New Navy

Posted in: Boat Improvements on Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Tygress is looking great in her new navy cockpit canvas.  We’re so happy with it. We can’t stop looking at it. It’s such a massive improvement on what she had before and the navy blue works so well with the red hull. I’m not usually one to blow my own horn, but I feel it should be noted that the navy colour choice was my idea. Ben would probably call it more of a demand than an idea, but I wouldn’t budge, it had to be navy.

Before she had a badly deteriorating, lifeless grey spray dodger and a moldy lashed on canvas panel that, lets by honest here, was an eyesore. Ben and I hated it, we spent a lot of time looking forward to the day we could get rid of it.  And here is where I’m really proud of myself, who knew I was so talented with screwdrivers and spanners. All that was required was a determined attitude, a small pep talk followed by the unscrewing a few a bolts in the corners and slashing the rope lashing and presto it was gone! With no serious injury to myself or the boat and no tools lost over the side.

Awful, just awful, the window plastic had completely fallen out at this point.


The old lashed on canvas set up

The next day Ben and I removed the solar panels in a perfectly coordinated display of teamwork – Go Team! We needed to work together and move carefully because the panels were still wired up and joined together.

With the panels removed everything was ready for the trimmers to get started on our canvas. They started on the Thursday before Easter.

First they took our old spray dodger off for a pattern and by Saturday a new navy spray dodger was in it’s place.  We were so surprised to see it when we returned from visiting friends that I raced down the dock with a fully loaded trolley and almost squealed in delight.  Even that small part of the job made a big difference to Tygress’s appearance.  Because it was Easter the trimmers were having the following week off so no progress could me made until the following Monday.

The next step for the trimmers was taking a pattern for our new Bimini which was a more involved process than the spray dodger as we didn’t have existing canvas to make a pattern from.  Gary instead put a large piece of blue plastic sheeting up over the stainless steel frame and cut it to size.

The bimini pattern being made

Three days later he returned with the Bimini canvas which after a few small adjustments was ready to install. Not an easy task considering how many different things we had attached to our frame; two anntanae, GPS and two protruding fittings from the section of frame holding up the solar panels (more on those later).

The canvas being adjusted and fitted

By Thursday afternoon the canvas was in place and a pattern for the infill panel (the canvas panel connecting the spray dodger and Bimini) was taken. Friday morning saw the infill panel installed and the job completed.

The finished job!

We had gotten quotes from a few different trimmers around the place but decided to go with G&S Marine Trimmers Aust Pty Ltd which are based here at East Coast Marina. The three deciding factors in making the choice to go with G&S were a) the gave the best priced quote b) we’d heard good things about them and c) they are close by.

We are really satisfied with our choice and happily recommend them to anyone in the Brisbane area wanting to have their canvas replaced.  Gary and I had a couple of meetings at the boat to go over what we wanted done, our regular readers will know that I was a little nervous about meeting with contractors, but Gary was great. Very friendly and easy to talk to, I had no problems telling him what we wanted or asking questions.  When the issue of the protruding fittings was brought up, I explained that Ben probably wouldn’t have the time to make the changes himself, so Gary offered to have the old fittings removed and flush fittings installed for us.  We were happy to pay for that little extra service.

It’s designed so that we can remove it if need be. The quality of the stitching and other fittings is great and the work is guaranteed. If we have any problems, which I’m sure we won’t, it’s just a short walk through the marina to the trimmers.

Looking at the canvas now we’re just so happy with it. Having the newer darker canvas makes a big difference to the feel of being out in the cockpit and once the seat cushions are finished it’s going to look amazing and be a much more comfortable place to be.  The only sad thing about this whole process has been that we’ve weren’t able to get the mesh side panels that I really wanted.  They’ll have to wait until we have more money. As it was the work we had done cost just over 3 boat bucks, but it was definitely money well spent. What do you think? She looks great hey?





  1. Patti says:

    I don’t know the first thing about boats/yachts, but I would say that blue canvas looks great!
    Patti recently posted…BBC News Report ~My Profile

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks Patti! We live on a boat and still have a lot to learn, but we think it looks great too. Thanks for reading and commenting! Love hearing from you.

  3. Melissa White says:

    Wow! That looks awesome! Don’t you absolutely love having other people do that kind of work for you, and then sitting back and admiring what they’ve done? That looks great, and I can imagine that you really need that bimini in the sun you guys have down there. We wouldn’t know, though. LOL!

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Melissa! It was great being able to pay to have it professionally done.

      Although the other day I read a blog piece by someone who’d done it themselves with a Sailrite sewing machine for much cheaper and I felt a little bit like it’d taken the easy way out and that I should have tried to do it myself. That i’d somehow failed by having someone else do it for me.

      But hey, I wouldn’t have the first clue on how to do it and it probably would’ve been a bit beyond my sewing skill level. And yes it’s definitely needed here on sunny days, it’ll be even better when we get the mesh side panels for extra shade protection. Thanks for reading and commenting Melissa!

  4. April – Long ago | Blue Water Dreaming says:

    […] Probably the most exciting thing of all, our new cockpit canvas was finished! We absolutely love it! Navy […]

  5. 2013: The Year that was | Blue Water Dreaming says:

    […] got a major face lift during 2013 which included shiny new windows, stylish blue navy canvas and comfy new cockpit cushions.  Also in a fortuitous twist of fate Tygress was reunited with her […]

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