Tag Archives: canopy

Perfect Doesn’t Get it Done

9 Oct

Words I read on another boatie blog recently and, believing them to be so true, stole them for here.

I used to be a bit of a perfectionist – If a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing well/Good enough isn’t good enough/It’ll do won’t do – all overused maxims in a previous life. I’m not sure if it’s living afloat, advancing years or some other strange phenomenon but I’ve had a complete change of heart on this one.

Now it seems to me that it is far better to get going on a job and achieve something, rather than constant agonising over method, materials and mastery. I’ve reduced myself to total paralysis in the past by this over-thinking process.

It is a bit of a trait of mine and, to be honest, I still find myself going down this route on occasions and have to give myself a pretty sharp talking to. Unless of course the John is around to save me from any harsh self-criticism – he’ll always delight in delivering a lecture on the evils of the maladjusted mind – mine in particular. He’d have me in therapy quick smart…test-therapy

As ever, in writing about what is on my mind, all becomes clear and that other strange phenomenon I mentioned earlier is clearly John. I’m not admitting to being easily influenced or anything here but he does have a way of making me see things differently. And that’s a good thing in my book; I like to think I am open to new ideas/ways of looking at things and never let it be said I am set in my ways or incapable of a little spontaneity.

In case you are wondering what all this head-shrinking is about, it’s just me justifying my attempts at fixing up the cratch board and re-attaching the TV aerial.

My last post told of taking the canopy into St. Ives to have the zip replaced, which was done efficiently and quickly – took less than two hours. Just enough time for me to fail to visit friends – I found their boat but was all locked up, which is most unusual; they must have seen me coming.

Instead, I had a nice chat with Caroline in the chandlery at Hartford Marina (the old home) and spent a small fortune on coffee at the nearby garden centre but managed to resist the urge to do similar at Jones’s Boatyard by only buying what I went there for. There’s a first time for everything.

So: stainless screws to replace the rusty ones that held the aerial mast and new toggle thingies for the cratch cover, by way of a treat.. 002

Not sure I’ve got them on the right way round but they seem to hold better like this.

Anyway, I’m well pleased with the service I received at S. Robb and Son in St. Ives and thoroughly recommend them if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods needing work done on your canopy or a new one. Take a look at this link – they seem to do all sorts.

As for re-mounting the aerial… I studied it long and hard to ascertain the correct way to fit it then got busy with the screwdriver. As a blonde, I’m not allowed anything sharp or powered so this is the manual variety, making it hard work. Well I seemed to make hard work of it anyway. I struggled to drive the screws all the way into the wood and quickly gave up stopped just short of them being all the way home, thinking this would do till I have a qualified electric screwdriver operator on my roof.

Up goes the aerial, which is held by a ratchet device that is secured by rotating a lever. I’ve only put it on upside down – would you believe it? Fortunately, it does seem to still work so, with new thinking engaged, I leave it be. It is blowing a hoolie right now though so my fingers are firmly crossed.

And the cratchboard…?

I’ve had a bit of a go, looks a tad better…001

But is by no means perfect and needs more work.

And that’s where I came in – perfect doesn’t get it done.







The Hobo Shuffle

30 Sep

Should I be fancying trying out that very seasonal dance routine of kicking through the autumn leaves, I need look no further than the roof…006

Just leap up there and shuffle away.

It would probably be more effective than trying to sweep them off – and a whole lot more fun. Whichever way I choose to clear the roof, be sure they’ll be back again and again and again until the tree is bare. That’s what comes of sleeping under a willow tree. But I’m not complaining.

I was earlier though. Tomorrow I am taking the cratch cover in to St.Ives to have the zip repaired. It has stood the elements for eight years now and given me great service but has finally given up the ghost. Loving applications of Vaseline and encouraging words will no longer keep it together and functioning so, for the very reasonable sum of £25, I am getting a new one fitted.

First job this morning then was to remove the canopy, fold up and put in the car ready for an early start on Wednesday. If I get there early enough they will turn it around in a day and I should come home all fixed up tomorrow afternoon, pop back in place – with luck before we get the rain.


Seems the aerial mast is screwed to the wood of the cratch through the canopy so this has to be removed first. Should be simple enough but the screws have rusted solid. Would not budge. Given that the resident brute force and ignorance isn’t resident just now, I present myself at the slipway, with my best feeble female face on, in search of someone else’s BF&I that I can borrow.

Sure enough, once a little cruiser has been launched, I have two takers complete with  rusty screw removing tools. Yes that does include a big hammer by the way.

Andy leaps on to the roof and whacks the impact driver with the hammer, several times, and grunts, groans and grimaces for England. When he does eventually get the screw turning, his mate has to carefully place a screwdriver behind the screw head and carefully lever it up. Times this little operation by four and there you have it; screws removed.

I am very grateful to the boys for this and also that it wasn’t so easy for them either. At least I don’t have to beat myself up for being weak and pathetic – I would never have done it in a month of Sundays.

Easy now – bish bosh bash and cover is unhooked, cobwebs brushed off, folded and in the boot. Yay!

Looks odd without it…001

But a very smart piece of wood. Almost a shame to cover it up but wouldn’t really be without the cratch cover – was the best thing I added to Hobo all those years ago.

I say lovely piece of wood, which it once was, before years of UV, bicycle handlebars and scratchy bungy straps took their toll. ..002

It used to look like this…003

The inside, which has had a much easier life and therefore fared so much better. So, as one thing invariably leads to another in Boat World, there is nothing else for it…007

Has to be  sanded and re-varnished. And what better time than now – sun is shining, cover is out the way – even I can’t talk myself out if it any longer.

It’ll need a few more coats and interim sandings ideally so hope the rain isn’t non-stop when it starts. Hopefully I’ll be able to proudly show off the finished article here before too long.

The next thing was to de-web inside the cratch, which led to cleaning the windows, re-organising the storage, throwing out the mats and brushing the floor. Next I had to sweep the deck, put away the chairs, shuffle the plant pots and assorted  other paraphernalia, tidy up the coal/gas storage, water said plants and feed the moorhen family.

Well, they’ve got into the habit of turning up – all of them together – either at my window when they see me standing there looking out or, as was the case today, tight up to the gunwale. And they squeak. A lot.

What I thought would be a quick half hour job turned out to take most of the day, resulting in the other half dozen or so items on my list getting sidelined and kicked forward to another day. Again. Leaves me feeling good for nothing much other than to veg in front of the tele, feet up and watching something suitably mindless, given that it’s dark at 7 o’clock.

Bugger. The aerial’s down.