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In the bag

Posted in: Boat Improvements, Featured on Sunday, July 20th, 2014
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Our mainsail is now safely tucked away in it’s nice new navy sail bag, safe from water, UV rays and swallow infestations.

The old bag was deteriorating when we bought Tygress but the high winds of ex tropical cyclone Oswald finished it off, completely ripping the canvas away from the zipper and destroying other sections in large chunks. It’s been held together with rope ever since.  Not only did the ratty old bag give Tygress a slightly unloved look it was exposing our main sail to wind, rain and sun.

New Sail Cover

We engaged the services of G & S Marine Trimmers, our local trimmers here at the marina and once again we are extremely happy with the finished work.

Gary taking the old sail canvas off

Gary removing our deteriorating old grey sail bag.

The new sail bag marks the completion of the canvas replacement on Tygress and we love how she looks now. We may be biased, but we think she looks very smart with her red hull and navy canvas.

 

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It’s Curtains for bad Curtains

Posted in: Boat Improvements, Featured on Thursday, January 16th, 2014
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Psychedelic fish patterns aren’t for everyone…

and they weren’t for us.  These curtains were hanging when we bought Tygress and as much as I love bright colours I had trouble loving these. I feel bad saying that because obviously some one did love them at one point and took the time to sew them and hang them with pride in their home. But Ben couldn’t stand them and became increasingly determined to get rid of them.

 

Quirky and fun but not for us

Quirky and fun but not for us

 

Here they are in place, bright and colourful.

Here they are in place, bright and colourful.

One day after taking the time to wash them and painstakingly feed the elastic back through them Ben declares that he can bear them no longer, that they must go and I must make new ones. So despite my protests off we go to Spotlight where we became mired in indecision. Should we get that pattern, I like the spots. Or maybe this one with the curly swirls. But what about this colour. Oh this one over here is a bit cheaper. We settled on two fabrics and after going away and coming back we chose the taupe curly swirls.

Because he has a better head for it Ben took care of taking all the measurements and figured out how much fabric we needed which at under $7 a meter worked out very cheap. It’s thermal fabric designed to keep out 30% of heat from the windows without blocking too much light. The cabin still feels light and airy even with the curtains drawn.

To make the new curtains I simply used the old ones as a template. There’s a slight curve to the windows so all the hard work of making them fit the curve had already been done. The thought of redesigning them from scratch made my head hurt. The only issue I had and that held the project up was the lack of a large flat surface to spread the fabric out and trace the patterns. Lack of space is always an issue on a boat.

 

Our stylish new curtain fabric.

Our stylish new curtain fabric.

 

The new curtains hanging in the saloon.

The new curtains hanging in the saloon.

 

Eventually I got the fabric and curtains over to my folks place to take advantage of my mums huge sewing table. Patterns were made and my old Pfaff sewing machine (which incidentally is almost as old as I am) pulled out and set up on the saloon table. My Pfaff fits on the table perfectly and even though it weighs a tonne, and i’m pretty sure it causes the boat to list to starboard when I store it, i’m so glad I brought it with me.  Once I remembered how to thread it and fill a bobbin I was on my way. It wouldn’t have taken more than four hours in total to sew them up, and as straight lines are easy to sew I must say I’ve done a great job on them.

 

Tied back with matching fabric ties.

Tied back with matching fabric ties.

 

Tied back revealing our lovely big windows.

Tied back revealing our lovely big windows.

They are now hanging in the saloon generally just looking great and classin up the joint!

What do you think?

 

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New Navy

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

 

 

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