Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Move over MacGiver

Well I finally got a tarp cover built, whoohoo. Jerry gave me an idea to cut thin strips of wood and use them to hold the tarp to the edge of the boat. David taught me how to use the table saw and I cut some 1x4's into 3 strips each. I got some help from Greigs son Buie and his friend Dennis. We all climbed into one of the smaller boats and pulled ourselves around to the water side of the boat.The boys held us in close to the boat while I screwed the wood into place. I used the wood strips to tack down the tarp just above the windows all along the side. Then I climbed on top and cut a hole for the stove pipe and taped it all down. Jerry had an idea to bend thin strips of wood under the tarp to support it, but they were too weak and cracked almost right away. I had to go to work so packed it in early.

The next day was Monday and everyone was away at work. I was determined to get this thing built. I had heard alot of ideas from everyone and still wasnt sure how I was going to do it exactly. Ill be honest, I had no plan when I started. I just stood on top of the boat holding two twelve foot boards and trying to picture them as a frame.

David had given me 2 16 foot beams that I laid on top of the wheelhouse. I grabbed a 2x4 and propped it up under the end of the beam in front. I then cut the 1x4's in half to support it on all 4 sides. I was able to brace the 1x4's into the edges of the deck and only put 2 screws in the boat for the whole thing. I screwed the side supports into the top beam . It feels very sturdy and I was amazed how easy it all went together. I then did basically the same thing in the back, but had to use metal strapping to go around the supports and bent it over the back of the deck and screwed into place. I also used strapping to hold the center beam tight against the boat. I then crawled out onto the motor support and precariously hanging on for dear life, screwed some more thin board to the tarp along the back edge of the deck. I continued pulling the tarp tight down on the other side, and more thin board screwed in, I was trimming vast amounts of tarp off by this point to get rid of all the excess, all the time folding and pulling it tight. It was like wrapping a 30 foot Christmas present.

I wanted a canopy over the door but didnt want to have to attach it to the dock or Davids house as there is a lot of movement here and the chances of it ripping was great. I knew I needed a center beam, so I put a 1x4 on top of the beams on the wheelhouse and tied it down to a heavy anchor and around the beams to hold it out from the boat. I then pulled the tarp over it, rolled up the sides into thin stips of wood and stapled them tight in a "V" shape.

I had just finished the last of it when the rain started to fall in earnest. So far, so good!! The boat is dry, the rain falls softly on the tarp and I can see out all my windows. There is supposed to be a big storm rolling in tommorrow with 30km an hour winds, so that will be a good test to see if the frame stands up. I think it will. I have to work tommorrow but Friday I want to cut some more 1x4 and place them as extra ribs to support any snow ect we might get. I wish I could fly, I would staple the tarp to the outside of the ribs to make it flap even less. Hmm what would MacGiver do??.............

In other news I finlly heard back about the propane furnace. Apparently the burner needs replacing, another 200 dollars so think I will pass for the moment. The woodstove is working quite well. Ive been using presto logs as the stove is so small its hard to find wood small enough to fit in it.

Nurse Karen(another roomate here) brought her friend Mike over tonight. He is going to hookup my hot water heater this weekend. Finally its all coming together. I will be happy to have all the comforts of home. Now just need to get the toilet looked at and Im good to go. Today was a good day :)

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