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Old 17-04-2016, 10:26   #1
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Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Getting a new boat ready to sail south into Mexico. We will need shade! Wondering about the pros and cons of material and color...Sunbrella seems like the go to...is color a huge factor? ThankYou!
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Old 17-04-2016, 13:04   #2
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

I think that the darker colors hold up better. I have been told that the darker colors also reflect more heat. I know it is hot under my dark blue cockpit cover when there is no breeze. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 17-04-2016, 13:35   #3
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

I used to build cream or light blue tents they were both OK.

Last time I built one in yellow I noticed no se ums came in vast numbers to feed on us. I am not building another yellow tent ever.

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Old 17-04-2016, 15:47   #4
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Sheridiane09,

We have had two awnings, built both ourselves. The first was the royal blue sunbrella. It was good and lasted the life of the boat. The second is medium gray WeatherMax. I do not think it will last as long as Sunbrella, as it is only guaranteed for 5 years, not 10, but it costs about half, and weighs about half, as well, and has better chafe resistance.

Our sailmaker recommended the WM for our new headsail, and I am about to construct a new boom bag and cowl, plus weather cloths, LifeSling bag, etc., and I'm planning to use WM of the same color. You might check it out. You do have to finish the seams, and you do not need to cut it with a hot knife. Both fabrics are easy to work with. Use PTFE thread, and make sure your design is easy to reef or take down quickly.

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Old 17-04-2016, 15:52   #5
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Darker colors absorb more heat. There's a reason they coat tar roofs with silver stuff. Dark sunbrella radiates a lot of heat for sure. I had a boat in the tropics with navy blue, the top of your head was very hot from the radiated heat. I had one with that light green sunbrella that looks like canvas from the old days. Much less heat under.
Ditto for teak decks vs light gel coat.
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Old 17-04-2016, 16:05   #6
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Our cockpit has blue sunbrella over the entire cocpkit. As long as the forward window is open, no problem. Close the front window, and it is very hot in the tropics.
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Old 17-04-2016, 18:57   #7
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

I actually find darker colors to be more comfortable because they reduce the glare on the eyes.

As long as there is space enough for air to flow, and it doesn't have to be much air, radiated heat from the darker bimini/awnings/etc. doesn't bother me as much as the glare from lighter colors.

If it's dead calm everything's going to be hot.
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Old 17-04-2016, 19:23   #8
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Thank you! Lots of good points to think about and I will look into the alternative material mentioned! It never hurts to ask the experienced! I appreciate the advice!
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Old 17-04-2016, 19:35   #9
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

I made shade cloths. I have not used them yet. I think I have a good idea. At the bow I made the clothe wider than needed. I will use a flexible pole and try to bow the open end to resemble a wind scoop. Who knows but I thought it was worth a try.
I also made mine in two halves so if it was a short stay I would only use the back half.


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Old 17-04-2016, 19:49   #10
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

I recommend any pale color. Dark colors get too hot underneath and can fade much more noticeably. My last tent was pale grey and the one I have now is Sunbrella "wheat" which is a light tan.
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Old 18-04-2016, 09:40   #11
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by savoir View Post
I recommend any pale color. Dark colors get too hot underneath and can fade much more noticeably. My last tent was pale grey and the one I have now is Sunbrella "wheat" which is a light tan.
Interesting. The Sunbrella colors which are most prone to fading in my experience are red and yellow.
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Old 18-04-2016, 17:16   #12
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

IME, most prone to mildew: white Sunbrella, also the least uv protection.

Because of the UV absorption, I prefer the darker colors. Less skin damage.

Ann
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Old 18-04-2016, 18:37   #13
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Wink Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Sheridane 09

We have sailed in the tropics for many years and have used a light grey for our covers. When we purchased the boat they were British racing green and very faded. I went with grey as it was soft on the eyes and did not radiate the heat below.

Our first covers were Sunbrella and now I use Weather Max. It is easier to sew as no right and wrong side. The weight saving and more abrasive resistance are factors that also swayed me to use this product. I would not change my colour choice and am pleased with the results.

Happy sewing and sailing.
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Old 18-04-2016, 20:43   #14
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Re: Best color and material for cockpit tent?

Ditto on the Sunbrella and going with dark creams and tans.
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