Sunday, 13 December 2015

Boat Renovation: Yes But Is It Art?

Bright and sunny winter days. Normally, this time of year we can expect frost and freezing fog but here in Brittany the winter has been uncharacteristically benign. This year so far, the Atlantic depressions have tracked north bringing storms and floods to the UK but here the seasons are confused; here we have spring flowers blooming and autumn leaves still on the trees. 

Work on the boat has continued. I have shore-power, a coffee pot, an electric boat heater and lighting. A tarpaulin over the boom means I can protect the cockpit and main hatch and keep the cabin ventilated without fear of rain entering the vessel. It’s a comfortable place to be – to work on the area behind and above the wood-burning stove, to renovate the space that used to be the toilet – or simply to run through a few blues tunes on an old guitar that I keep on board for emergencies (might have to use it as a paddle one day).

So here is the new fresh water tank, semi-installed, a few pipes, wires and securing straps to fit and then I will have running water on demand in the galley. 

Meanwhile, what to do with those long winter evenings? Well, I found a couple of old brass portholes in a car-boot sale the other day. I paid 3E (£2.10) for them. Back home I cut pieces of old MDF to fit and then painted a couple of appropriate naïve nautical scenes on them. I fitted them to the bulkhead in the main cabin yesterday and was quite pleased with the result. Sometimes even the simplest most trivial efforts can bring a sort of reward.

Is it art? Nope not by any stretch of the imagination! But its fun.