Sunday, 7 September 2014

boat work

I've been on a 48 hour mooring on Devizes Wharf, taking advantage of the quayside to paint the name of my boat, which has just been the-green-boat-with-bikes-on-the-roof till now.

Eve's name came with her, and I couldn't see any reason to change it, though I considered adding to it so she could be New Eve (a nod to Angela Carter) and quite liked the idea of Questing Vole.... it is, of course, bad luck to change a boat's name (though that presumably doesn't count on big ships; in twenty five years of seafaring most of the ships I worked on had had several changes of name in their working lives); one way around this is to rename the boat while it is out of the water, apparently.

The sun was so strong that it was painful to put my hand on the boat's side, so I wore mittens to do the painting. I used Hammerite Smooth paint, and it was very uneven, needing two coats and still looking a bit scrappy; still, at least the job's done and now I can look at it and wonder how to do it better next time.

I also finally had chance to spread out this old lorry tarpaulin, which was a left over piece kindly given to me by Kev and Gemma, who had been using it to roof over an old workboat that Kev had built a shed on top of, an impressive sight (though you'll have to take my word for it as I didn't take a picture).

I'm going to make a new cratch cover from it, because the present cover is falling to bits. I'll use the old one as a pattern. I've now washed the new piece of tarp, dried it out and folded it away neatly (as neatly as you can with a tarp), and must now find some vinyl adhesive which is both strong enough for the job and cheap enough to buy in industrial quantities.

Talking of cratch covers, by the way, I'm secretly mystified by some of the terms used 'on the cut', which has its own vocabulary distinct from the seafarer's -thus, a cratch board is the assembly at the front end of the foredeck or well-deck, between which and the cabin you can suspend the cratch cover. But where and what is the cratch itself? OED online tells me that it is a 'long open trough or rack used for holding food for farm animals out of door' and is etymologically similar to 'crèche'   -so presumably the cratch itself is the well-deck?