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  #1  
Old 05-20-2013
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Sun Awnings & Boom Tents anyone use them?

I'm wondering if anyone here uses a sun awning or boom tent to keep the boat cooler while anchored out.

If you do does it make a noticeable difference in temps below?

What are your experiences when the wind pipes up?

Do you leave it up if you dinghy ashore?

What designs do/don't work and why?
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

I had a boom tent, complete with telescoping, aluminum poles, everything you needed. However, it took about 25 minutes to put it up, anchor it in place, then if the wind suddenly came up, it was a real struggle to get it down. Yep, it kept the temperature cooler under the bimini and tent, but a $12, silver, poly tarpaulin did a much better job, took two minutes to put it up, less time to get it down, held it in place with 6 bungee cords attached to the toe rails. The temperature was at least 15 degrees cooler, especially if there was a light breeze.

Now, you definitely don't want either of them up during a violent thundershower. When those winds get over 30 MPH the boom tent becomes a huge sail, the boat swings wildly and there's a good chance it will get ripped off of the boat and blow overboard. If that does happen, the loss is just $12 plus a couple bungee cords with the tarp, while with the $150 tent, well I can buy a lot of Margaretta mix with $150.

Cheers,

Gary
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

I will be putting a boomtent on my boat. But at 25 feet, it needs all the extra room it can get when out cruising on anything more than a day trip.
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Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

I agree with everything travlineasy said. We use a "Shadetree" brand Boat Awning System which is supported by 3 fiberglass poles which are installed on either side of the cockpit and arch the awning over the boom. It covers from the rear of the cockpit forward to the mast and the boat sort of looks like a covered wagon when it's erected.

Here's the link to their webpage. Shadetree Boat Awnings

But it takes time to erect and to breakdown and store and is only guaranteed for 25 knots or so.

I've owned it for 8 years and love it.
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Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

Not sure what a boom tent is. I have a canvas cover, actually a sunbrella equal that I put over the boom, then use line to tie to the upper lifelines at supports. I can put this up and down in probably 5 min per, so 10 up and down! The only issue I have with it, and the fellow that made it, did not seem to understand I wanted a zipper at about the back of the cabin, so I could open up the cover to get in . Instead he made it such that the back corner 45's up and zips into place. I can try and take a pic this weekend if interested. It does help on really sunny days cooling down the cockpit area. ALong with it is not what I would call any where near permant per say, ie needing to secure poles etc.

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Old 05-20-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

Hi jim

good thread thanks. Ive been studying up on ideas for my Morgan 24 which is fairly small for accessory canvas.... boom tent seems fine when on the hook, but wonder if something not quite so confining as a full bimini could be rigged without too much constriction of the genoa sheets etc.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

We have found a product called "Sun Shade Fabric" which I bought at Home Depot. It is far superior to Sunbrella, tarps or anything I have ever used. It is a loose weave so it does not gather wind and yet cuts out 75% of the heat. I just knotted the corners and used small stuff to fasten it to the shrouds (bow string tight) 2.5 years ago just to see if it would hold up. It hasn't torn or worn even in gusts of 36 knots or more and I don't worry at all when the squalls hit that it adds a great deal of windage, being so porous.
I keep meaning to hem a new one, but this is so easy, cheap and durable that I haven't gotten around to it. Obviously it's not rain proof, but down here in the tropics it really keeps the cabin much cooler for far less money.
Never again will I pay the exorbitant price of Sunbrella for awnings.
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

i have found plastic tarps to be godsend. easy up and down and it doesnt matter if they rip and tear in wind. they keep the temp here in tropical places way down..i dislike boiling in my own saloon.....
i leave em up until winds hit 17 kts then i drop em slightly so wind can still come into boat and i dont get boiled.

as formosas dont like fresh water, the first year of the plastic tarp is preventing water from hitting topsides....in summer i use air conditioner, so i have tarps to keep the usage down and water off boat. second year of using same tarps is solely sun protection and tarp tent for gato. .

i do have covers of a sort that were made for boat once upon a time--but........
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Last edited by zeehag; 05-21-2013 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

I've seen people secure a beach umbrella in the cockpit. Certainly seemed easy to put up and down.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Sun Awnings & Boom Tents

there is a fella in la cruz e huanacaxtle, in nayarit, mexico, who uses an umbrella to sail his dinghy to shore...was fun to watch
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