We’re hanging around the east coast of Florida for a little longer waiting for the weather to settle down. The Abaco Islands in the Bahamas were recently threatened by tropical storm Kate. Cindy was watching the system for a few days. We’re glad we delayed our departure. Although this system didn’t impact the Bahamas much, we feel it is better to be safe than sorry. The weather this week is really horrid. But, it looks as though there is a nice window opening at the end of this cold front. We’ll hope for the best. We are getting antsy about making it over to the Bahamas. We each have a rum drink is calling our names.
A little over a year ago we purchased a sewing machine. Today we took it out of the box. We have wanted to redo our cockpit canvas for a long time. It has been on our “to-do” list for about a year. Each time we think we are going to start this project, something extraordinary happens causing us to postpone the task. We were starting to joke that the boat gods don’t want us to have new canvas. We have come close quite a few times to taking the sewing machine out of the box. But, something more important would break and require more immediate attention. The canvas project kept getting put on the back burner. In the mean time, we have been hauling about all the materials needed for our project in addition to the sewing machine.
Finally! We unpacked the box and watched the 2-hour instructional DVD. It has been so long since we purchased the materials for this project we couldn’t remember what we purchased. We looked at the packing list scratching our heads wondering what some of the stuff was and why we felt we needed it.
When a sailor refers to canvas, they are talking about the covers. Covers over instruments, teak, hatches or the bimini cover over the cockpit area and side panels enclosing the cockpit. When sailing offshore, we are exposed to all elements. We have sea spray coming over the top of the boat. The temperature can get darn chilly at night and rain can make being on watch downright miserable. But, the most important function of canvas is to keep the sun off us. Canvas on a sailboat might not necessarily be canvas. Most bimini tops and side panels are made of Sunbrella. In our case it is vinyl. The vinyl offers superior protection from rain. Sunbrella or canvas will eventfully leak if it rains hard enough. And, because it’s a boat, you can always count on the drip being right over the area where we wish to sit.
Our current set up provides limited shade and protection from getting wet. If we sit at the wheel, we are nice and cozy. However, we often nap or laze in the cockpit area. We find ourselves jockeying for the shady spots. On most sailing trips, we use the auto pilot making it unnecessary to sit at the wheel and steer. The person on watch can kick back anywhere on the boat as long as they are looking about for traffic.
We looked at many pictures of other Amels to get ideas for this project. We formed a pretty good idea about what would work for us and set about making the changes. For the past week, Cream Puff has looked like a scene from the garment district. We are pretty happy with the results.