The Tarp to End All Tarps

When David made his exit from the boat project in late 2021, he was decent about it and left behind a workable frame with a professionally latched tarp and a porch area that could be accessed even in rain, nice and cozy. I still recall him saying, “If this tarp wears out before you finish the project, there could be a sacrificial tarp — just to tide you over.”

A sacrificial tarp.

He wasn’t exactly laughing, but there was a sense of an endless stream of sacrificial tarps and no reality whatsoever about the fact that I am never going to finish the boat that isn’t a boat but is an object on someone's lawn.

I am looking around here.

I dont see a lawn.

I see place that is supposed to have these objects on it — they are fun.

But I do have the problem of a fraying tarp and winter coming with lots of rain. 

The situation with the original tarp is that it is pretty okay except for the place where it was resting on the frame. That is where it is frayed. So naturally, being a sempstress, I thought, why not reinforce the spine of the tarp so that it lasts a bit longer, maybe even long enough to finish the project?

So I bought some marine vinyl from the outdoor fabric store, pink, in keeping with the theme of the project as a woman’s boat; cut it into long strips; and spread the tarp out in the yard.

That is where the trouble started.

I didn’t realize that the tarp was folded the wrong way from the factory. I laid it out, doubled, and it fit perfectly in Via's little postage stamp suburban lawn, so I put the stripe on with glue and tape. 

Victory was mine — or so I thought. 

I got it to the boat and realized that the stripe was on the tarp exactly 180 degrees the opposite to what I had thought. 

So I could rip the stripe off and put it on long ways, or maybe have a very wide tarp instead of a narrow one. 

It was late in the day, the old tarp was off, leaving the boat exposed, I was having a philosophical discussion about what to do with some extra vinyl that may or may not extend the life of this tarp from two years to three.

I came to that state of mind that many boat refitters reach after so many oops moments, and decided that WHO CARES was the right approach. 

So there. I had spent my entire day off gluing vinyl onto vinyl and being so clever when no one else had a reinforced tarp, and here I was, with a weird tarp.

The boat looks nice, but she looks like she’s wearing a dress.

© Joann L. Farias 2023