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Old 16-06-2012, 17:15   #1
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Sun and Rain Covers

Time to redo the shades. Need them mostly for shade as a live aboard (monohull) but not always at a marina so access from cockpit to bow is necessary. Would like the option of rain collection, need quick install and as compact as possible for storage. Does anyone have one they truly love either custom or commercial. The only commercial one I can find is Shade Tree and have heard they can fly off easily and don't know how long the fabric and various parts really last. Would appreciate any input. Photos would be great.
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Old 25-07-2012, 15:19   #2
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

I've been looking around for the same thing. Asside from Shade Tree I'll have to have one custom made or just do it myself. Should be easy enough.
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Old 26-07-2012, 06:22   #3
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

We actually had one made a few years ago, not thinking much about it. Ended up with a fabric that was too heavy, didn't wear well, stretched if water pooled during a slow drizzle, had to have too many poles and parts to keep it tensioned correctly, and was a bear to raise, lower and store. Of course we were in Central America where it was hard to get what you really needed. Good luck!
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Old 26-07-2012, 06:27   #4
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

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Originally Posted by Jim Kirby/Laura View Post
Time to redo the shades. Need them mostly for shade as a live aboard (monohull) but not always at a marina so access from cockpit to bow is necessary. Would like the option of rain collection, need quick install and as compact as possible for storage. Does anyone have one they truly love either custom or commercial. The only commercial one I can find is Shade Tree and have heard they can fly off easily and don't know how long the fabric and various parts really last. Would appreciate any input. Photos would be great.

My boat came with a large bimini frame that covered the entire cockpit. I needed to keep my two cats in. I had a bimini made with pfifer tex netting. The Pfifer tex snaps on and off easily for sailing. Wasn't cheap but I am told that if I spray the holes for the split backstay, etc. with bug spray, it will keep both mosquitoes and no-seeums out. For some reason they aren't a problem in this marina in spite of a lot of mangroves just across from the docks, but there are plenty of places in FL where they are. Haven't gone to those places in the summer as the other people I sail with just don't want to put up with 'em.
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Old 26-07-2012, 07:37   #5
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kirby/Laura View Post
Time to redo the shades. Need them mostly for shade as a live aboard (monohull) but not always at a marina so access from cockpit to bow is necessary. Would like the option of rain collection, need quick install and as compact as possible for storage. Does anyone have one they truly love either custom or commercial. The only commercial one I can find is Shade Tree and have heard they can fly off easily and don't know how long the fabric and various parts really last. Would appreciate any input. Photos would be great.
Why not build a solar bimini? I settled on a solar bimini after several design changes finally came up with one that works real well. Provides shade and energy. Should last decades too!:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: SOLAR BIMINI PART SEVEN: PANELS INSTALLED
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Old 26-07-2012, 08:01   #6
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

you'll need about 9 yards of sunbrella, 50' of ss tubing, and a HEAVY DUTY sewing machine..

I doubt you'll find an off the shelf solution
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Old 26-07-2012, 08:25   #7
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

We had our Shadetree for about 4 years and have never had it "fly off". We have had to make some repairs to it from chaffing and we replaced the straps with seat belt material. We also had to replace some of the poles since they tend to be very stressed during storms while at a dock. The Shadetree works great, but it is bets while at anchor or moored. Diana is planning on sewing a gutter on to the aft section for rain water collection. All in all, we have been very pleased with it.
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Old 26-07-2012, 08:29   #8
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

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We had our Shadetree for about 4 years and have never had it "fly off". We have had to make some repairs to it from chaffing and we replaced the straps with seat belt material. We also had to replace some of the poles since they tend to be very stressed during storms while at a dock. The Shadetree works great, but it is bets while at anchor or moored. Diana is planning on sewing a gutter on to the aft section for rain water collection. All in all, we have been very pleased with it.

How much time does it take to put up and take down, and how much space does it take to store on the boat? Does it break down to small enough parts that you can tuck its parts into small spaces?
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Old 26-07-2012, 23:07   #9
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Re: Sun and Rain Covers

Several years ago I found a cloth for shading plants that is far & away the best sun cover I have found for a boat in 50 years. It is very strong & has holes (good for windy days) but cuts 75% of the sunlight. I use it with knots tied in the corners & line from these to stanchions & have even cut slits in it (I'm still thinking of my final design before I sew them) for the mizzen mast & the stuff doesn't tear or seem to deteriorate at all. I got it in St. Thomas VI, @ Home Depot, but could not find it in any RI or CT Home Depot (maybe you need a sunny place?).
Not a lot of help in the rain, but easily sewn on a normal machine.
Great stuff!
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