Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Vin Rouge and the tarpaulin tent

Last summer I had an enjoyable two weeks touring the north west of Scotland and visiting such remote sea lochs as Loch Laxford and Loch Hourn. I slept in the car and ate the fish that I caught in the sea and the shellfish I found on the shore. I’m hoping to do similar expeditions this summer perhaps by touring the Outer Hebrides.

In preparation for the better weather arriving I have been busy footering around with the boat. Ask any boat owner and they will tell you that half the fun of owning a boat is footering with it, so I’m no different. It certainly passes the time when the weather is not so good for going to sea.

Call me a big woman if you must but I had to learn how to operate a sewing machine to make my latest modification. I turned a tarpaulin that I had lying around into a tent cover for the boat. It clips onto the boat's existing “lift at the dot” fasteners in the same position as the original boat cover fixtures so I didn’t have to alter the boat. A pole is then fed through a sewn “pocket” in the tarpaulin and stretches from cuddy roof to top of outboard engine.

Assembled, the tent has more head room than the back of my car or a small hiking tent. The centre thwart (seat) in the boat easily comes out by unscrewing the wingnuts that now replace the original nut and bolts, giving eight feet of floor to sleep on. Im now making up some duck boards so my lilo can keep off the wet floor if it has been raining during the day.

Im looking forward to exploring the remote lochs during calm spells of summer weather, anchoring in quiet bays, setting my lobster pots and sleeping overnight on board the boat. Who knows... I may be lucky and awake to a lobster breakfast :-D

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