Saturday, 23 May 2009

Cover Up

We've been thinking for some time that it would be nice to have some form of shelter when steering our trad.

We are not traditionalists and the working boatmen and women may have got soaking wet when steering their traditional working narrowboats, but we don't really see the point if we don't have to.

For that reason, we have been considering for some time, how we could protect the stern from the wind, rain and even occasionally, sun.

We have seen this very simple idea, which would allow a large (golfing or patio) umbrella to be erected to keep us protected from the elements.

Simplicity itself, there is a hole in each seat, to allow the umbrella pole to go through the hole and a welded clamp arrangement below, to hold it rigid.

The alternative, is to have a cockpit bimini fabricated when we drydock.

I've looked around for inspiration, but not really seen anything that I like on other boats.

So, with a few ideas buzzing around my head, I got busy with Google Sketchup and designed my own.

It comprises of a wooden roof and windscreen, with a hinge between them.

When not in use, they hinge forwards and fold flat on to the hatch, out of the way.

When erected, fabric side screens and a zippable back screen can be added using press studs, to make a snug and watertight cockpit around the steerer.

There is even a windscreen wiper fitted above the front screen.

The wiper is a 12V straight line unit, with a quick release power connector and the motor hidden in the pelmet on the top of the front screen.

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