Before we left the States for Mexico
, we made an awning that would also catch water
Key, was Jim made a split aluminum
fitting for the backstay, that clamped on it, and had sockets to accept thick walled pvc pipe ('cause it's stiffer).
The awning had 3 spreaders, all the way forward, "middle" forward of the split for the toppping lift
, and then split for the boom topping lift
, closing the rest of the way with velcro to the split spreader at the rear. The widest you want to go is about 10" overlap on the sides of the boat
. In our case, I used old sail cloth for the pipe pockets, and reinforced the edges with flat tubular webbing like one used for jack lines.
To reef it, we each got on one side, and untied the leading edges from the shroud
, and rolled it up till we got to the end of the boom, then rolled the tails up over the existing roll of pipes and fabric
. This could then either be lashed down to the toe rail, or taken apart and stowed.
It was mounted high enough (had a webbing loop attached, using the main sail halyard
to hoist by at the center, forward) to be able to scamper forward to check the anchor
, and had bungees with hooks to the lifelines to hold the sides down, very quick to release if you wanted to get it down NOW.
In the case of the OP, he could use a pole or a pipe lashed athwartships across the runners, and that will widen considerably what he is able to cover with the awning.
Personally, because I'm lazy and not fond of re-doing things, I would build it to last, I'd use Sunbrella or Weather
Max 80, and ptfe thread to sew it, and only make one. And if I were having it made, same requirement. An awning that size is expensive, why have one made only to have to replace it in 5 years?
Our present cockpit awning zips onto the aft end of our dodger
, and used bungees to the radar arch
to stretch it. I made the sides long, and they snap to the underneath of the awning most of the time, but if I want max width at the aft end, I unsnap them and they bungee onto little buttons screwed into the s/s tubing of the radar arch
. (If we want to catch water
, we attach a large funnel at the fwd edges, hose onto the funnel bottoms, and led into catchment jugs. I like to see the water i'm putting in.)
If you want to catch water with the large awning, you want to find where the low points port and stbd will be, and then, depending on how fast you want to catch water, make the requisite number of holes and cones and sew them in. (Mine were 3" diameter, down to 3/4" hose size. I sewed ties at the ends where we jammed the hoses up, and tied them tightly a bit below. Another method is to sew gutters on the top side of the awning, catch water at low spot.
Later on, we found the large awning too much hassle, and shifted to a cockpit only awning/rain catcher, which actually met our needs better. The OP may not want to do that if he wants to shade the teak
on the side decks (it gets so darn hot in the tropics).
Fwiw, we never shaded the foredeck, although we made a reefing windscoop for it.
Most of the foredeck awnings we see use either a spinnaker
pole or a line from the mast to the forestay, and the rest is just a tent shape. Works well for shade, but not so much for quick access forward.