Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The boat tent

well at long last I managed to get around to the boat tent. I was determined to do it this weekend having worked the last three Sunday's, ten to twelve hours each time. I promised myself this would be my weekend task.

The original tent was baggy and had to be secured at the top with boat building plastic clamps. This time, I fashioned a hoop out of gas plumbing pipe and then I attached the starboard side of the tent, stretching it across the boom and down to the other port side. Here, I trimmed it to shape, following the lower rubbing strake. I then spent thirty minutes folding over the cut edges and taping them with strong tarpaulin tape and duct tape. Another thirty minutes was spent marking out, cutting and inserting brass eyes. It was fun bashing them with the metal templates....worked out plenty of built up frustration bought home from work.

The upshot is that the tent now fits far better and there is plenty of room in the cockpit and far less danger of brushing damp sides.  I've decided that the topping lift will stay attached but loosened and pulled back towards the Mizzen mast and then tied off around that mast. The boom crutch remains in use, stored on the port side under the deck. The pipe fits under the side deck threaded along the inside of the coaming on starboard side.

The ends of the tent are tied off with bungee cord and allow sufficient breeze to pass through the tent without it being a gale. The bow end also allows easy access to the anchor well. I can roll back the tent from either end and should be able to start the engine and move the boat in the night should I ever need to.

I also replaced the tiller extension. The other one was splitting and tape and screws weren't holding it and attempts to glue it up again had failed. The new one is dowel and smoother. It has been oil finished. It has been extended slightly by about 20cm and means I can sit further forward in the boat.

The boat tent now fits inside the huge forward underdeck locker, all rolled up and marked so that I know which end is which. All being well, I should be able to assemble the tent in less than ten minutes. Well that is the aim!

Roll on Easter. 


Stuart said...

The tent looks good, Steve. I especially liked the video - it helps to see it all come together. I found that you have to be careful to buy proper brass eyes and not the "brassed" ones which corrode very quickly as I've found to my cost. I also find that you can get plastic eyes (usually from a camping shop) which avoid corrosion problems and are pretty sturdy. I like how your tent fixes on the outboard. It must help with getting rid of any condensation. And the invention of plastic pipe is a nice cheap option for tent supports amongst many other uses.
Great job!

steve said...

Thanks Stuart
We will see how it fairs in next few months

Joel Bergen said...

Nice work on the boom tent, Steve. I can tell already that I need to make one out of white tarp. It looks so much brighter inside. And happy birthday Steve!

awhitecat said...

Looks like a sensible, practical solution, Steve. So much room to live in and any condensation is going to exit overboard!


steve said...

I hope so Mike. I tried it out with a poorer fitting tent last summer in Falmouth and got wet. Very wet. The water soaked through the top and collected in the furled sails below and dripped all night. I am hoping that increased side tension and addition of hoop may well sort that. Time will tell!