New Shades

newshadeOne thing you can count on sailing is to be exposed to a lot of sun. Tahina has a bimini (a roof over our cockpit area) that provides a lot shade, but Tahina also has a lot of other deck that is exposed to the sun. We have discussed many times getting some awnings to cover more of the cockpit, and more of our decks. We have envied other boats that had much more shade protection. But, it wasn’t until we got to Singapore and Malaysia that we found it a real necessity. The sun this close to the equator is blazingly hot. If it wasn’t for the air conditioner we have been using at the marinas we would be miserable.

Fortunately, when we got to Pangkor Marina for our boatyard work, we discovered a South African couple on a boat here who are riggers and make awnings. Chris and Lynne were in the boatyard at the same time as us, so they couldn’t start work until after we got back into the water. This is why we have stayed longer at Pangkor.

They first worked a couple of days on the main awning covering the front part of the boat. This goes from the mast to the bows and provides a lot of shade, and protection from rain, while still allowing the breeze to come through the boat. The photo above shows it shortly after completion. The material is called Weathermax and is reportedly as strong, and provides as much UV protection, as Sunbrella. But, it is much lighter. It’s also made by a company based in North Carolina. Chris and Lynne are real pros at this and have helped us keep the design as simple to install and take down as possible, while still enabling a taut fit so the shades can stay up in even moderately windy conditions.

Next, they worked on the cockpit awnings which cover the sides of the cockpit, and a bit forward so we can have good shade coverage. We can leave this cover up even on calm or light-wind sailing while underway. But, especially while at anchor or in a marina.

The final project is the center section which will cover the salon – our main living area inside. This one will be particularly important for reducing the temperature inside the boat on blazing sunny days.

The amazing thing is that this really creates a lot more space for us to hang out on the boat. We set up some chairs on the front deck and can just sit out there when there’s a nice breeze. I can also set up the hammock near the trampolines and lay out in comfort and shade. The cockpit shades are making a surprising difference to the comfort level there.

Here is an album showing the awnings and the shade they create. I’ll add photos of the middle section when they are completed.


View full-sized slideshow

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3 Responses to New Shades

  1. Looks nice! We’re looking at having some new awnings made here in Miri. Love having SE Asia labor rates to do some improvements… and we could use that “extra space” on deck.

  2. Kerry Mettert says:

    Awnings look nice. Keep cool! Sorry to hear about the slow progress of your eye healing. It must be difficult to have to have a restriction on your swimming, snorkeling and diving time. That is half of the fun in owning a boat and being on the water. Having more shade will help keep the direct sun out of your eyes too.

  3. Steve Sack says:

    Wishing you good future progress on eye recovery. I have been using soft contacts since 1976 when I had them prescribed by an eye doctor in Taiwan where I was working at the time. So, with 37 years of soft lens experience – and never suffered an infection – but did abrade my cornea a couple of times – here is what I found to be best combination.
    Using Ciba Vision Air Optix Night and Day Aqua lenses.
    Wear for a week in between overnight cleaning and soaking in Opti-Free Express Lasting Comfort solution by Alcon.
    Using Refresh Tears moisture drops by Allergan for lubrication and comfort.
    Using Oakley’s Half Jacket sunglasses with the new Emerald Jade polarized lenses which are fantastic and provide great coverage of the eye for protection when in dust or sand.
    Using prescription glasses with no line optical curve for when I do not wear the contacts. These have UV activated sun shielding.
    I do not know if this is of any use at this point in time, but feel free to ask if you wish more information.

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