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Old 30-06-2015, 06:26   #1
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Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

I see the Recs in past threads for having shade tents in the tropics. Does anyone have any quantitative (temp differentials) or qualitative (from unbearable to bearable or no fans required) descriptions of its value? I'm also looking for any recommendations for how much to cover, best material, hem and grommet recs, best attachment methods and any other pearls of wisdom. Thanks in advance.

Steve


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Old 30-06-2015, 06:42   #2
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

Have not collected data, but ours make a very noticeable difference. They deploy from underneath the boom and cover both sides of the deck house. On a cat the deckhouse can get a bit like a green house.

How much difference they make for a given location will depend a lot on boat design.
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Old 30-06-2015, 07:09   #3
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

We have collected data for ours - 10*F differential in the cabin from no shade to shade. Most of the heat influx comes from our overhead hatches and large saloon windows - which get shaded when the shade is up.

On a mono, this may not be so great of a differential.

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Old 30-06-2015, 07:09   #4
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

I prefer Sunbrella in dark colors (white and other light colors have too much glare), use top quality grommets (stainless/monel to avoid rust), hems doubled over, some like to add a 3rd layer. A good alternative is two layers of cloth with a strip of webbing for extra strength.

If you cut your awnings slightly concave they will be less prone to flutter, which can shorten their lifespans.

More awning = more shade = more comfort.

No way anybody can tell you where to attach an awning on your boat without being on your boat. I've attached them to shrouds, stays, lifelines, stanchions, cleats, handrails, dinghies, bowsprits, anchor rollers, crossbeams, and I'm sure a dozen or so places I can't remember. It's easy to add grommets where you need one. Questions like that are why it's helpful to put the make/model/size of your boat in the space with your avatar. Not to mention your location/cruising grounds.

Tie your awnings tightly, flutter is the enemy. As is chafe. Avoid both and you'll be good to go.

Stay cool!
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Old 30-06-2015, 07:57   #5
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

Awnings make a huge difference, even up north. Shade and airflow keep the boat cool.

Don Casey's book, This Old Boat has directions for one style of awning.

I used a blue and white striped Sunbrella fabric. The stripes help to reduce the glare mentioned earlier while still letting light enter.

The awning was above the boom and went from the mast to the backstay. I tried using PVC pipe as spreaders, but wasn't happy with them, bent too easily. Ended up using aluminum tubing. They were stiffer and held the awning out.
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Old 30-06-2015, 09:08   #6
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

I spent a week at English Harbour Antigua on a swan 48 with very little shade. There was a tiny bimini over the helm, that was all. The boat was broiling hot every day. We hosed down the decks just so that we could walk on them. Below was like an oven. Sleeping at night almost impossible...the mosquitoes didn't help either (no screens).

On the last day, we setup a canvas full boat cover to protect the teak decks while the boat sat empty for a month. It stretched from bow to stern, about 4' over the deck. The owner was from canada, so I told the locals it was the winter cover, in case it snowed...LOL. However, a few minutes after we deployed the winter cover, the whole boat cooled down. Suddenly, it was quite pleasant and cool in the cockpit (the tent was a bit higher there, for entry/egress). Also the temp below must have dropped 10 degrees. The change was dramatic.
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Old 30-06-2015, 09:48   #7
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
I prefer Sunbrella in dark colors (white and other light colors have too much glare), use top quality grommets (stainless/monel to avoid rust), hems doubled over, some like to add a 3rd layer. A good alternative is two layers of cloth with a strip of webbing for extra strength.

If you cut your awnings slightly concave they will be less prone to flutter, which can shorten their lifespans.

More awning = more shade = more comfort.

No way anybody can tell you where to attach an awning on your boat without being on your boat. I've attached them to shrouds, stays, lifelines, stanchions, cleats, handrails, dinghies, bowsprits, anchor rollers, crossbeams, and I'm sure a dozen or so places I can't remember. It's easy to add grommets where you need one. Questions like that are why it's helpful to put the make/model/size of your boat in the space with your avatar. Not to mention your location/cruising grounds.

