Rain, rain go away, or otherwise get a bimini

Australian floods
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You know it’s been a wet summer when your Golden Retriever, a renowned water breed, starts to rot. That was the prognosis, at least, from the groomer who gave our girl the canine equivalent of short back and sides.

Only the tail was spared as we were advised that the smell emanating from Roxy’s coat was due to persistent moisture. For a moment there I’d feared she’d rolled in a compost of week-old prawns, backed-up sewage and a dead possum.

It stinks, too, if you’re trying to sell boats in what’s already a gloomy market, though the dealer out Wagga way might’ve flogged a few more tinnies than usual as muddy floodwaters gathered around his sandbags.

In some European countries, wet weather is the norm not the exception, so they just batten the hatches and get on with it. We’re sooks really when you consider that 99% of the Australian coastline allows blissful year-round boating.

The problem, I guess, is that we’ve grown so accustomed to sunshine that our boats are designed to suit. Big cockpits with scant regard for helm protection, and large companionways that let in equal parts air and precipitation.

With the new breed of enclosed flybridges it should never rain on your parade.
Mark Rothfield

I agree there’s nothing worse than being wet, but it shouldn’t rule out boating altogether. Buy a bimini for the runabout and it can be quite cosy. Get new clears for the flybridge and dust off the cards, Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. Park the kids in front of an iPod if need be.

Get a fold-out marquee for the beach. The fish are already wet, so they don’t mind.

And remember, a bad day’s boating is infinitely better than a good day at home.