We made such an awning for our first Insatiable (36'), but attached it to the back stay, Jim made up a split fitting with sockets to go on the backstay; the sockets took pvc pipe that we used for spreaders. Ours had two lifting points, right above the boom (main halyard) and about 2/3 the way down the boom (boom topping lift). Ours was made from Sunbrella, and it will really hold up to the UV best.
However, recently, i have been using Weather
Max 80, a polyester with UV blockers. It is guaranteed 5 years. If you're up to redoing it in 5 years, it weighs half what Sunbrella weighs, and is far more chafe resistant. Imo, the colors don't have the vibrancy, either. If you're going to attach the aft end of yours to the bimini
, I'd suggest you sew a flap on it to take a zip or two. If you use a split zip, be sure you have a lashing to support the closed zip, and sew flaps over the zips, 'cause the teeth rot
out before the fabric
We reinforced the pvc pipe pockets by making them out of scraps of mainsail
cloth, but you could use webbing. It had 3 spreaders, one just aft of the mast
, one about amidships, and the split one aft. The width of the spreaders was just to the side of the boat
. It is nice to be able to access the sides when it is up: I often hung towels on it for side shade at low sun angles.
Ours was Royal Blue, and it made good shade. You were saying you want a light color, I know the WM80 comes in white, also light and medium grey. We took it down by rolling it aft, and it could be stowed on deck
, or dismantled and stowed below.
Most importanat of all: if you want it to last more than 4 years, sew it with ptfe thread (tenara or similar), or plan to restitch it.
It really is worth the fuss of learning
how to work
Feel free to ask more, if you'd like.
PS. Ours had no forward portion, but you can use your spinnaker
pole to support a tent-like canopy; however, attach it with bungees to the lifelines
or toerail, so you can move forward in a hurry when at anchor
One more note: such an awning will add a great deal of windage, most of them need to be struck at about 20 k of wind
speed. A long time ago, Practical Sailor (I think) published an article, something like "The 45 Knot
Awning," and it was an interesting design. I wouldn't want to leave one up in that much wind
, too much to do to get ready to leave.