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Thread: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

  1. #1
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    Default Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Looking around on the forum I found a few good threads on boat tent designs and ideas for camp cruising an open boat, but I haven't found a thread where we got to watch someone actually making one. So, here it goes. (Disclaimer: I'm just a guy without much experience who thought this would be a fun project, mistakes will be made.)

    Here's what I have to work with,
    10 yards of 60" wide 140 denier ripstop nylon that's coated
    Seam stick tape
    UV resistant thread suitable for marine use
    48- 18" aluminum tent pole sections and enough elastic cord to put them together in whatever length I need.



    The tent will need to cover the middle section of my Caledonia Yawl between the fore and aft decks. At the widest point it will be 6'2" and will run 10' in length. My goal is for it to look something like this.



    I have decided to go with big diagonal poles across the tent with the idea that it will be slightly more wind resistant than a simple hoop setup and because my boat is set up as a yawl, I'll be able to guy off to the main and mizzen masts as well as the gunwhales.

    Another forum member suggested to me that the easiest way to get started would be to just build the tent right on top of my boat, and I totally agree. But the boat is upside down on the beach about thrity feet above the high tide line and tucked away for winter. So, I decided to go with the next best thing.

    I broke out my plans and mocked up the sheer line for sections 2 through 6 in my basement, and dummied up a couple of masts to use as my building jig.





    So far things have gone pretty smoothly, but I have had alot of help from my shop assistant and shop assistant in training.



    They're pretty sure this whole tent idea is about he coolest thing ever. We shall see.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Jim, I can't wait to see how this turns out. The kids will probably enjoy the tent while the boat is sitting on the trailer, too.
    Denny Wolfe
    www.wolfEboats.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Pretty good start...I'll be interested in seeing how it works out.

    Did you consider going with a heavier fabric that would not vibrate as much in a breeze?

    Have you thought through the steps you will go through to set up and take down the tent? If so, does it seem like it will be fairly easy?

    Will the ends have mosquito netting?

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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Thanks for starting this thread! I will be watching, and learning form your mistakes!

    I too have been looking around for ideas for cockpit covers /tents. Some luck, but I always find searching this forum, brings alot of the bottom and other fish up with the catch, so to speak.... Can you point to some threads you have looked too....

    I have wondered about the question of setting up the tent-pole style in a stiff breeze. what do you plan for a procedure?

    Cheers and good luck to you!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Deleted

    double take...... sorry......
    Last edited by chainyank; 01-28-2010 at 06:25 PM. Reason: double post

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Pretty slick idea you have there. I like it.

    Are you going to have clips of some kind? I envision a quick clip on the end of the pole that attaches to a loop that is permanently attached to the gunwale of the boat.

    Do a good job, Patent it, and sell the pattern!
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Jim - have you considered something a little lighter and brighter for the boomtent? Check out MEC's Guides Tarp. They're 75 denier coated ripstop - light, bright and tough. They stretch to form nice tight panels - just like a mountaineering tent.

    Another thing to consider is that as soon as the sun comes out it gets HOT under the tent and you have to ventilate or you'll roast. It's surprising. Even in the shoulder seasons the slightest bit of sun warms up the inside tremendously.


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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Im looking to do the same in my open coble for the Alaska summers. I looking for lots of ideas keep them coming.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Hi everybody,

    I spent a few hours today fiddling with the poles for the tent and trying to work out the configuration. Darroch, I must admit that I love your tent and I'm doing my best to steal your design. Do the poles on your tent follow the seams?

    As far as choosing a fabric goes, I looked at several different weights and colors before making a selection. What I wanted was a medium weight fabic that would be strong and fairly easy to work with. I thought about the lighter fabric like what Darroch used but I was concerned that 75 denier was just too light. The color does look a bit dark folded up on the floor but looked like the best choice for light penetration out of the colors I had to choose from, it was certainly the brigtest color. After I ordered it I had a moment of doubt, worrying that it would be too transparent and it wouldn't keep out enough light on long summer days (we have a tent like that, all in all it lets in too much light).

    My boat has open inwales which allows for a lot of flexibility in tying off.



    I was thinking of simply sewing loops into the bottom hem of the tent and then running lines from the loop to the inwale. That way I could easily adjust the tent and allow it to open up a bit on the sides, just like (big suprise here) Darroch's. I do like the idea of quick release clips and long straps though. It would be quicker to set up and easier to adjust, thank you for the suggestion Mr.BBSebens.

