I should have said: I'm in Central Virginia, so none of these things (dingy, sailboard clubs, sailmakers) is local to me. However, there are places on the Chesapeake I can reach out to easily enough.
Would you say the average bunk bed takes up about 18 square feet? The smallest sail I can think of, on a sunfish, is 75 square feet. I like Jeff’s idea, especially if you’re just going to cut it down anyway.
I’ve seen, on the other hand, sails used to wrap all around piping and railings to make pretty cool looking awnings and wind blocks. They weren’t still in sail shape, but you would tell it was lashed and folded to fit, but that’s what it was. Last I recall was at the rebuilt Foxy’s Taboo on JVD.
While the surface of a standard twin bed is more like 18sf, I'll be rigging up something closer to a canopy/tent top over the upper bunk.
The lower will have a dark canvas "curtain" to mimic the sides of the hull, with portals fringed/surrounded with good old hemp rope. Sure, I could use a light-colored canvas, but I'm hoping to get an old sail for like next to nothing, plus, yeah, much cooler with the real thing.
Local sailmakers are a good place to start. They are likely to have a few spent sails laying around, although there are people to grab old sails to make bags out of, so they may be spoken for.
You could also approach dinghy sailing clubs. Dinghy sails will be more size appropriate for your purposes. Old windsurfer sails are another option although they tend to be more colorful and high tech looking, not very "piratey".
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I'm hoping to be one of those "spoken for" people.
I think he won't get hung up on the color issue (historical accuracy) - he'll be all about the colors.
There is a consignment shop (sailing gear) in Deltaville, VA that I'm going to query...and a sailmaker there...and at Solomons...I'll start with that. Also, a guy we know in the SMSA at Solomons might have a line on old dingy sails.