Wednesday 11 November 2015

A Cover up.

On our long trip up from Crick to Tattenhall last year we both got extremely wet as the heavens opened as we cruised through Tixall wide. This meant frantically closing up the rear doors and pulling the hatch too to avoid getting everything soaked in the back cabin (AmyJo has a large wide hatch). This made access to the throttle more difficult and ended up with me soaked through despite putting on a coat and hat. I don't mind getting wet but when it is also cold I think you would agree it is no longer fun. 

With that episode out of the way we decided it was time to have a pram hood installed. After looking on tinterweb and visiting Crick show this year we bought a cover from Kinver Canopies.  Last month Stuart came along,measured up and installed the frames.

The Frames being installed
Templates being cut to size
 A few weeks later Tristan arrived with our new cover and set about installing it.  They managed to find the same colour material as the cratch cover so all matched up nicely.

First the roof panel is added
Then the removable side panels are fitted
Almost complete
and the finished cover.  You can see all the solar panels in this shot.
Originally I wanted a cover that could quickly be raised and lowered but still offer protection from the rain. Once installed I was not sure how easy our new cover would be to raise and lower when cruising so, last Saturday, we took AmyJo the short distance up the cut to the Cheshire Cat for lunch, winded then returned to the mooring in the evening. Wary at first I kept the cover down through bridges but using my arm to touch the underside of the bridges I estimated all but one would allow AmyJo to pass under with the cover up. The one I would have to lower the cover being the one just up stream of the marina entrance by the winding 'ole.

I found provided the side panels were removed the roof of the cover kept things sufficiently dry but meant the whole structure could be held up by just two pop studs which, when released, allowed a quick drop of the cover. Once clear pulling the cover up and snapping the studs back into place we would be covered again. We also found it offered protection against the cold wind if cruising into wind. Of course the intention will be to cruise cover always down unless rain becomes heavy but its nice to know shelter is to hand if needed.

An added bonus is that the back of the cover, when zipped down, over laps the hatch and although allowing air to enter it stops the draughts when the wind picks up which it turn helps to keep the cabin warmer. Storm Abigail is due tomorrow (Thursday) so we'll see what affect having the cover does when its really windy. 

 Here's hoping everyone has a safe mooring and weathers the winds over the next few days without incident.

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