Sicily has returned to the red zone of restrictions which means only essential stores are allowed to open and travel is very restricted, therefore we have had to amuse ourselves with boat jobs. Work on the cockpit enclosure has been continuing over the past couple of weeks, we have had a few days of strong winds and rain which has slowed production as it is difficult to measure and fit it in such conditions, but these have been outnumbered by days with full sunshine and no wind which has forced me to stop procrastinating and get on with it!
Firstly we had to remove the bimini (which also meant disconnecting and removing the solar panels) to install zips with a rain protection trim around the top. By the time the enclosure was finished, the bimini had been on and off 4 times for various adjustments!
The side pieces were measured, templated and made first, these were done in the fabric ready for windows to be installed at the end. The fabric is Sunbrella Plus which is a waterproof, breathable marine fabric.
Then the back pieces were made, this has a central panel and two side ‘doors’. Fixing the corners was tricky but once the sides and back were on it looked like we were trying to shut ourselves away for hibernation, this caused many comments from everyone as they walked past questioning why there were no windows!
Those corners of the trim on the Bimini are still to be finished.
Paul said it looked like we’d dumped a shed on the back of the boat!
The most daunting part was the front section as it needed to be fitted around the spray hood, this took a while and the piece must have gone up and down at least 20 times to get it to fit.
Some buckles, straps and deck fittings were installed and then finally the windows went in. The back window first as this was the smallest and so easiest.
As always, trying to do anything on a boat adds extra challenges and takes twice as long. Installing the windows required a large area to lay it out flat, not many of these in the boat, so the bed was dismantled again.
At last it is complete and we now have a new ‘orangery’ for those sunny but chilly days. All we need now some twinkly lights around it to finish it off.
Another job on the list is to make a new spray hood in navy so that it all matches!