Don’t Go Cruising Without Ventilation During Sideways Downpours

When we first bought sv Winterlude, there was a piece of cadet gray sunbrella laying on the bow.  No apparent reason, the prior owner didn’t tell us & we forgot to ask…  When we stumbled over it a few months later, we decided at one time he must have had a leaky place in the bow – either one of the hatches or something, so he constructed the perfectly sized and hemmed piece of sunbrella to keep out the leaks.

Fast forward a few months and we needed a small piece of cadet gray sunbrella for something, I can’t recall.  David snipped a piece out of that original bow canvas.  A few months after that we were constructing a canvas shade that would allow us to keep the main hatch open in all but serious sideways rain.  And so on.  Pretty soon the nice piece of canvas was gone and we forgot about it.

The original piece of Sunbrella on the bow - this was actually the very first time we ever saw our new floating home, in Ft Monroe, Virginia.

The original piece of Sunbrella on the bow – this was actually the very first time we ever saw our new floating home, in Ft Monroe, Virginia.

Until leaving the country to go cruising and you cannot imagine how much I would have killed to be able to keep my hatches open or at least cracked during a tropical squall, or week-long monsoon.  The Shadetree bow shade we bought works great for SHADE, but because it’s constructed to be able to walk about on deck under it, it did nothing to keep out blowing sideways rain.  And inside just kept getting hotter and stuffier and more miserable … year after year.

Our buddy boat had a piece of canvas that he tied to his lifelines just above the hatches for either rain or sun.  It wasn’t as good as our Shadetree (or so we thought at the time) because he couldn’t reach his bow in case of emergency without undoing several quick release ties.

On the other hand, no matter how long the monsoon, their hatches were open providing ventilation under their low to the deck canvas, ours were shut by necessity.

Our new bow cover - great for shade and rain.  We normally don't use it except for rain just because we like to keep the hammock on the bow when the weather is nice.  :)

Our new bow cover – great for shade and rain. We normally don’t use it except for rain just because we like to keep the hammock on the bow when the weather is nice. 🙂

When we returned to the US, and were in the process of redoing our cockpit enclosure/bimini/dodger, David had the canvas company fabricate a new bow shade.  Like sv Kristiana’s it is low to the deck, secures to the lifelines with quick release ties and keeps out most rain unless it is literally sideways.

And it allows us to leave our hatches open and doesn’t create too much extra windage during a storm since it’s low to the deck.    Maybe we should never have cut up that original canvas bow cover, just added quick release ties so it didn’t have to literally lie ON the deck.

Cruise and learn, we still learn something new about this lifestyle almost every day.  What do you use to keep hatches open during a serious week long windy monsoon?  Please leave a comment and share.  Cheers.   Jan

Comments

  1. Dominic Amann says:

    I’m thinking of making a bow-shade that can double as a wind-scoop. I just need to work out the shape and fastening points.

    • Interesting Dominic – if you get the logistics figured out, maybe you could send a photo? Not sure I’ve ever seen one that would actually keep out the rain and do double duty as a wind scoop. We have a 4 way wind scoop, as well as the traditional original. But we find in the tropics, we rarely needed either – and if we did put it up, it guaranteed it would rain in the middle of the night! Cheers – Jan

  2. It is nice to have a beautiful boat like that.

  3. Hey everyone, When I lived in St.Pete Fla in South Pasadena Marina, I did this arrangement a couple of times. I used the brown/silver tarps from Home Depot, a box of screws and washers, and a couple 4 sticks of electrical PVS 1/1 pipe. Drilled holes, wrapped the tarp onto the poles, screwed everything down, used lines to hold it up and tie it down on the edges, arranged the same way your sunbrella was set up, and I could crawl underneath it well enough to get around, and it held up in lots of blows, and turned the inside from literally 115 to 120 degrees when I would get home, to 97. Then I turned on the AC. It might have looked like the Clampettes, I’m sure some thought they saw a rocking chair, but it worked really really well. I ties the edges down to the life lines, so it wasn’t good at keeping blowing rain out, I often had the AC going to keep it dry so the windows were always closed.
    s/v Renasci

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