Apr 012012

The boat was put back into the water at the end of March without a windscreen in place. We ordered the new windscreen in plenty of time and it had been sat on the boat for weeks waiting to be fitted.

We concentrated on the jobs on the hull and sterndrive, which had to be completed while ashore, intending to fit the windscreen a couple of weekends before she went back in the water. Despite bad weather we were roughly on target and removed the old windscreen and threw it in the skip. The following weekend we set off to fit the new one but when we offered up the windscreen, it didn’t fit. It didn’t fit by a long way.

I didn't fit

A hurried phone call to the maker and we established we were trying to fit a Mk1 windscreen to a Mk2 boat. It turns out we have a rare boat, although nice to know, it was little comfort. So it was that Bluebird was put back in the water sans windscreen, while we awaited delivery of a replacement.

Meanwhile I was tasked with returning the Mk1 windscreen. Wrapping a six-foot curved windscreen in bubble-wrap and encasing it in cardboard was challenging, but worth it for the looks I got at the three people behind the counter of the Post Office when I entered with it under my arm.

The service the Post Office uses depends upon the dimensions of the package, and while it was plain to see this was a job for Parcel Force, the package still had to be officially measured even though it exceeded the ordinary post limit by several feet.

Once we’d established that it was officially a parcel, it then had to be weighed. The windscreen was about six-foot long, one and a half feet wide and shaped like a crescent. The scales where around eight inches square and sat on the corner of a cramped post office counter. The counter was about six-foot long, one and a half feet wide, but not shaped like a crescent, oh what fun we had.

Then they had to book it in with parcel force and they typed the delivery address into the computer. It didn’t exist.

You can’t send a parcel to a place that isn’t on the database even though parcel force had originally collected it from there to deliver it to me in the first place. After trying several combinations of the same address the postmaster, a friend of mine, asked me to leave it with him and he’d sort it out later and drop off my receipt at home.

How it should fit

How it should fit

Two weeks after the boat was craned in, the replacement arrived and we soon had it fitted. In fact it took about half the time to fit the new one as it took to post the old one. We still had time to take the boat for its first cruise of the new season resplendent with its shiny new windscreen.