    On the ends of the tent I was thinking of sewing in zippers and then making a mosquito net door or a solid panel door that could be zipped in, depending on conditions. In our neck of the woods the mosquitos can be miserable on shore but seem to not be much of an issue just a little ways off on the water. In my experience the horse flies will sometimes put in an apperance but the mosquitoes like tierra firma.

    With set up, well I think it will be pretty sraight forward, but it is definitely going to take some practice. Standby on that one.

    This,http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50623 , has been the best thread I've seen on open boat camp cruising, with several posts on boat tents. There were a few others but they escape me at the moment.

    Here are a couple of shots messing about with the tent poles.



    I really like the aluminium poles, they are super easy to trim with a tubing cutter.



    Ofcourse, it took me three tries to get the section I was trimming right, but...

    After I got the poles set where I thought I wanted them I threw a sheet over it just to get an idea of whether I was onthe right track or not.





    So far so good, I think. I'm alittle bit nervious about actually cutting out the panels, but worst case scenario is I may need some more fabric.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Clear plastic sheeting makes pretty good patern material when you're trying to figure out pieces for a complex shape. You can see structure through it if needed, tape sticks pretty well to it for pulling sections tight and you can make marks and notes on it with a magic marker.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Todd,
    That's brilliant. Thank you. I'll pick some up tomorrow.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Yep, I think you'll find it quite handy and it's also reasonably dimensionally stable, so your pattern pieces don't change shape as soon as you take them off and lay them on the floor to transfer the shape to the real cloth.

    A couple other things to keep in mind - If needed on a tent or domed boat cover, a halyard hooked to the top can make a very solid lifting or stabilizing force. Also don't underestimate the value of the canted arches at either end of your structure. There have been quite a few very solid tents that used nothing other than those two arches to form the entire pole structure. They do it by anchoring the ends of the tent to the ground out past the arches and a lot of these tents are perfectly stable in most conditions with nothing more than a stake or two at each end. This one, for example (Kelty Windfoil Light) has two important stakes at the front end, which is squared-off on either side of the door, and a single stake at the back (which comes to a point out past the rear arch). Any other stakes used are for adding a little more stability in high winds or guying the fly farther out for a bit more flow-through ventilation. The pole sleeves on these Keltys, by the way, are made from athletic jersey mesh (fabric stores have it) which is a really great idea. It's tough, it has some stretch - so you can use slightly longer poles and get some tension on the sleeves, and if your design calls for a rainfly over the sleeves, air can still flow through the sleeves for better ventilation.



    It does require something at the bottom of the pole sleeves (the bases of the arches) that keeps the arch base from spreading. On a tent, the floor does that. For a boat tent, the arches would be anchored to the gunwale. I always figured that if I built another boat tent, I'd pirate this basic idea and see if I could get it to work. The wide-in-the-middle-with-tapered-ends shape fits pretty well with the top view gunwale shape of a lot of boats and the tapers on each end could be adjusted to fit the boat's gunwale beam at those spots. The depth of the side profile could then be adjusted as needed to match the sheer line. When you run into a large panel, like you would have in the center section (or even a big flat panel) they will usually pitch tighter if you catenary-cut them. This means that you split the panel down the middle and sew it back together, but you make a slightly hollowed seam. Your normally straight ridge line on a pup tent, for example, would purposely be cut to have a little bit of hollow in the middle. Then when you pull out on the ends of the ridge, it tightens up the entire ridge line. The harder you pull, the tighter it gets. My theoretical plan would look something like this and then probably have a fly that rode on top of the arches.


    And when adjusted for gunwale beam and sheer line curve, it would hopefully look kind of like this. Lots of tedious work figuring out the pattern though and I probably should build a boat to hang it on before I actually do any sewing.

    Last edited by Todd Bradshaw; 01-29-2010 at 03:46 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    We cruised for years with a small wall tent that hung from the boom. It gave us screened openings with covers, etc. The idea of looking for a small tent that fits the cockpit still seems the best way to go. We slit the floor down the middle, and cut it away so that two flaps of nylong hung over the seats, then put cushions on top, so that it secured it along the edge. The lines normally staked ran to the lifelines to pull the top tight.

