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Cockpit tent

9043 Views 34 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  flandria
Just looking for ideas or possibly companies who sell them. I really don't want to go with a bimini due to cost and it getting in the way plus a height issue. I have searched Google images and see a lot of different designs including PVC framing that bend over the boom. I know there will be times where I anchor and sit and play in my kayaks all day but would love to have a tent over the cockpit to get out of the sun at least some of the time. The picture attached is a sweet design but looking for any others and any that are able to be purchased.
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About $500 or so depending upon the size and design you use, you should be able to get a semi custom one made for you boat by a local canvas style shop. I had one made with tie loops such that the line to the life line stanchions were correct from a pulling stand point. Even had the back with it able to go from the around the boom lift line to the back stay. They were supposed to, but he screwup the opening in the middle so I could unzip the entry without untieing the cover and enter. It is also rounded if you will at the outside per the shape of the hull.

To me the amount I paid was better than a $20-40 plastic tarp. Fits better etc. I had it made of a white sunbrella fabric. So it shades the cockpit, yet allows some light in.

I ended up ordering a Carver top with 2 foot slides. With the 2 foot slides I will be able to put it forward over the hatch for the night if it rains or aft for relaxing. I wanted to make sure if I chose to sail with it up that it could slide far enough forward to allow me to see over it while at the helm. It just arrived so it's my next project. I just installed 2 blue LED lights in the cockpit for a little bit of lighting at night when I am relaxing either at the slip or out in the bay.
Maine marine canvas
Have done several projects for me and if you have exact measurements they can do. They will ask if you want battened or not as the battens give you the arch for more headroom.
Edit: crap- my kids distracted me and I didn't read the last post. Oh well, maybe someone else will find it helpful.
We are in the process of making one out of sunbrella canvas. It will have a slit about half the way back to go around the topping lift. Then I will attach it back together with canvas clips. Will then attach between the back stay and mast. The stren will still be open for grilling, loading the dingy motor and etc. I should have ample room to crawl out between the tent and spray dogger. Cost is right at $150 for everything. However there is a lot of waste on the fabric due to the shape but we plan on using the left over for other small projects. Will post more photos when project is completed. We decided to do this instead of a bimini because I don't have to attach anymore hardware to the deck and we simply fold it up and put it out of the way when not needed. It should be real simple and easy to put up.


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When we bought our 44cc it came with what looks to be a huge cockpit tent. Tried to fit it once, kinda got it in place. The big issue with it is that we also have a main sail cover/(oh damn - brain fart) little lines that help tame the main. So fitting the tent over the main would require releasing the lines, making them very slack.

The tent goes from the mast to beyond the end of the boom, there are no poles or anything to hold it up ,and it has two water outlets for collecting rain water. Heavy cloth, must weigh 30 pounds, maybe more.

My Wife wanted to ditch it but I'm holding out. So far. No need for it up here, but in the tropics it could be quite nice.
We just finished it. All the sewing done and grommets installed. Will see how she fits this weekend.


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Looks great, ncc:D

I did mine from an old main sail.. Clipped and removed panels, sewedback together with bthe short tops in line with the longer bottoms; then one long seam at a diagonal. Velcro "vent" about 1/3 up the sttern for the topper and backstay. Grommets allaround the hemand two in the vent to overlap and one in the middle. Flat nylon/rayon (?) electricians pull "tape (@1760#) in the hem, outside the grommets..
I can sling it over the boom and add a bit of FG pole for the extension aft to tthe grommets and ikt hangs almost tothe lifelines. Alternately, I can use twopoles and a center joint of Aluminum pipe to hang it from the halyard annd have it higher.
Next attempt will be freestanding with FG rods (ala`pop-up tent), fitted to small receptacles at the stantions and velcro tabs tolocate rods in the top. Sorta like a covered wagon ;)

*IF* that works, I may reproduce it in Sunbrella :D
We just finished it. All the sewing done and grommets installed. Will see how she fits this weekend.
please remember the Camera
Here it is. Of course we left all of the new bungee cords in the car so had to improvise with small pieces of rope. Anyway I think it'll work great on those hot or rainy days. It's done rained once on, cockpit stayed dry. Plenty of room to crawl out between the dodger and to stand up on the stern.


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Bought this as a temporary solution until I finish my cockpit cover.
Skincom solar beach cover, $27 delivered from Walmart. On the small side but very easy to set up, is portable (foredeck, side deck, cockpit) and the shade slides side to side on the arched supports.


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nccouple, while that tent looks good, the color is wrong to provide cooling, especially in NC. I found the best thing was an ordinary, inexpensive, silver tarpaulin that is either suspended beneath the boom while sailing, or draped over the boom while anchored. It reflects the heat, keeps the cockpit nice and airy and the temperature is often 15 degrees cooler than when I just use my dark blue Bimini top alone. I would not have any dark color on a Bimini top if mine didn't come with the boat when I purchased it. My next top will be white or silver. And, I don't care if it doesn't match the sail cover, which is also dark blue. The next sail cover will be white or silver as well.

Now, I suspect someone is going to ask how do you place the tarpaulin beneath the boom. Simple. Just run a length of 1/4-inch nylon line from the mast to the back stay, or the stern rail, then drape the tarpaulin over it and secure the tarp with bungee cords, three on each side usually does a good job of holding it in place, even on windy days.

All the best,

Gary :cool:
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I like the idea of a hardware store tarp. I would likely go with a Harbor Freight white one. Not quite as unsightly as a blue one and cooler. They are cheap enough that you can experiment with it. Once you get it the way you like it you can use it as a template with sunbreala or the like.
Yeah. That's my inclination, too. And you could see what about the tarp works for you, and what you might gain -- if anything -- from the more formal tents that have been described here.
In places where the sun is intense try two layers of tent. The air gap is a great insulator. Here in the tropics a single layer of any material, even white, gets so hot that it's uncomfortable to be near.
If you are proceeding by buying an "ordinary" tarp, go for nylon or spend the money on Sunbrella. Above all, make sure the material does not make an awful racket when the wind blows, as some tarps will, and it would not be fun to sit underneath something like that. You may also consider battens, if your sewing skills are up to it, to give shape - easy to stow as well when rolled up. You can sling it over the boom (which you do not like) or have a couple of strings tie it to the boom, hanging below it. Use clips where possible to speed up installing it: you want to sit under it, not fight with it. The same approach can be used to make a bug screen that would enclose the entire cockpit when mosquitoes and other nuisance-critters are too numerous to enjoy.
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