“The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind”*…so if we scoop up lots of air we’ll have all the answers to life’s questions? Or we’ll just have happy husbands who like to nap under a big breeze at anchor? I’ll be glad when I have found the perfect wind scoop (WS) design.
I’ve made two wind scoops with different designs. Sure I could have bought a kit or copied a design from a book. Or heaven forbid – bought one**. (There are several styles on the market that you’ve probably seen deployed, but they can be pricey.) But noooo I have an engineer for a husband. He draws plans on napkins at dock bars and says “here make this”. (The more wine, the more complex the design.) So why have I made two different designs if he came up with the idea? Because an engineer is never satisfied. Wind Scoop 2.0 is bigger and better and scoops more wind (and thus more answers, err better naps?). I’m not worried though. I know Wind Scoop 3.0 is coming because we didn’t build in the baffle to keep rain out (or some Phifertex screening to reduce rain intrusion). Actually I can foresee Wind Scoop 1.1 might make a debut because the first WS was the design that caught air from all directions – just not enough of it. WS 2.0 is a really big box open on one side. Isn’t it great having your own sewing machine and being a Seamless Sailor with plenty of time? You just keep trying till you get it right!
Wind Scoop 1.0: This was a multi-directional, triangular design to catch wind from any direction. Secret trick: The base had casings for two 1×1 wood lengths attached with a nut so they would open to form an X to hold it open and down inside the hatch opening. The casings were open at the X to allow for the nut. The nylon from the local fabric shop was too light and not easy to work with and the triangular sides weren’t deep enough, although it was tall enough. I used simple hems on the edges. At the top I sewed a loop for a line with a bowline attaching it. I liked this design. It was enough air for me, but I don’t need gale force winds blowing into the cabin. This one may be worthy of a remake.
Wind Scoop 2.0: I liked the 8 ounce nylon I used on Wind Scoop 2.0 better. It is easy to sew as it isn’t as slippery as lighter nylon. It didn’t pucker in the machine either. It is wearing well in the wind. I used UV thread (V46 or 69). (Sunbrella or similar fabric would work also.) This design has a casing on the top for PVC pipe to hold open the top WS square. It’s basically a big rectangular box with one side open (about 54″ high). If there was a wind shift we’d need to turn and resnap it. We ran line from the corners of the pipe up to a hook that attaches to a halyard or end of the boom, etc. There are snaps at the bottom corners that attach to the inside corner snaps on the square hatch. Secret trick: attach at least the two front snaps on the WS to short pieces of elastic sewn to the hem to allow some give with the wind. This is my husband’s favorite design because it can produce almost gale force winds rushing into the cabin.
Or maybe one of you has found the perfect wind scoop design? Preference for multi-directional, canopy or box? Please do tell!
*Apologies to Bob Dylan
**The Boat Galley has a post on good wind scoops for sale. But really for a Seamless Sailor this is a pretty easy sewing task!
Resources for wind scoop designs:
Sailrite – offers hatch canopy kits and instructions
Jim Grant’s book, The Complete Canvasworkers Guide and these websites talk about his and Terry Sargent’s wind scoop designs with an inner flap, baffle or “fence” to keep rain out. http://phoenixketch.blogspot.com/2013/10/squall-proof-wind-scoop.html http://yachtvalhalla.net/articles/windscoop/windscoop.html
Karen Lipe’s book Big Book of Boat Canvas has a four way wind chute with a “lid” making it more rain averse.
Rainproof design here https://cindysisland.wordpress.com/category/boat-projects/canvas/
Another blog idea here. http://www.controlledjibe.com/2012/04/10/how-to-build-a-windscoop/
Design similar to Wind Scoop 2.0 with a “skirt” to hold it open.
Clever, simple low profile design using grommets and bungees here
Cruising World blog post on cooling including wind scoops
Just about all the books listed on the Books Resources page have wind scoop, wind catchers or hatch canopies.
Several online forums have discussions on wind scoops to include ideas using tarps and old sails
Updated July, 2016