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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    We cruised for years with a small wall tent that hung from the boom. It gave us screened openings with covers, etc. The idea of looking for a small tent that fits the cockpit still seems the best way to go. We slit the floor down the middle, and cut it away so that two flaps of nylong hung over the seats, then put cushions on top, so that it secured it along the edge. The lines normally staked ran to the lifelines to pull the top tight.
    This has been suggested to me and it may be true, but I've rarely ever been caught doing things the easy way.

    The truth is, when I thought about this option I just didn't think that I would be able to find just the right tent and then be able modify it in such a way that I would be happy with it. This way I get to control the whole process from start to finish, and since I have the time and space to do the work it just felt like the right option for me.

    And if this doesn't work out so well there is always plan B... Poly tarp and a ridgeline.

    Todd, thank you for the pointers. I especially like the one about cutting a slight hollow in th eridge so that it pull taught under pressure.

    I picked up some 6 mil clear plastic sheeting today so I'll be able to start on patterns this evening.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post

    The tent will need to cover the middle section of my Caledonia Yawl between the fore and aft decks. At the widest point it will be 6'2" and will run 10' in length. My goal is for it to look something like this.



    I have decided to go with big diagonal poles across the tent with the idea that it will be slightly more wind resistant than a simple hoop setup and because my boat is set up as a yawl, I'll be able to guy off to the main and mizzen masts as well as the gunwhales.

    Jim
    I think you're on the right track with this drawing, depending on the bendability of the poles. If you start with the diagonals first that should give you a good idea. I found a couple of more pics that might help you visualize. The only difference in my setup is that the fore and aft poles are set in the middle pockets (if that makes sense) whereas the diagonals are set in the pockets at either end (pockets being the rather unattractive black cordura rectangles - it was meant to be a prototype but it works so I haven't changed anything)

    All the tent poles go over the ridge line (the front and rear poles are actually held up by the ridge line. Anyway, I'll post the pics and see if it helps. Maybe I could make a short video of the setup this weekend if I get a chance. That might help.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising



    Here you can see the diagonals - the toggle holds everything tight to the ridge line.

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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Here's another shot of the pockets - the middle one for the front and rear poles.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Darroch, those photos are very helpful, thanks. It looks like your tent is essentially made up two large panels with a seam down the ridge line. Is that right? I seem to have it in my head that I need to make panels that join together along the poles(if that makes sense) and also a major seam along the ridge like you have. If it's not too much of a bother a short video of the set up would be great.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    You're right - they've essentially sewn two panels together to form the tarp - all I did was add a couple of panels up front to close it up. These things can be stretched quite a bit for a nice tight surface. It's dead simple, really - not much sewing at all. I'll try to put some kind of video together for you tomorrow.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Well, I did promise that mistakes would be made, and today seems to have been full of them. When I got home from work this afternoon I was excited to get started cutting out patterns for the panels I'll need and first thing I broke out the sheeting I'll be using and cut the first section.

    But, as I was dragging the cut section over the poles I knocked one loose and pow! tent poles every where! Put it back together and knocked it apart again. Did I mention I was a slow learner? After much under my breath cursing I finally got the frame reassembled and this time Tied the darned ends down.



    An hour gone getting everything line up correctly again, but that's alright we're making progress. Time to start cutting.





    The first panel went on easily enough but I couldn't get it to lay just right so I fiddled with it, and fiddled with it some more, until I thought it was pretty good. Then I moved on the the second section and it went really smoothly. It looked much better than the first one, which sent me back to messing with it again, a little tighter, not quite, tighten it again. Finally, I got to the good enough stage and stood back to admire my handy work.







    Do you see what I see? It turns out you should build a tent like you plank a boat. If you hang a panel on one side you should then hang one in the opposite position on the other side to keep it balanced. I was so focused on trying to get a tight panel that I did not notice that I pulled the center out of line by a full six inches! Oh well, you live and you learn. Tomorrow he whole mess is coming off and I'll try it again.

