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  • #3394
    PeterW3035
    Member

    Does anyone have any experience of making their own boat tent?
    I have looked at some very good info on the Canadian Whiffle website and also Canvas Windmill. My Budget doesn’t stretch to buying at present and my plan is to knock something up as a winter project.

    Any thoughts anyone?

    Regards
    Peter W3035

    #4893
    W10143
    Member

    Peter

    Try to find an old lichfield Challenger 4 or 5 tent with a viable flysheet – it is possible to use the flysheet alone with little modification. Pennine Outdoor http://www.pennineoutdoor.co.uk/ have bits to make it work.

    David

    #4894
    PeterW3035
    Member

    Thanks David for the top tip, I’ll have a search & give ebay a try. It certainly sounds easier than the modifying the canvas I have acquired from a bungalow type tent donated to the scout troop a few years ago.
    Peter W3035

    #4895
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I made my own this year based heavily on canvas windmill, the wayfarer handbook and Margaret Dye’s book. Crunch question is how often and what sort of conditions are you planning to use it in? Will you be on your own for a quick escape when conditions are favourable when you can sling something over the boom or do you want luxury and side supports so you have some space. Mine is spacious and over the top but I wanted no complaints from my wife………only trouble is it takes an hour to put up when your are starving and you can’t start cooking till you sit still and stop tweaking the tent. I use a rope girgle for fixing it too and that is a bit of fun as I run lengths under the hull so the girdle cannot ride up once you fix the tent to it……..the amount of rope you could dedicate to the tent is costly so some cheap DIY stuff does perfectly well short term. I used lenths of 2×1 with nuts and bolts for the side bars (that hold the walls of the tent out above the gunwhales) and then rope the ends onto the boom crutch cross bar. My cunning bit of design is to hang a length of wood off the mast end of the boom the width of the boat (nearly) and then use guy ropes down off each end to the gunwhale mounted fairleads……then you can tie the other ends of the side bars to that and the whole structure is solid………if you can imagine a rectangle of wood 8inches below the boom height that goes round the perimeter of the area you use in the boat….that is what you sling the tent over………I could go on! as I say it is all overkill if the weather is fine but my canvas trebles as a garden “gazebo” and a land based!frame tent awning extension……seriously though you could hire the Wayfarer assoc one and see what issues it raises when you play with it. I do have photos if you are interested I could e mail somehow….. obviously I am Mr. World Expert after two nights in it but I would say on a budget if you are just testing out the idea on a fine summers night you don’t need to blow the bank………good luck Dave

    #4897
    PeterW3035
    Member

    Wow! Sounds complicated & time consuming. I’m really aiming for the simple and quick. At present current plan is to follow tarp technology, army basha style.

    A straight forward over boom rectangular canvas ridge tent with ends that fold around to enclose if required. Rope girdle under the gunnel and across foredeck under the wash boards with velco tabs to keep the whole thing on.

    Basically a mk1 for simplicity but mk2 type hoops to hold out the sides seem good, I guess waterproofing where they press agianst the canvas will be an issue.

    What Mk tents are most popular with cruisers? Are there any mk2’s in use?

    Peter W3035

    #4898
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Ppeter,
    I used to use a Mk2 tent with plastic hoops to hold it in shape – it was made of PVC though and very difficult to seal the seams. I now have a nice simple Mk 1, although I reckon that a single hoop from rowlock hole to rowlock hole would justify it’s existence by the extra room it gave. I have also seen ralph Roberts Mk 2 tent. His is held in place by sail batten that passes through slots in his gunwale and then into small pockets in the hem of the tent. Locks the tent to the boat nively.
    To be honest I am perfectly happy with my Mk 1 as most of the time I only have the front half up for wind protection and all the living is in the open at the back of the cockpit (even sleeping).
    Your idea of a rope bridle is the best attachment method – most tents have velcro strips that pass under the bridle to fix the tent. This is very easy and quick – I can get my tent up in three minutes.
    Good luck,
    Matt
    W773

    #4900
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Peter.I think both your point and Matt’s support my point that you design the tent for its purpose. Margaret Dye wrote she and Frank only put up their MK3 if staying somewhere more than one night. My canvas awning (based on a MK3) was up for three weeks over the summer as our outdoor dining room nowhere near the boat! And our first night testing it on water we did not need a tent at all it was so warm and still (it did provide privacy from the twelve or so yatchs who thought the same about our secret hideaway). I would folow Matt’s design because for me the whole point of sleeping in the boat is to be surrounded by good scenery as you go to bed and wake up.

    My one curiosity is the best way to set up the rope girdle without any permanent fittings to the hull. Presumably you want any rain to run off the tent outside the hull and gunwhales so apart from the bow fitting and the aft points on the traveller I find I need two lengths of rope under the width of the hull to stop the girdle riding up (from its position under the lip of the gunwhales on the outside of the boat)…….is this the only way? Matt? Anyone?

    #4903
    PeterW3035
    Member

    I was planning to secure bridle with a couple of eyes screwed to the underside of the gunnel. However from Matt773’s reply the idea of a slot or a small hole sounds a very simple method of securing a rope with stopper knot.

    Certainly knot & hole is the simplest but most often forgotten method of securing things on a dinghy.

    I’ll just have to carefully seal the exposed timber grain in the stopper hole to avoid those nasty black water stains on my newly fitted decks.

    Peter W3035

    #4908
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I wouldn’t use the through gunwale system on a woodie – as you say risks getting water in end grain. Ralph’s was a World with a teak rubbung strip.
    I secured my bridle underneath the rubbing strip using small RWO hooks closed up in a vice. Very unobtrusive.
    Matt
    W773

    #4911
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the stuff on girdle fixings…….any issues anyone aware of when screwing self-tappers into the underside of a fibreglass gunwhale lip?

    #10218
    PeterW3035
    Member

    @W10143 wrote:

    Peter

    Try to find an old lichfield Challenger 4 or 5 tent with a viable flysheet – it is possible to use the flysheet alone with little modification. Pennine Outdoor http://www.pennineoutdoor.co.uk/ have bits to make it work.

    David

    I’m having a loft clear out and have a Lichfield Challenger 5 tent without poles that I acquired to use as the basis for a boat tent. The project never happened and I now have a purpose made tent. So would anyone like the tent, I’ll only need to cover the cost of postage plus a suitable donation to RNLI.

    Anyone tempted with a nice winter project?

    #10340
    revoli
    Member

    Peter

    Did you find a home for the tent?

    #10341
    PeterW3035
    Member

    It’s still here if you fancy it.

    #10366
    revoli
    Member

    Peter, I am trying to find some plans or description of how to convert that tent so I know what I am letting myself in for. Did you find any in your deliberations?

    #10367
    PeterW3035
    Member

    There are boat tent plans out there on the web, I don’t recall any specifically for this conversion. I was aiming to keep it simple and treat it more like a tarp with a bridle under the hull.

    I only paid £10 for the tent (no poles) so a donation of say a £5 to RNLI (plus cost of postage)and it’s yours.

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