Thursday, May 18, 2017

Boat Project: PDQ side hatch sun screen

The finished project

The problem

Concept, a baby sunshade for the side hatches on a PDQ 36 catamaran:
  • The sun always seems to hit one side of the boat more than the other while anchored.  
  • Bonus--we only need one (it can be moved side to side, less storage space)
  • Also may act as a wind scoop?
  • Provides moderate rain protection?
  • Provides UV protection for fenders and/or SUP
  • Easy on & easy off.  One person installation.  No d@mn snaps!

The inspiration

Back story
One day, after hanging out laundry, I realized the laundry hanging on the life lines, had the added bonus of shading the bright sun from coming in our two large side hatches.  Hmmmm.

We've been on a lot of catamarans that have some kind of cockpit shade that runs from the hard bimini to the lifelines.  A friend explained their set-up could attach to the lifelines or the toe rail, depending on need.  They also only had ONE since the sun is usually only on one side!  This set-up is difficult on our boat since it would block the main walkway.  However, after sitting and studying a neighbor catamaran's set-up (two solar panels as their "bimini roof" with side sunshades attached from the solar panels to the life lines), I walked down below.  

Outside view of what we are trying to shade

Dang!  The sun is really shining on the starboard side of the boat!  Some days, I even close those hatches and put the insulation in. Then lightbulb!  A baby sunshade from hand rail to the life lines!  Apparently I was talking out loud, because The Captain said, "Huh?" and followed me as I ran back out on deck.  At first he was puzzled, then he started to picture it.  "It could also be a wind scoop".  YES!

The scribbled concept

We have a roll of black canvas to match dodger and a roll of black webbing
Using the lower hand rails leaves the normal walkway open
Measured for second life line but took webbing attachment it to the toe rail
A minor error left the shade longer than originally intended.  It "almost" reaches the side head hatch.
Boat is curved so it ended up with a bulge.  Added a dart
The result

Still get indirect sunlight & airflow.
Easy on & easy off
May make a second one to cover the SUP (protects from UV) instead of using the dinghy cover.

Con:  I have to hang the laundry on the other side or move the sunshade.

Share your feedback and improvement ideas.  Show us your sunshades!

Another View

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