Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Reasons to be Cheerful - Part 2

Ignoring a problem and hoping it will go away (or "Masterly Inaction" as Captain Ahab described it in a comment on my last post)  may have worked for my noisy propeller, but I realised  that after nearly six years it wasn't going to do much for Starcross' other little problem. 
The previous owners warned us that she had a slight list (to the left, looking forwards.) It was more noticeable sometimes than others and its effect varied from hardly noticeable to downright annoying. The cause was clear once you thought about it- apart from the stove all the heavy fixtures and fittings (bed, bathroom, cooker, sink) were on the left-hand side. Moving any of these, of course, would be a major job, but also contributing to the weight on that side was a sofa-bed which, when the storage space in its base was full was itself a heavy item.
 Sofa-bed, bookcase, sink and cooker all on one side
So, with an hour or two to spare during our recent stay in Castlefield, Manchester we decided to move it to the opposite side of the cabin. Easy, you may think - but Starcross is a boat - and nothing is ever easy on a boat! 
We quickly realised that if we moved the sofa-bed unless we wanted to sit facing the wall we would have to turn it round so that it faced the other way. Of course, it was longer than the cabin was high so upending it was not an option. Taking it outside to turn it would have involved dismantling the cratch, so that wasn't on either. Hilary then realised that if we removed the top from the base, we might just be able to turn the top part on its own so we:
Removed the stretch covers from the cushions
Removed the cushions from the frame
Undid the springs that allow the sofa to fold down into a bed
Removed the frame from the base
Moved the base across the cabin
Turned the frame over (just possible now that the base and cushions were off)
Reattached the springs to the frame - having calculated the new position for them
Replaced the cushions and stretch covers and - bingo! Job Done
The bed was going to go where the folding table used to be, so that had to be unscrewed from the wall (two hinges, four screws in each) as did the shelf that sat above it. It then had to be attached to the opposite wall where the sofa-bed used to be (two hinges, four screws in each - difficult to get to because of the lack of space between the hinge and the table edge)
We realised that when we had carpeted the cabin two months ago we hadn't bought quite enough carpet tiles, so we had left the area under the sofa bed - and that was now exposed! So:
Push back the sofa-bed, lift up the carpet tiles, push back the sofa bed and re-lay the tiles!
We realised that the bookcase was in the way so:
Take out all the books
move the bookcase
and put the books back in again!
Finally - JOB DONE
New layout celebratory party!

So was it worth it?  I'm pleased to say that it was. The list now varies from "hardly noticeable" to "not there at all" and I'm sure it will take only a few minor amendments to eliminate it altogether. And I actually prefer the new layout internally; the table is nearer a window and the whole cabin area just seems roomier (when its not full of my nearest and dearest!). "Masterly Inaction", as defined by the Captain draws a distinction between those problems that will, in time, go away and those that have to be dealt with - and this one has now been dealt with, even if it took me five years to do so!

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