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Thread: Boat camping tent.

  1. #1
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    Default Boat camping tent.

    I've been pondering ways to make a relatively dry boat tent on the cheap for my Gartside 130
    (12' open clinker dinghy)
    With my sail bundled up with the yard and boom I can hook one end of the 11' yard to the mast traveller, raise it up and support the aft end with a boom crutch, a topping lift, or my removable bowsprit (which has a jaw for supporting the yard and can be clamped to the stern knee.)

    I tried an overnighter at an island close to me on a dry eve with just a tarp thrown over (mostly for privacy not good for rain) and was able to lie down full length on the floorboards(and a mat) under the amidship thwart, cook and generally enjoy a nice evening reading etc. I forgot my boom crutch so I used my jib halyard as a topping lift. Likely will use my sprit as a boom crutch

    -I have a 14' x12' tarp I can cut to shape, and it will work but likely be noisy. It's a good simple version, though I could see myself doing just as much work as making one with decent waterproof/resistant breathable fabric. It could be a practice model. It was on sale $13 I have tarp grommets and a good sewing machine

    - I was thinking of buying a used/new tent rainfly of big enough dimensions and cutting it to fit

    - Also thing of finding a classic pup tent shaped tent and removing it's bottom and recutting as well.THere's one locally, an older Eureka 4 man timberline

    - or just buying fabric and do it properly. Sunbrella is pretty expensive though.
    What alternatives are there? treated ripstop nylon?


    Also thinking of hull attachment points. I've heard of weighted sandbags. I've seen someone using a strap around the hull but that seems arduous to set up (I used a rope under my lower rubrail on my tryout trip and it didn't work well.)

    I thought of something affixed underneath my lower rubrail (hooks? short dowel nubs?)




  2. #2
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Most stuff like that I make from Odyssey polyester boat canvas. It's about half the weight, bulk and price of Sunbrella, comes something like 63" wide in all kinds of colors and has really great resistance to UV damage. It is coated on one side, but breathable. It may cost you more than nylon, but it will last about five times as long.

    DSCF0007a.jpg

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Todd knows fabric and the Odyssey polyester is low cost at around $12/yd. There are two materials I like for boat tents, both around $21/yd at just over 60" wide:

    - Shelter Rite from Sailrite. This is heavy 18 oz vinyl coated polyester, completely waterproof and very tough. If you want something that does not leak and there is airflow from the ends this will stand up to a lot. It can be bonded with vinyl cement so no sewing necessary.

    - WeatherMax 65 (Seattle Fabrics has this). 6.5 oz breathable water repellant polyester, UV resistant, uncoated. Several forum members had used and recommended this, I made a tent 10 years ago and it is still like new.

    For retention I use snaps and 1/4 turn fasteners. Both require some tooling to use, and both would have hardware screwed into the boat. You might not want to do that to the Gartside, but they make for easy and secure attachment.

    Rick

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    We used to use a pup tent hanging from the boom as a boom tent. The floor was slit, and we put cushions on the seats in the cockpit. It worked quite well, and had the advantage of a couple of screened, ventillating flaps.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    Also thinking of hull attachment points. I've heard of weighted sandbags. I've seen someone using a strap around the hull but that seems arduous to set up (I used a rope under my lower rubrail on my tryout trip and it didn't work well.)

    I thought of something affixed underneath my lower rubrail (hooks? short dowel nubs?)
    Have you got a wooden paddle on board?

    If so just tie the cover strap to the paddle, shove the paddle underneath the boat on one side and it should float up on the other side with the strap attached. Pull it in, tie it on to the cover and you're done.

    In an attempt a more sophisticated solution, a few years back I did add hooks under a lower rubrail on an open dayboat:

    Bow.jpg

    They worked OK, but they can get caught on things and it's not as easy to get the cover tight as it is when there is a strap or two going under the hull.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    I can tell you from my lone overnight experience with a polytarp boom tent that it is definitely noisy. It was a last minute thing and I honestly put very little effort into it, so maybe a different setup would work better. But I found the wind crinkled the tent to one side, then inflated it when the boat swung through the wind, then everything flopped over to the other side. It sounded like I was inside a potato chip bag and I got maybe an hour or two of sleep.


    Roger Barnes has hooks along the outside of his hull and I believe his tent has bungee cord loops that he's able to easily snag. I'm considering hooks, but haven't decided how they should be made or attached. But I'll probably try straps under the boat next since it'll be easy.


    Either way, I'm interested to see what you come up with!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    I built a tent from surplus store Goretex ($7/yard!). It attaches to hooks on the hull under the lower edge of the top strake. I think urethane coated nylon would be fine if your tent will not be used as a boat cover. 20200919_182109.jpg20200927_174848.jpg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    If it matters, polyester of some sort and at any weight would have much better UV resistance and lifespan than coated nylon. You are generally much better off limiting light nylon to clothing and using polyester (and in heavier weights, acrylic) for shelter projects. Similar weights, coatings, etc. are available for both nylon and polyester. The polyester is also more stretch resistant, which can be nice if your ability to retighten the shelter as it stretches is somehow limited.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    If it matters, polyester of some sort and at any weight would have much better UV resistance and lifespan than coated nylon. You are generally much better off limiting light nylon to clothing and using polyester (and in heavier weights, acrylic) for shelter projects. Similar weights, coatings, etc. are available for both nylon and polyester. The polyester is also more stretch resistant, which can be nice if your ability to retighten the shelter as it stretches is somehow limited.
    And keep in mind that if your coated nylon stretches, the coating may not. I've had coated nylon rain flies develop leaks where they stretched and the coating cracked, then closed up when the load was off.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Mr. Palmer your red shelter looks functional and great!
    All sorts of great information, thanks
    I did acquire a coated poly tarp of a size that is enough to make into a shelter.

