Thanks again for all the help everyone. Here's how I ended up tying them:
Not the best photos, but I tied a clove hitch and a few half hitches on every grommet except the four holes on the bottom that aren't near a stanchion. The cloth has a bit of flex to it and the bottom has room to give if a wave hits it. Seems pretty secure and I like the look of the hand-tied knots. Now time to go tie the other side...
boatman, I will be getting my 6-pack captain's license
in two weeks, but other than that, haven't really considered doing any of the ASA classes
. I am going to be spending all Summer cruising up and down the East coast
of the US, and then planning a voyage to Grenada
as soon as the hurricane
season ends. I'm not planning any trans-oceanic passages quite yet! I am comfortable handling this vessel though, not much different than the 35 footer I grew up with. Still, always a lot to learn though!