Giant Jenga and why sometimes you should just ask mother dearest


I am quite a stuff person, not adverse to accumulating possessions and never knowingly without the gadget or the outfit for any situation. However, I am trying to exercise some restraint when it comes to all things fireboat. The temptation is to buy all the bells and whistles (quite literally in this case) but I am trying not to splash the cash before I am quite clear what I actually need and am trying not to end up with a whole heap of junk I won’t use.

On this basis, my instinct was to rent the railway sleepers to sit the boat on when it is out of the water and someone had already offered to loan me some. However Rye Hire sells them and deliver. As I am assured they maintain their value pretty well (as long as not smashed to smithereens by a 30 tonne fire boat) this does seem like a better option.

Quicker than I could flash the plastic, I now have 20 of the beauties arriving on Wednesday. I then have to arrange them in a giant jenga pattern ready for the boat to sit on.

The second challenge was to find a tarpaulin. The bog standard woven plastic ones are not cheap but also not that great and I had been warned they would be shredded by the wind in no time. The best option is either a lorry tarpaulin or army surplus tarpaulin as anything custom or purpose made is mega bucks.

I consider myself fairly resourceful but by mid afternoon was drawing almost a complete blank. I had visited the local haulage company batting eyelashes with no joy and phoned what seemed like all the similar companies within spitting distance of the M20. After numerous calls I had only managed to get a 10ft by 20 ft tarp from a haulage company in Ashford. A bargain at 30 quid but a mere fig leaf on a 67ft boat

Time to get the mothership on the case. I hate to be shown up but in 30 minutes she had secured as many 30 by 10 ft tarps as I wanted for 60 quid a pop from some manufacturer in Wisbech. Skills on toast. They arrive on Wednesday.

I don’t want to tempt fate but things are slowly coming together for the lift on 6th.



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