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Here is a new solution to cockpit enclosures.

http://www.boattent.com/

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Hi. With marc Ginesty, the french naval architect of Douarnenez, we had come up with the plan to do an inflatable deck tent, more than 10 years ago, for my first Wharram a Tiki 28. We simply could not find in France the technical compétences that are required to seal, glue and keep airtight neoprene tubes of the kind that humanitarian associations use in their barnums to keep infllated big tents. Best to you JM

I've been investigating inflatable tent design for my Tiki 21. Such a tent would solve the problem of threading long ridged poles while standing on deck, where care is necessary to avoid one-in-the-eye or dragging pole ends in the water. I'm considering a simple arch shaped tunnel with ridge support from a halyard. Inflatable tubes would be used to add shape and make headroom near the sides.

For those interested in building their own, you might consider buying spares from a company like Vango, see:

Inflatable Poles

I will be doing some experiments within flat hose, just as soon as I get some time.  

Why not use the same tech that kiteboarding kites use? They use a polyethylene (?) Bladder inside a reinforced ripstop nylon sleeve, You can pick up used kites several years old for peanuts, especially pre 2006-7. I'm sure that someone with a modicum of sewing skills could canabilise an old kite and come up with a nice workable design...

Marty

These guys have been making such inflatable tents for a while: X-GLOO

Good quality stuff made in Germany, but not cheap and they are a bit large, starting at 4x4 meters.

R

Robert's picture above is enticing. I think an inflatable dome design along these lines would work well on my Tiki 21.

You can see my framed version of this on my boat. This tent works well in a sheltered areas. The problem is the long poles. It's just a bit too difficult to erect and strike. 

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