The boat comes with all interior fittings, including hi-fi system, fridge, cooker, convertible bed and storage units. Telephone 01225 811623 for details.

Based in Old Windsor, Berkshire, Virginia Currer (01753 832312) specialises in pleasure boats, cruisers, narrowboats and residential vessels with permanent moorings. She is currently offering 15 of the latter, ranging in price from pounds 4,950 for a 1930s wooden cruiser (moored at Twickenham) to pounds 90,000 for the Ebenhaezer in Bristol (see main text). The Ebenhaezer benefits from residential mooring, rated at approximately pounds 1,200 per annum.

Virginia Currer is also selling the African Queen, a modern, purpose- built 30ft houseboat which includes a double bedroom with en suite bathroom, living room, kitchen and a roof terrace with canvas awning. The vessel is offered fully furnished at pounds 51,000. The residential mooring at Tagg's Island, on the Thames at Hampton, currently costs pounds 847 per quarter.

The Waterdog - a colourfully converted 1950s, steel hull coal barge - is moored on the River Ouse, close to the centre of York, and is offered at pounds 27,500. The 89ft by 15ft space includes a two double berth cabins, one two-tier bunk cabin, a galley kitchen, a wheelhouse-cum-dining room (with spiral staircase), a roomy saloon lined with varnished panelling, solid-fuel stove, oil-fired central heating and a Gardner 4LW water-cooled diesel engine (needing attention). The moorings are renewable on a three year licence and fees are currently set at pounds 2,000 a year.

Virginia Currer is also selling the Samantha, a 1900s steel hull "butty", with two cabins, bathroom, kitchen and saloon, at pounds 15,950. The 71ft vessel is being sold with a residential mooring at the Basingstoke Canal at New Haw, Surrey. This one is a rarity because it has a dry-land garden and is offered with the remnants of a 20-year lease (issued in 1992). The lease payments run to pounds 2,640 per year.

Waterview of Surbiton (0181 398 8550), a specialist in waterside property, also has a selection of Thames houseboats for sale. They include: the Pygmi Hippo, a one bedder, moored on the Thames close to Kingston Bridge, priced at pounds 22,500; the Riverside, an original 1930s vessel with three beds and moorings in Surbiton, priced at pounds 75,000 (reduced from pounds 99,950); and the Inca (a two-storey, three bedroom, 36 ft, centrally heated houseboat with garden and parking) moored at Taggs Island, at pounds 139,950.

To find out more about purchase loans, contact Collidge and Partners, the marine finance and insurance brokers, at 15-16 Hawley Square, Margate, Kent CT9 1TF (01843 295925).

For information on moorings, licensing and waterways contact a local branch of the British Waterways Board (for London, 0171 286 6101).

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