Sunday, July 25, 2010

Making the Bimini

The weekend started with my friend Eileen Foreman and her husband Scott visiting us during Potluck.  We had a great time and they left about 830pm just before a storm hit (see story below). Starting Saturday morning, Phil and I have been making the Bimini, our 2nd to last major project.  So far we are still married and haven't killed each other. - only kidding.  Yesterday in 95F and hotter weather, we sewed the fabric together down the middle and then laid it over the tubing - applying clamps - and then marked where the pockets and darts should go. We also started cutting out the fabric for the sleeves and the other smaller parts that are needed.  Before we could lay the fabric over the tubing, Phil and I had a "discussion" about stabilizing the tubing so they could be a square as possible to each other.  I also made a trip for clamps since I didn't think that we had enough. See below for how we used the clamps.

Here are some pictures of me off the stern of the boat marking the fabric for the sewing line.

Then some pictures of Phil and I working on it.  Phil is using the hot knife to cut a sleeve for one of the bows.  I'm sewing a pocket/flap combination on one of the stern half as we have to put a zipper in so the Bimini can fit around the back stay, which is between the middle and stern bow.  Making this project really makes me want to have a blue Sailrite sewing machine.  I have found that I can't sew the Sunbrella binding around anything more than 2 layers of fabric, and we had to change plans on making the sleeve pockets.  We are also very grateful for Dexter Parson, who has given great advice and tips and has shared his expertise and materials.  I think that the club members who came to see how we were doing either decided to leave (we were irritable), asked questions, enjoyed our interaction, or cheer us up with their kind humor depending on the person and our mood.

We also had some excitement this weekend with a bad storm coming Friday night about 830pm - 9pm.  The winds were clocked at about 30 knots at our boats.   The river rose about 18" until the water was a couple inches below the top of the docks.  No one had any damaged on their boat but several of the canopies over decks were destroyed.  Our canvas cover over the fore hatch failed, the wind blew the side edge over the open hatch, funneling water into the V-berth.  Phil got the hatch closed and I quickly took the bedding off the mattress.  Luckily, the memory foam mattress was only a little wet and I was able to soak most of that up with a towel.  We put down fresh sheets and were fine for the night.  

S/V Notorious, a 35.5 Beneateau, owned by Brad and Cindy Knapp was caught out in the storm on Lake Erie and they clocked winds at 60 knots.  Our friends Phil and Terri, Kelly Knapp and a couple friends were also on the boat.  They made it into Fairport Harbor with their sails down and the motor on and jilled in the harbor until the storm passed.  By that time, the river had a 3-4 knot current and it took all hands and Dave Unger's good advice for us to get them in their dock safely.  About 15 years ago Phil D and Phil W were on Changes and experienced a similar storm where the clouds looked like a horizontal tornado, and Phil W said the clouds looked the same over Lake Erie for this storm too.

Tomorrow Phil and I hope to make more progress on the Bimini.  We need to cut out some reinforcement strips for the side, make the middle bow pocket and attach the zipper for the backstay opening, attach the other sleeves and sew down the zippers.  It's hard to believe that our leave date is less than 6 weeks and we still have so much to do.  I'm also going to be starting my World Literature course on Aug 30 that lasts until Oct 24. 

We do like living on the boat?  Overall Yes! There are spiders - that's a given on the boat, but we didn't wake up with any webs today.  That's not true for yesterday though.  I did take a picture of the morning sun illuminating it.   I like our mattress and it has been hot, but most of the time after taking showers at night, we sleep well.  It is harder to sleep when it rains at night.  It's interesting that even with ear plugs and the fan running directly over my head, that rain drops hitting the canvas hatch cover wakes me at night, so last week I woke often throughout the week.  I think this week we're to have less rain and with the high in the upper 70
s it was VERY comfortable.  It's also great having our friends here and being able to visit with them. The week typically has it's own rhythm.   Monday is very quite (dead as Phil says) at the club with the club emptying out about 7pm on Sunday evening.  Tuesday we go to Capps for Chicken Salad.  Wednesday is race night and the club is a little more active.  Thursdays it's starts to get a more active with some of the members that spend the weekend starting to arrive.  Friday, we have Potluck and so the club is busy until it empties our again Sunday evening.  We can get some beautiful sunsets, smell the fresh air and try to relax in between the projects.

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