A cratch cover on the cheap
- With No 1 failing badly I bought a huge (10 m x 10m) sheet of heavy gauge woven polyurethane tarpaulin off the Internet, together with a couple of rolls of high tack adhesive tape - the sort market traders use to stop their stall covers blowing away. Cost £40.
- Using the old cover as a template I marked out and cut a new cover. If I started again I would buy a big plastic dustsheet (99p from Wilkinsons) and use it to create a template.
- I attached two strips of 15mm copper water pipe to the leading edge and folded the flap back on itself thus forming a rigid edge, fixing it all together with the tape.
- The front is held onto the cratch plate using cup hooks and elastic straps.
- The back end of the cover is held in place with more elastic straps (50p per metre from Homebase) which stretch from some reinforced eyelets to some some chrome hooks pop riveted onto the side of the boat (£2.50 from Midland Chandlers)
- Finally, to give it a better shape I cut some narrow pvc water pipe (the sort used for the overflow on a toilet) and stuck this to the inside of the cover between the front corner of the cabin roof and the top of the triangular glazed panels.
Whilst the end result is clearly not a professional job, it is 100% effective. The key factor for me is that in addition to the cratch cover I had enough material and tape left over to fashion a stern cover and have enough in reserve to make yet another cover as and when this one fails. Given its lack of deterioration so far, I am confident that it will last me 5 years, probably more. In addition, I have no worries about tearing it if I hit the cabin room on a low bridge.
All in all I have 100% of the effectiveness for about 5% of the price of a professional version. Ok, its not quite as beautiful as the one Wislons could make, but I can think of lots of things I would rather spend my £450 on.
So, as I sit and home in front of my new £450 widescreen TV in the sure and certain knowledge that WB's front deck is as dry as a bone, I toast you.