Boat Tent

Igloo type tent (Mk 2)

Fancy 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.

One of the tents is the Mark 2 (igloo type) design and comes complete with lightweight fibre poles. The canopy is made from breathable cotton Ventile fabric. This is a relatively complicated tent…

Mk 1 kindly donated by Peter Leighton

There is also a Mark 1 ridge tent in cotton Ventile, which was generously donated to the Association in 2016. Ventile is a breathable fabric, expensive to purchase, but well-suited to our requirements if treated with care. The cloth is heavier than usual, making the tent a little bulky when wet, but this is a simple and robust design.

The latest boat tent on a Wayfarer Plus S, Malthouse Staithe, Norfolk Broads, May 2018.

A third tent, another Mark 1 (photo below, in payment section), saw active service for the first time in 2017, and a new, similar, privately-owned tent (also available for hire) has now completed a couple of seasons. These tents are both made from polyurethane-coated polyester fabric, which is affordable, lightweight & waterproof, but non-breathable.

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, including the cost of getting the tent to you). We also ask you to pay for onward carriage after your hire period, where relevant. Please contact us before paying for tent hire.

Non UKWA members are welcome to hire the tents too, for £50. This fee includes a year’s membership of the UKWA and the warm invitation to join in some of our events and embrace the benefits of membership (including the £10 discount for UKWA rallies).

In addition to the hire charge you will (as mentioned) need to arrange carriage either to the next hirer, or to Kay Marriott, who looks after the tents. (You’ll be told which). 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 check availability with Kay by e-mail: –  if you don’t hear back within a day or two something has gone amiss.

Tent availability can also be checked on the calendar below. As mentioned above, please contact us before paying for tent hire.


Members hiring tents may be asked to send a hire tent onto the next hirer: therefore, we ask hirers to confirm that you give your permission for your name & address to be disclosed to the previous hirer, in case they need to send the tent on to you.  Hirers can also be given the name and address of the next hirer,  to be able to forward this on.  We expect that on hiring one of our UKWA tents, that this permission is given.


Once availability has been confirmed, payment can be made here on the website (the “select options” button below will take you to the relevant place), but please do check with us before making any payment:-

Boat Tent Availability

  • The calendar below gives an indication of the availability of the UKWA boat tents; out of courtesy please give a reasonable amount of notice (ideally about a month).
  • A reddish-brown horizontal bar on the calendar 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:-

  • Prior to pitching the tent, roll your mainsail from the top down (leaving the foot attached to the boom) and suspend it under the boom with some sail ties/bungees. The boom will be up on the crutch and gooseneck.
  • On a warm evening at anchor fold the back half of the tent forward on top of the boom – the front half alone will keep any breeze off and you’ll enjoy the extra space aft.
  • Consider using a bivvy bag at night – your boat isn’t always the driest place to sleep!
  • Salt spray in the boat seems to dry during the day but will “magically” re-wet as evening approaches. A quick wipe-down with fresh water when you first moor up will soon dry, leaving the boat more comfortable later.
  • Bring a few lengths of string/cord – useful for silencing halyards, adjusting the tent bridle etc.
  • In wet weather a micro-fibre cloth tied round the mast just above the tent’s mast collar will wick rainwater safely onto the outside of the tent. (Likewise the boom’s aft end, if it’s tilted up.)
  • In heavy or persistent rain, lead your halyards and genoa sheets well away from the foot of your sleeping bag.
  • After use, fold away the tent starting from the stern, moving forward in a series of folds slightly shorter than your tent bag.