Sunday 19 July 2015


Erin Mae's cruiser stern is a delight, if you like that sort of thing. It enables not only my best beloved and myself to share each other's company as we travel, but also those who come to visit or stay for a while. The problem, of course, is that right underneath you is the engine. You're shielded from the noise by the Buffalo Board deck, but that's not basically designed as sound insulation, and conversation has to be conducted at higher volume than usual.

We've been thinking about putting in something more effective since we met the T W Marine guys at a festival a couple of years ago, but it was seeing some insulation panels in Midland Chandlers at the start of this cruise that got me thinking again. Eventually I decided the panels from T W were going to be considerably better quality and worth the bit extra. They were also very helpful on the phone as we discussed which type to select and how to attach them. So we got a box delivered to the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club at Runcorn, and picked it up on our way north. Today was the day to conquer my unreasonable nervousness and do some fitting.

I was glad to find that the cruiser stern in question is actually quite a suitable spot for doing the work. We're moored up in Skipton and I didn't feel I should take over the pavement. Anyway, it's been spitting rain from time to time. Measuring up and cutting the panels was easier than I'd expected. In the end I use a serrated kitchen knife which did the job a treat.

I'd been worrying about adhesive, but T W advised me not to glue – the panels themselves are capable of lasting a lot longer than the boards they're attached to. They said to use self-tapping screws with broad washers, and that worked well. As I write I'm half-way through the job, with the centre panel and one of the side panels done. I feel I've earned the cuppa I'm enjoying before I finish it.

One of the things about this particular job is that very few people will get to see the finished result, or be able to note that the line I cut wasn't quite as it should have been. This is completely opposite to the efforts of the bell-ringers who are currently going strong in Holy Trinity Church. I'm not sure if they're practising or inviting everyone to worship, but any and every deviation from the prescribed peel is announced at high volume to the whole community. You have to be brave to be a campanologist. The sound doesn't appeal to everyone but, for all the mistakes, I'm enjoying it.

Meanwhile, sounds from under the deck will hopefully be significantly reduced as we go cruising this week with our friend Margaret from Edinburgh.


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