I can see clearly now
The other day, after my posting some nice sailing and hiking pics, one of our readers, Bruce, asked if it were wrong of him to hope that we have some non-serious repair job to do so that we can post pics and details of the project for him to read on our blog. I replied that yes, it was most certainly wrong and that he should stop thinking thoughts like that! The truth is though, while I may not post about them, there are always things to do/fix/improve/maintain.
Take our dodger for instance. For non-boaters, a dodger is the equivalent to the windshield on a car. As opposed to glass, it is typically constructed out of canvas-type material (Sunbrella) and a see through plastic (It may not really be ‘plastic’ but I will refer to it as such. It comes in different grades and thicknesses and is sold under different names). ZTC’s dodger was very well constructed but as it happens, this plastic material gets brittle and yellows with age making its see-through properties a bit less than see-through. As you can imagine, that’s not so great for a windshield.
Last year, when we visited St. Martin, we took our dodger into a sail loft / canvas shop and inquired about having the see-through material replaced. The proprietor basically blew us off saying that the job could not be done properly. Although we thought differently, we weren’t going to argue with someone who obviously didn’t want the work. We packed up our stuff, returned to our boat and have since sailed another entire year with the dodger in that condition.
When we were in Trinidad though, a place where purchasing various boat-related products is quite easy, we invested several hundred dollars to buy the new material for the dodger in the hopes that we’d be able to get it fixed at some point down the road. We have been carrying it with us ever since. While we have a sewing machine on board and it’s been great for the various canvas jobs and repairs that we’ve had to do on our boat, we knew that it would not be up to this particular task. Because of that, we were hoping that one of our friends who have both more sewing experience and a much-beefier Sailrite sewing machine, would be up to helping with the job. Enter Donna, who not only met both of those requirements but was eager to help.
While Kirk and I were busy yesterday afternoon, studying the anchoring habits of various visitors to the harbor , Rebecca and Donna were hard at work, disassembling the first of five sections of the dodger. Like any new project, there was a bit of guesswork and experimentation that went on in order for them to make it work but by dinner time, the first piece was completed and it looks perfect. First thing this morning they plan on resuming work on the project and we all anticipate that the next four pieces will go a lot more quickly. I do hope so because projects like this really put a crimp in our island exploration and fun time!
This Sailrite sewing machine is a beast compared to the one that we have.