March 2009 --
Like the foredeck awning, this awning is
for shade, not to keep rain off.
I used lightweight Sunbrella. Heavy sunbrella would take too much storage space.
I also didn't want a "big huge cruiser awning." They're really nice, but storage is important.
Unlike the foredeck awning, this one wasn't custom fit.
I want flexibility to rig it up in different ways, based on circumstances.
There is a front and a back.
The front edge is two feet wider, to let it ride up on the boom as the sail stacks higher.
Other than that, it's just a big square awning.
The top, however, is heavy Sunbrella.
I'm making this from material that was left over from other projects, and
the heavy stuff was just rolled up
in the corner.
Also, I might tie a flexible solar panel on top as well, so the heavy Sunbrella will provide some support.
There are two D Rings at the forward edge, so the awning can be tied forward
to the shrouds and reduce chafe against
the sail cover.
A two inch tube of nylon webbing, covered with scraps
runs along the ridge line.
I sunk a grommet in each end,
so that it can be stretched really tight.
Major stress points on the seams are reinforced with two inch nylon webbing.
The small pieces were sewn into the hem,
to relieve stress around the grommets.
After the test fit, I noticed that the awning will chafe
against the top of the
two aft cowls.
So, I took it home and added a big square of heavy Sunbrella there, so that it won't wear through.
I was running out of nylon webbing,
so I cut the remaining feet into small pieces, using a hot knife.
It doesn't cover the side decks,
to provide easy access forward .
It can be tied to the lifelines
if too much heat radiates
from the side decks.
The steep angle should
provide shade in the afternoon.
I set up the foredeck awning
just to think about it.
There's a big space between the two awnings. That's okay,
since that's where all the lines
fall from the rig.
Easy access is important,
to raise and lower the dinghy,
and other stuff.
I'm going to make a small panel for each side, to be tied
between the two awnings. That'll provide shade,
if it is really needed.
Maybe I just should have made a big monster
awning for the whole boat. We'll see.
If a monster awning turns out to be a better idea, I'll just have to make one.