A few weeks ago (end Jan 2016) Frank and I managed to get the boat cover on Anne-Marie. Boy what a struggle that was. We ended up filthy and knackered.
Firstly the main mast is our pitch-pole and until you have to lift one you don’t know how heavy a main-mast is – even when you are only lifting one end! I had made a yoke (you can see it in the picture) the same shape as the cross section of the mast so that there was a good support for it. Most of the rigging had already been removed. I had also removed, cleaned up and replaced the mast step as that is where we have placed the primary mast support. Fortunately for me Frank is younger and fitter so the lion’s share of the heavy lifting came from him.
The folded cover was also a real challenge as it was wet, slimy and cold so didn’t want to unfold or move.
I have left the stations in place for the moment to enable us to get more space under the cover and rigged a strip of 1200 grade polythene sheet along the full length of the yacht which gives us another two foot of headroom (see left side of picture).
This however has caused a problem in that within a week the stations on the starboard side had torn through the cover in a number of places. These needed repair as more high winds were forecast and I did not want then to get any worse.
So what to do? I didn’t have time to research methods of repair but in my extensive store of ‘stuff’ which I keep in my garage which I think is essential ‘just in case’ is some bitumen based flat-roof repair tape. Now this stuff is useless cold but when heated with a hot-air gun becomes very sticky and so late one night I took the necessary down to Rye and made the repairs. As long as you don’t get the ‘bitumen’ anywhere you shouldn’t the repair tape works well as you can see in the picture. There were four patches.
Now what this repair does not do is take away the cause of the problem – ie the top of the stations. So I was wandering round B&Q seeking a solution and came across some pipe lagging – the expanded foam stuff that comes in one or two metre lengths and is sliced down its length. I bought five 2m lengths and clipped them over the top wire (you can see the effect under the repaired cover in the photo. This takes the pressure off the stress points and so far is working fine.