It has been painted - the bloke did it just before he sold it. It looks really nice but have just been reading another thread where people were saying it's a bad idea. In the picture on the advert most of the word 'Safety' was still on there, which is why I was going to use the name 'Sable' as thought it should be easy to change the lettering !
Finding a more appropriate way to attach straps is definitely a job for Saturday morning or an evening this week, or may have to wait until October to pick up some tips if I can't see an easy way to do it - I'll have a look for that guide though, thanks.
Is there a forum thread thing about the Searider gathering with details then ?