You can see my previous post about stage 1 of this project here: http://wp.me/p8eSsZ-nV
Steve from Titan Boat Canopies arrived early yesterday morning (we delayed him from last week due to Henley Regatta making the town very busy) and despite the soaring temperatures, he boldly soldiered on and completed our stern deck canopy.
He has spent a considerable amount of time and effort in helping us get to what we thought we wanted and his enthusiasm to produce a quality product with exacting fit was very impressive.
We are absolutely delighted with the end product.
We have also replaced the wheelhouse and dog box cover to be in the same material/finish.
The clear plastic window screens can be individually rolled up or removed completely to give a bimini style canopy, or can be replaced with an ivory coloured set of fly screens, which allow air to circulate, whilst giving some privacy and, hopefully, keeping out the bugs when they are around.
As with most thing when it comes to boats, there is always a compromise. In our case, due to the Piper 57N having a rising stern deck, it has been necessary to increase our air draught by 250mm. This is not necessarily desirable but in our case, we consider that the benefits of having the canopy that we wanted outweighed the minor inconvenience of increasing our air draught, which may result ion having to remove the canopy and framework occasionally more often than previous. However, given our long term cruising plans, we are expecting this to be a minimal downside.
One upside of the increased air draught is that we have gained a valuable new storage area on the stern end of the wheelhouse roof where we can store a couple of lightweight chairs and the canopy sides and doors neatly out of the way.
A final word about the supplier, Titan Boat Canopies. We highly recommend them. They have been very honest and straightforward from the start. For example, I first called them in February of this year and Steve told me straight away that he would love to manufacture a canopy for us but at that time, his order book was such that it would be May before he could do it. After some deliberation we accepted that fact and decided to go with them. We are very glad that we made that decision, for all the reasons mentioned above and simply because we are delighted with the end result.
We have no affiliation with Titan, other than that of a customer.