Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trying again

The holidays were good. I got some work done around the house and on the car. I managed to put the cover back on the boat.

In looking at the failure of the cover, I think a big reason it failed was the amount of unsupported ridge pole at the front of the boat. I think perhaps I had the frames a little further forward last year.

In any case, I brought back my 'spare' frame that I didn't use last year and installed it about two feet in front of the original front frame. Then I repaired the frame that broke by screwing on a section of new strapping directly over the break. I repaired the bow upright 'post' by splicing in a section to replace the one that broke. I also put something under the post as it seems to have dug a hole under itself which probably was the first part to separate where the post joins the ridge pole.

The bad news is that the wind was blowing quite hard. The good news is that it was blowing in a direction that helped push the tarp over the boat. Luckily, the grommets on the upwind side were fine so I just had to pull over the same way it came off. I had to get the water and ice out of the tarp first. Dumping it into my shoes seemed like an effective technique.

To pull the tarp over on the side that had all the grommets removed I secured several lines by the method I mentioned last week. This is probably old news to everyone but since I have little to write about here goes:

First, I found a chunk of something and put it on the tarp where I wanted to secure a line.

Second, I twisted the tarp around the chunk of something.

Third, I tied a line around the twisted chunk of something.

This technique is widely used in emergency shelter construction and it actually works quite well.

So after fighting the heavy ice laden tarp in the cold northwest wind for an hour I secured it with some new grommets. This was the first time I made my own grommets. Now that I have done it myself I have even less respect for commercial tarp makers. The operation is dead simple and making a good looking grommet is pretty easy. I wonder why so many tarp makers can't do the same?

And finally, because I don't want to fix the tarp again this winter and because I don't intend to repeat this type of structure in the future (having to make repairs to the winter cover before December is just not a good way to start the storage season) I screwed sections of strapping right through the tarp to the frames. I am hoping by sandwiching the tarp between the strapping that the wind won't be tearing it off again.

I say I am not going to repeat this structure because after thinking about it, I am not sure I work on the boat enough in the winter to justify the time I am putting into the cover to make work possible. I think next year, I will either have a permanent structure to house the boat or I will cover the boat and walk away for the winter. The progress I am making over the winter months doesn't seem to justify the efforts I put into the cover.

So next week, some interior projects. Hopefully, I will be working on the boat this winter instead of perpetually fixing the cover.

...and that's it.

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