Tie your awnings tightly, flutter is the enemy. As is chafe. Avoid both and you'll be good to go.

Stay cool!
Ditto all of the above - I use Yellow, but thats part of my colour scheme on the boat. Also, I found that using a soldering iron to melt the holes for the grommets made them stronger and less prone to fraying over time. I dont use bungee any more, just tie lines - this reduces flutter and lasts MUCH longer. The temperature difference (especially at anchor with a wind scoop over the forward hatch) is dramatic!!

Peace
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Old 30-06-2015, 10:03   #8
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

I am cheap so I found mesh tarps on line that I use as a boom tent. Bungees to the lifelines hold it in place since they come with grommets. The wind passes through even in thunderstorms, but still provides adequate shade.
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Old 30-06-2015, 13:20   #9
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

i am using a good quality white tarp. It is silver on the bottom. Either side reflects a lot of the heat and keeps some rain off. I use PVC pipe as spreaders and cinch it down so that the pipes have some curve, they extend beyond the lifelines.

Sailm8, where did you find good mesh tarps?
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:58   #10
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

We have a dark blue awning made out of Phifertex Plus material. It is mesh and allows air flow upward through the mesh. For 3 years we've enjoyed the cool shade created by this awning that covers from dodger to bow in 2 sections. From firsthand experience we echo the advice that Bungie cord will definitely deteriorate quickly. Haven't recorded exact temperature differentials, but it is substantial and worth every penny spent on the awning.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:21   #11
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
I spent a week at English Harbour Antigua on a swan 48 with very little shade. There was a tiny bimini over the helm, that was all. The boat was broiling hot every day. We hosed down the decks just so that we could walk on them. Below was like an oven. Sleeping at night almost impossible...the mosquitoes didn't help either (no screens).

On the last day, we setup a canvas full boat cover to protect the teak decks while the boat sat empty for a month. It stretched from bow to stern, about 4' over the deck. The owner was from canada, so I told the locals it was the winter cover, in case it snowed...LOL. However, a few minutes after we deployed the winter cover, the whole boat cooled down. Suddenly, it was quite pleasant and cool in the cockpit (the tent was a bit higher there, for entry/egress). Also the temp below must have dropped 10 degrees. The change was dramatic.
10* drop!!! that is one hell of a boat cover!! I realize that is an approximation but 10* drop!
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:25   #12
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

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Originally Posted by tropicalescape View Post
10* drop!!! that is one hell of a boat cover!! I realize that is an approximation but 10* drop!
Teak decks? Lots of hatches?

10* drop is what we experience, as I posted above.

That is F, not C.

Mark
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:04   #13
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Teak decks? Lots of hatches?

10* drop is what we experience, as I posted above.

That is F, not C.

Mark
my sail cover doubles as a 3/4 boat cover type tent that spreads across the beam of the boat and it too makes a big difference concerning heat..Someone told me about a product(fabric) that has copper in the weave and it is very thin and light weight,said that it works great as a blanket on cold days also..
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:24   #14
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

While I believe Sunbrella is a fantastic product, I also think its overpriced.

As an alternative, we chose Marine One fabric (find it on ebay, yes ebay). Its about 1/2 the cost and so far we are happy with it. However, we have only had it on the boat for less than a month.

We did talk with another cruiser who has been using it in the Caribbean for 3 years and it still looked like new. Based on her experience we took the risk.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:46   #15
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Re: Canvas shade tent inquiry and recommendations

Mine is a tent slung over the boom and is just a big rectangle of Sunbrella. The edges are held to the toe rail with 5/16" bungee and plastic hooks. The bungee lasts two summers and you can recycle the hooks. Pale colors reflect the heat better and allow more light below. The cover makes my salon 5f cooler on a cloudy day and 7f on a sunny day.

There is a smaller one on the foredeck which keeps the sun and rain out of the front hatch.
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