    Yes, mistakes were made! But all in all it was still a good day. Plastic sheeting is cheap and I feel like I learned something.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Excellent stuff Jim! looks like great work! I hope it works out.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    If you will be sleeping on the boat at anchor, you need the fore end of the tent closed off but the aft end can be open. If you plan to beach the boat that's different.
    Yes, I see what you mean. The plan is to use the tent at anchor. There are lots of little sheltered coves for anchoring but not much in the way of nice haulout or camping beaches.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    This is a sunbrella tent we made up for a Drascombe lugger.
    It uses 4 collapsable tent poles, is lashed in place to each mast and held down with nylon snap buckles like those used on a backpack.
    The ends are zippered on and reversible ford and aft so you don't have to think much or fumble around in the dark to set them up. They have screened (mosquitos!) and roll-up canvas covered windows. It can be used with or without the ends.
    The boat can be operated under power with the tent in place (in the event that your anchorage conditions change unexpectedly!) and can be entered and exited from a dock. It will stow rolled up like a bed roll along the rail with the poles in place and it can be set up in about two minutes if stowed like this. If the poles are removed it can be stowed in a locker. All in all, it worked out very well, and has withstood strong winds while on the hook.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Canoeyawl,
    Very nice and straight forward. I like that. And That's exactly what I was thinking about for the ends.

    Well, enough playing around on the internet. Time to get to work.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  25. #25
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    Red face Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    So I get the tent all set up in the driveway and find it's too dark to film anything at 3:00... I'll try again when the sun's out.

    Canoeyawl's tent looks awesome too. My beam is only 4'6" at the widest point - too narrow to bend poles athwartships - your boat is closer in size to the lugger so it might work nicely for you.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    So, as I was taking apart last night's mess and thinking about what to do next, it occurred to me that making a pattern for each side might not be such a good idea. Odds are I'd just end up with a lopsided tent. So I hit upon this solution instead.



    I used packing tape to tape all the joints so that there was no chance of them moving again, that way I could just make patterns for one side and things will at least be semetrical. One thing to think about, for anyone who is thinking of trying this, that packing tape sticks really well to the tent poles, and I'm pretty sure it is going to be a real bugger getting that tape off again.

    After the first panel was up the rest went pretty smoothly. I just put up a section of plastic.



    Trimmed it with the knife or scissors.



    Then mark the seam intersection with a sharpie.



    And this was the end result.





    All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the way things have gone so far. Tomorrow I'm going to take all the patterns off the frame and start cutting the actual pieces. How exciting!

    The other things I noted on each pattern was its location in the grand scheme and the location of the top, bow, sheer, etc. and the pole pockets that will be required.

    All told there are six panels per side, which is going to be a lot of sewing. I know there are lots of ways to mak this a simpler setup. The two things that I think are driving the complexity are the diagonal and canted poles, and the fact that the material I have is only 60" wide so a two panel solution just isn't an option. From the sheer to peak at the widest part we are looking at 77". I guess the thrid thing that is driving the complexity is that I just like all the sexy curves and angles, what can I say.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Darroch,
    Thank you for the effort, I sure understand how it goes sometimes.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Yep, I think you'll find it quite handy and it's also reasonably dimensionally stable, so your pattern pieces don't change shape as soon as you take them off and lay them on the floor to transfer the shape to the real cloth.

    A couple other things to keep in mind - If needed on a tent or domed boat cover, a halyard hooked to the top can make a very solid lifting or stabilizing force. Also don't underestimate the value of the canted arches at either end of your structure. There have been quite a few very solid tents that used nothing other than those two arches to form the entire pole structure. They do it by anchoring the ends of the tent to the ground out past the arches and a lot of these tents are perfectly stable in most conditions with nothing more than a stake or two at each end. This one, for example (Kelty Windfoil Light) has two important stakes at the front end, which is squared-off on either side of the door, and a single stake at the back (which comes to a point out past the rear arch). Any other stakes used are for adding a little more stability in high winds or guying the fly farther out for a bit more flow-through ventilation. The pole sleeves on these Keltys, by the way, are made from athletic jersey mesh (fabric stores have it) which is a really great idea. It's tough, it has some stretch - so you can use slightly longer poles and get some tension on the sleeves, and if your design calls for a rainfly over the sleeves, air can still flow through the sleeves for better ventilation.


    I can attest to this. I have a Kelty mountaineering tent just like this. It's stood up to real howlers up above treeline at 11,000 feet.

    Does have a tendency to just bend over in the big gusts, though. Nothing like being wakened from a sound sleep at 0-dark-thirty in the morning by having your tent pressed down on your face. Very startling if you weren't expecting it.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Last night I was sitting in my chair minding my own business when SWMBO walk into the room and said, "what are you doing? Are you sewing paper?". Yup, I was sewing paper. She was pretty sure that I'd lost it when I started building an imaginary boat in the basement, and this pretty much confirmed it for her. But, there really is a perfectly reasonable explanation, honest.

