November 2008 --
This awning is really a sun awning, not a rain awning, so I made it from light weight Sunbrella. Making full awnings from heavy Sunbrella would require too much storage space.
It's to provide shade under hot tropical sun.
The dinghy is just there for now, but I expect
that when I put the awning up, the dinghy will be in the water, or hanging
from a halyard.
The front edge is tied up to the forestay.
I thought about making something special for this, but realized that any piece of rope will do.
To protect the sail, I can just wrap a towel around it.
The ridge line is two inch tubular nylon webbing. That should be good and strong.
I covered it with scraps on Sunbrella for UV protection, since this awning
will be set up in the bright sunshine
for extended periods.
At either end, the webbing is sewn
over a D Ring, and protected with
Sunbrella on the outside and
a scrap of leather on the inside.
The front and back edges also are reinforced with webbing, sewn into the hem, and a line of Gore-Tex thread added for UV protection.
As usual, I used about twice as much thread as necessary.
Oh Well. The white Dacron thread will definitely rot away with UV exposure before everything else, so the seam is folded over twice and half the thread is hidden.
I also ran two lines of Gore-Tex (Tenara) thread down the ridge. That thread isn't very strong, but is incredibly UV resistant, and will hold things together well so that I can replace the Dacron when it starts to fail.
The forward tie downs have to lead to the life lines, just to provide enough shade to make the awning work.
However, I'll probably figure out
an easy way to unclip it.
The sides are lined with brass grommets,
so that it can be secured well
if it looks like the breeze will pick up.
The whole thing can be
lowered easily, if that will
provide more shade.
I don't think I'll ever raise it higher, as that will reduce the amount of shade. However, I have some flexible fiberglass tent poles, and if necessary will sew pockets in the corners for the poles.
So, that should help keep
the boat interior cooler
when the sun is blazing down.
Because this awning is intended to be up all the time, I didn't want to block foredeck access.
So the aft tied downs lead to the shrouds, making it easy to walk around it.
At the moment, though, I just hang the dinghy over the foredeck hatch.
After all, we're entering the rainy season in Northern California, and this setup lets me keep the foredeck hatch open during a storm.
The bow of the dink is suspended by a halyard, and held
down with one of
the dinghy tie-down straps.
I can raise the bow up and catch a breeze and get some light, but it won't fly away in a storm.