For a while I've been thinking about one idea I picked up from Wind Horse and another from a Blue Water Sailing article. Wind Horse has awnings over their decks which allow them to keep their hatches open when it rains. The last thing you want to do when you are in the tropics is close up when the rain comes. The BWS article was a discussion about how big a watermaker to have on board and was written by an Australian. The article recommended a minimum watermaker as long as you could catch water. I liked both ideas but had not put 2 + 2 together until we got to La Cruz, Mexico.
Originally I was going to catch water off the pilot house roof and I had not really thought much about an awning for the foredeck. Then, the light bulb went on. If I ran a ridgeline from the front pennant holder to the front of the pilot house top, I could have an awning that worked as a tent over the foredeck providing shade. The tent could be attached back along the foredeck railing to the Portuguese Bridge and then up along the pilot house roof with snaps. The front of the pilot house would also be in the shade. Wind could come under the railing providing cooling air and the hatches could be left open in the rain. The coup-de-gras is that the port side of the tent could be set up to catch water. Yummy.
So I called on the net for canvas maker recommendations and hooked up with Full Sail Canvas who came out to discuss the design and take measurements. I liked their design and signed up. They agreed to deliver within 5 days and the price was $1,300 US which I thought was pretty good for the size of the awning and the features. Below are photos of the final product. The only flaw in the execution is the location of the water hose fitting, which should be at the bottom of the gutter instead of the side.
Looking out the front of the wheelhouse.
Looking forward on the starboard side. Note the hose fitting in the lower right hand corner. This is where we will hook up a hose and run it to the forward tank fill pipe.
Looking forward along the starboard side of the bow. Note the screen that covers the gutter and the vinyl lip that directs the water into the gutter.
Looking forward from the Portuguese bridge where there is full headroom.
Looking aft from the bow.
We used straps and snap buckles to anchor the sides to the rails. The snap buckles allow for a very quick release in case there is an emergency that us to operate the windlass.
The forward ridgeline anchor is the front of the railing where the pennant flag holder provides a perfect tie down point.
Looking forward from on top of the pilothouse. We used turn snaps spaced 6 inches apart to take the load of a downpour in the tropics.
The aft ridgeline anchor is a cleat mounted on the pilothouse roof.
Views from the water.