    And the explanation is, that I wanted to figure out how I was going to sew sleeves into the seams for the poles to go through and how much extra material I would need on each edge of the panels.
    I started out by marking out the lines to follow for stitching. I put my lines at 1/4" back from the edge, 7/8" back from the edge, and 1 3/8" back from the edge. I just picked these numbers as place to start that seemed reasonable. First I stitched the 1/4" line, and folded it back on itself.





    Then I stitched the 1 3/8" line to create a pocket.



    Then I stitched the line at 7/8" to give a finished size to the sleeve and make the seam stronger.



    And test fit a pole section.



    It looks like it will work. The sleeve is a little on the snug side, so I'm going to add a bit there and I might throw another line of stitching into the seam, but other than that...



    Oh, and yes Wolf Tree, we have a couple of hens and an onery old rooster. I do like fresh eggs.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Keep in mind that you will want to "bunch up" the fabric to fit it over the poles (and to remove it) and there can be a lot of fabric on one pole.
    When we made the tent for the Drascombe boat the "sleeves" were never big enough, even after several tries! (we ended up having to sew on individual "pockets" or "sleeves" after the tent was built... Hindsight is 20/20!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Keep in mind that you will want to "bunch up" the fabric to fit it over the poles (and to remove it) and there can be a lot of fabric on one pole.
    When we made the tent for the Drascombe boat the "sleeves" were never big enough, even after several tries! (we ended up having to sew on individual "pockets" or "sleeves" after the tent was built... Hindsight is 20/20!
    That's a great point. I would guess that the heavier the fabric the the more room you need so the fabric has some place to go. The nylon I have is lighter than sunbrella, does a 2" sleeve sound reasonable for a 5/16" diam. pole?
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    From here it looks perfect!

    But - It needs more room than you might think.

    It is a little different when you are setting it up in the boat, you can't move around as well, you won't be standing up,
    And the wind may be blowing. If it all stretched out and catches a little gust, things can get interesting.
    Especially if you might have had a little drinky after dinner!



    And you may find that a 5/16 dia pole is not sturdy enough for seagoing work, and should allow for something heavier (just another detail!)
    A wetted tent at sea in gale might just flatten out more than you want. (Don't ask!)
    You could make trial run in the back of a pick-up at about 20 mph...

    Edit to add; looking at your pics again, the folded piece inside the sleeve may want to jam up as you insert the pole. We had to have the sleeve "clean" inside. After several trials we made the sleeve larger and applied it after the tent was built because the poles were so much trouble to install/remove. In fact this is reason enough to Not remove the poles and just strike it, roll it up and lash it to the inwale. It's a nice back rest.
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 01-31-2010 at 03:33 PM.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1,488

    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    You could also sew in velcro tabs (both sides) at strategic points (like at the cross over pts. etc) and avoid the sleeves altogether.

    Have attachment points on the bottom edge of the fly that hook up to the gunwale and then slip poles underneath, place into position and wrap and stick velcro tabs together. Might save a bunch of time on the sweat shop machine and if you don't like it you can always go back and sew in the sleeves later.

    Todd Bibler built mountaineering tents with this set up and mine has worked just fine through the years.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    I'm not sure how you're going to assemble that if you're at anchor, even without wind. My thought would be to have a system where the poles are secured to the boat first, and then then tent secured over the poles. Velcro tabs come to mind. There will be high-stress points that will need more than that, of course.

    I made a cockpit tent once. I kept it really simple -- an aluminum ridge poll was hung athwartships from the boom, and the sides were lashed to eyestraps. The ridgepole was a permanent part of the cover -- I just rolled the ten around it to pack it up. I rigged it sideways to retain sitting headroom on the benches. Not fancy, but I could reliably set it up quickly in any weather.

  35. #35
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    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Boat tent construction for camp cruising

    Thanks for the advise fellas. I think you're right about the sleeve idea being a pain. What I would really like are some quick connects like on my regular tent.



    But I haven't had any luck tracking them down. What I really need to know before I start cutting material, is whether or not I'm going to include long sleeves as part of the panel or not. At this point based on my own misgivings and your fine advise I think not. I'm still thinking to include some sort of short sleeve at strategic locations that will be around three of four inches in length. This should work alright since the fabric is laying on the poles verses held up to the poles from underneath.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

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