Cool in the Shade? Awnings!

It was our sailing club’s 30th anniversary party this weekend in Annapolis. Happy Birthday Pentagon Sailing Club! So we had a land and sea cruise with a big bash. Some folks went on for a week on the Chesapeake Bay. We had iffy weather, but somehow the rain squalls came at times that didn’t interrupt the partying or time on the water.

While we were at Port Annapolis Marina (very nice), we took our dinghies around Back Creek. Lovely homes, lovely boats. So my husband says let’s dinghy over to look at this beautiful red yacht. OK, I love red boats. I’ve thought so ever since we saw one in BVI with the most handsome crew of men in blue shorts and crisp white polos but I digress further. What does this have to do with sewing for boats? The reason we went to see the red yacht was because it had the “perfect awning”.  My husband wants me to make one before we head south next year. Ah, I get it now. Not a romantic dinghy ride by ourselves. It was a scouting mission for the details of a perfect awning. Simple design, nice light fabric, rests on the boom, goes around the lazy jacks (somehow?) and extends over the main cabin.

So I’m starting the research for the details of the perfect awning. Material (light, durable but easy to store), fittings to connect to halyards, etc. Who’s already solved this one?

5 thoughts on “Cool in the Shade? Awnings!

  1. I built an awning for our Perry 47 center cockpit that extended from the mast to the stern rail. It was made from rip stop nylon. I did white with blue side panels. I used webbing the entire length in three strips (one about 2 feet in from each side and one down the center) leaving a loop at each end (doubled back onto itself) to tie on to with 1/8″ line. It was split at the back stay with snaps to keep it closed. I sewed loops every 18″ or so down the sides to attach to the shrouds and lifelines. I cut out a panel at the gate and the entrance to the cockpit to make it easier to board leaving a connection to the awning so that it could be rolled up or snapped down. The entire thing was 16′ wide x 24′ long overall. It fits into a two gallon ziploc when not in use. I will have to modify it when we get the lazy jacks installed to split and reattach similarly to the back stay. I hope that this helps!

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