Once the brightwork
is refinished to standards fit for the Louvre, it becomes important to cover it up. Take a moment to allow everyone who walks
by to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over all your hard work then - cover up as much as possible to keep it from
the light of day. The sails, the dinghy, the winches, just about anything on deck that needs to remain either beautiful, or
in good working order needs to be protected from the elements.
We had canvas covers for a fair amount of our gear, but it appeared the previous owner
first attempted to gradually change the color scheme from burgundy to green, and then remained ambivalent to the shade of
green used. So all available hues were represented and our topsides looked a bit like a freshly mowed football field. In any
event the coverings we did have were in the latter stages of deterioration so replacing each one was really no loss.
The first major canvas purchase was a new, larger dodger that allowed for better
visibility and shelter. And the first major decision for this purchase was which of the 8 colors of green to choose. We selected
the dark green ‘Spruce’ shade for its ability to accentuate the bird droppings, and added covers for the newly
cleaned and greased winches onto the order. Next came a cover for the freshly varnished wheel and binnacle, and when the zipper
on the mainsail cover started looking like an NHL goalie, it was swiftly replaced. But there was still much more that needed
protection. So much so that I decided rather than pay someone for their custom cover labor, I would tailor the rest myself.
In my former life, I loved to sew. I apparently had a hormonal defect as
the desire to master this skill and craft my own clothes began with an aversion to shopping malls, dressing rooms, and high
priced fashion that never fit quite right and fell apart in the first wash. I’d since given up on dressing uniquely
chic, but I was determined to outfit Re Metau in style.
Choosing to take on this task was the perfect excuse to purchase
a quality sewing machine capable of handling many layers of heavy fabric. My rational was that this machine would be the tool
that would protect our gear, save us money, perhaps even allow me to earn some money and, if nothing else, could double as
an anchor should we run on short supply. Excuses aside, I was back into stitching and loving every minute. I had a challenging
model, but she wore it all quite well.
The starter project
that eased me back into the craft was handrail covers. These were almost immediately followed by modifications to the dinghy
cover, and the creation of a new windlass cover. There were covers to be made for the life sling, the tackle box and the fenders.
The original deck-box cover, albeit in fair shape and of the appropriate hue, was once mistaken as a rag and thus smeared
with black deck caulking. I made a much needed anchor riding sail, chain locker netting and repaired the sun awning after
a brutally windy spring. I then began contemplating things like port awnings, PFD pillows and boots for the blocks. With a
medium of fabric and a machine with the strength of a jack hammer – I was indomitable. Don and I look like we’ve
shopped for clothing at a refugee rummage sale, but Re Metau is looking quite spruced up!