Pitch a Tent

UNA’s tent has gone through a number of evolutions, mostly in details. Originally designed to use the main mast as a ridge pole, it worked well. The wedge shape seems to hang downwind even with the mizzen furled. However there were some sacrifices (aside from not being my bed at home). The biggest loss was a dampening effect the raised mast has on a rolling boat. Even lowering the centerboard left too quick a rolling motion. Also, threading the velcro straps through footmans loops under the gunnel was easy on the pavement, but a hassle on the water. So, I replaced the loops with snaps. This works great. With snaps every 12″ I’ve a good setup for the boat cover I want to build.

I had raised the tent with the main halyard from a D ring while leaving the mast stepped, but there was too much sagging. Now I’ve solved that problem by pulling the tent from loops at both ends.

The last drawback was the amount of air (or rain) that might blow in from the forward opening. This we reduced by stuffing bags in the opening which was temporary at best. Now we have a separate mini tent over the bow which overlaps the main tent.

The end solution leaves only mosquito netting to figure out. In the meantime, we have an army netting that can be hung inside the tent or a Thermocell to repel the pests.

Tent with bow closure
leather on bow tent for mooring or anchor line wear





after end of tent hung by halyard on mizzen and tensioned by string back to mast.
Interior is a jumble, but has adequate sitting room aft of the thwart.

My sewing technique is not there yet, but with each project we’re improving. I’m happy with this solution. If a real blow is expected one night, hopefully I won’t be aboard, but if necessary, the setup can use the lowered main mast too. And should you need to escape fast, the snaps are not too difficult to release and open. Some mornings I’ll unsnap just a few starboard aft snaps to gain more headroom and scout the horizon while still being largely protected from the breeze while the coffee is brewing. Now we just need to find a new horizon.

6 thoughts on “Pitch a Tent

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