    So far I've found the stout looking Odyssey fabric up her for $21 a yard
    At 60" wide I think I might need up to 9-10 yards ( So I can screw up some too!)

    For now I will see if I can rework this poly rainfly/tarp

    I was thinking as I have 2 Purple Heart rub rails and some 1/8" brass rod I could drill some little holes in the underside of the lower rail and tap in some short nicely rounded lengths of rod, Just enough to hook a tarp on. It won't be going into the cedar planking, would hold better, and be reasonably discrete without poking out.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    There was also some polycotton cloth being sold locally quite reasonably. I hear it also makes good tents.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    I Kinda like this construction with 3 carbon or fiberglass? half hoops over the boom on a small German Hansa Jolle.
    The Germans call it "kuchebude" and it creates some serious living space on a small open boat.
    kuchebude.jpg

    By the way, this is a Hansa Jolle, a 5,5 meter long keel-centreboard half open boat designed for coastal cruising, the Germans also race it on their lakes.
    hansa jolle.jpg
    Last edited by dutchpp; 09-26-2022 at 06:49 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    I've attached my shelter to the boat with loops of bungee cord so they keep it tight.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    For securing the sides of the tent along the gunwales you might consider pairs of ties (like reefing nettles) attached about 6" above the hem, aligned with spaces along the rail, with lead weights sewn into the hem in order to keep the hem draped down over the side. I wouldn't like extra fittings screwed onto the topsides; too likely to be damaged dockside.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    One thing to avoid is having the tent open at both ends. A friend had that arrangement and after a foggy night at anchor everything under the tent was soaked from condensation as the fog flowed through the tent all night.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by dutchpp View Post
    I Kinda like this construction with 3 carbon or fiberglass? half hoops over the boom on a small German Hansa Jolle.
    The Germans call it "kuchebude" and it creates some serious living space on a small open boat.
    kuchebude.jpg

    By the way, this is a Hansa Jolle, a 5,5 meter long keel-centreboard half open boat designed for coastal cruising, the Germans also race it on their lakes.
    hansa jolle.jpg
    Is that the type of boat Forumite Ingo had?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    48BE7A9B-1966-47F9-A8F7-0902575017CC.jpg

    Haverchuck’s tent, or maybe it’s an awning.

    03095A79-9239-4BA6-B70B-D5084BC7B15E.jpg

    638683B9-E9BB-4961-94FE-7901243E975F.jpg

    Each morning I roll it up and stow it under the starboard side benches in a green Sunbrella bag.

    409AA8BD-CD7B-4928-8BFB-2398304BC940.jpg
    Last edited by Yeadon; 09-26-2022 at 08:58 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Is that the type of boat Forumite Ingo had?
    I'm sorry I don't know.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    It might be worthwhile checking out the English "Dinghy Cruising Association" for some ideas. And not just for the tent, there is vast experience in small boat cruising among the members there.
    https://www.dinghycruising.org.uk/

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    IMG_3024.jpgTHanks, I watch some of Roger Barnes videos,. He has some neat ideas and I did checked out that site as well. Thanks

    Annoyingly I noted that my faded ancient boat cover(came with the boat and of indeterminate age. Is almost a tent when hung on the boom..though rather low for any activity except sleeping and reading.
    If I end up finding a deal or can afford to buy some decent fabric I will probably use it as a pattern but extend the edges about 12"/30cm for the shape up to the mast, though I would add door flaps etc.

    The Kuchbude makes a lot of sense space-wise, and I like the flexibility of yeadon's awning..not to mention his attractive boat.

    The polycotton I was looking at is light broadcloth so probably not skookum enough. I like the idea of polycotton though, many of the advantages of canvass but with less weight etc.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Roger Barnes has one video where he builds a new tent for his Ilur. It is worth watching.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    I really like your awning/tent, Tim. We bought some sunbrella recently to build something similar for our boat. Are the battens wood? What dimensions?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    IMG_1167_3.jpg

    the bimini is the 'foundation' component for the tent

    it appears that the boat can be sailed with the bimini raised, which is unusual for such a small boat

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    IMG_1167_3.jpg

    the bimini is the 'foundation' component for the tent

    it appears that the boat can be sailed with the bimini raised, which is unusual for such a small boat

    Rather sharp looking boat. I think the bimini works aesthetically. on warmer, sunnier days - she is very clever. it would be interesting to see her underway in 8kts of breeze.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    48BE7A9B-1966-47F9-A8F7-0902575017CC.jpg

    Haverchuck’s tent, or maybe it’s an awning.

    03095A79-9239-4BA6-B70B-D5084BC7B15E.jpg

    638683B9-E9BB-4961-94FE-7901243E975F.jpg

    Each morning I roll it up and stow it under the starboard side benches in a green Sunbrella bag.

    409AA8BD-CD7B-4928-8BFB-2398304BC940.jpg
    she is something i will have to see up close. I could see me drifting closer to managing a raft like this sooner than later.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    IMG_1167_3.jpg

    the bimini is the 'foundation' component for the tent

    it appears that the boat can be sailed with the bimini raised, which is unusual for such a small boat

    Didn’t Michael have something to do with the design of the Norseboats?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    Is that a Norseboat? Sweet hull. Nice dayboat. She'd look good as a lug yawl. I like the side decks. For Salish Sea use we'd need to get that rudder up where you could kick it up to land on the beach. She's a dock boat at this point. And there are people with generators at the dock. No good.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Boat camping tent.

    The Norseboat bimini was inspiration for one I made for the Walkabout row-cruiser.



    I considered making it part of the tent, but I only use the bimini when Melissa comes for a day ride and it was more convenient to make each end on a folding arch for solo tenting.



    Now I want to add some battens to make the center into an awning like Tim's.

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