Made in the Shade: Awning Ideas

One of the cool things about cruising is all the interesting gear, systems, rigs, and canvas work we get to check out. Here are a couple of interesting approaches to tropical shade.

Awnings for cruising in the tropics

Above: When you spend lots of time in the cockpit or under a dodger or bimini, the sun’s radiation through the fabric can be quite uncomfortable. One way of getting around this is to use extra-heavy fabric. But this is hard to stow. The approach shown here, using a “space blanket” as a reflective shield makes a lot of sense. The space blanket is light, stores in a small area, and can be used for other purposes. These folks have added gromettes to the corners of their space blanket.

Awnings for cruising in the tropics

Having an awning which is stable in a good blow, and provides protection from low sun angles (especially late in the afternoon) are desirable traits. These folks have solved the design conundrum by using PVC pipe as battens, and making what is in effect a “quonset hut” type of design. The downside is the time it takes to set and strike this assembly. However, if you are living on board, pretty much tied to the dock and not moving that often, this approach makes a lot of sense.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 1, 2001)

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