Boat TentFancy camping but do not have a boat tent? If you have thought about cruising but are unwilling to splash out on a tent (in case you don’t like it!) why not get a taste of sleeping on board, under an Association tent? Don’t worry, you won’t have to drill holes or make any modifications to your boat, the tents come with a rope and shockcord bridle, boom crutch and full instructions.

Tent kindly donated by Peter Leighton in 2016

One of the tents is the Mark 2 (igloo type) design and comes complete with lightweight fibre poles. There is also a Mark 1 ridge tent in cotton Ventile, which has generously been donated to the Association, and has just been out on its first cruise with UKWA. A third tent, another Mark 1, has also just been in use for the first time, on the Norfolk Broads.

Hire Costs & Booking

The UKWA’s boat tents are available for hire at the special members’ rate of £25 per hire (or just £15 for UKWA Rallies – that’s £15 for the duration of the cruise, plus onward carriage where necessary).

Non UKWA members are welcome to hire the tents too, for £50. This fee includes that year’s membership of the UKWA and the warm invitation to join in some of our events and embrace the benefits of membership.

In addition to the hire charge you will need to arrange onward carriage to the next hirer, or return to Dave Barker, who looks after the tents. (You’ll be told where to send it). It is imperative that the tent is thoroughly dried and aired prior to despatch. Also we need to be advised immediately of any damage or losses, so that these can addressed in good time.

You can obtain a booking form from Dave by emailing him at – he usually checks his emails several times a day, so if you don’t hear back within a day or two something has gone amiss. Completed forms may be returned by post or email. Availability can be checked on the calendar below.


Once a booking has been arranged, payment can be made here on the website (the “select options” button below will take you to the relevant place) or by cheque (details on booking form), but please do remember to arrange the booking first:-

Boat Tent Availability

  • The calendar below gives an indication of the availability for hire of the UKWA boat tents on any given date; out of courtesy please give a reasonable amount of notice.
  • A reddish-brown horizontal bar indicates that a tent is booked out, with the initials of the hirer, so that you can double-check your own booking.
  • To view a different month use the little arrows above the right-hand side of the calendar.
  • At present there is no facility to book a tent using the calendar.
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Boat Tent Tips

Here are a few handy tips for optimising your boat tent experience:-

  • Roll your mainsail (leaving the foot in the boom) and hang it under the boom with some sail ties.
  • On a warm evening at anchor leave the back half of the tent folded back – the front half will keep any breeze off and you’ll enjoy the extra space aft.
  • Consider using a bivy bag – your boat isn’t always the driest place to sleep!
  • Salt spray seems to dry during the day but will “magically” re-wet as evening approaches. A quick wipe-down with fresh water when you first arrive will soon dry off and make the boat more comfortable later.
  • Bring a few lengths of string/cord – useful for tying halyards, adjusting the tent bridle etc.
  • In wet conditions a micro-fibre cloth tied just above the tent’s mast collar will wick rainwater safely onto the outside of the tent. (Likewise the boom end if tilted up.)
  • In heavy rain lead your halyards and genoa sheets well away from the foot of your sleeping bag.
  • Fold away the tent from the stern, moving forward in a series of folds slightly shorter than the tent bag.