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G'day, I am looking for feedback or comments from Tiki 21 or 26 owners about the Wharram-designed deck tent (pros and cons).  We will be sailing in cold water/cool climates.  Thanks for that.  Cheers

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Hi Scott. I used to own a T21. Sailed the gulf out of Auckland and used the deck tent extensively. Made all the difference once anchored. It did not take long to set up or stack away, but I envied those with bigger boats who did not have to spend those few extra minutes setting up accommodation after anchoring. I was able to motor with the tent up- somewhat restricted view, but was never a problem.
When folded it was in a plastic-type cover which kept it dry. Was never in the way when down. If i had another T21 (I feel I should not have sold mine...) I would definitely have another deck tent. Maybe a mod to have it also double up as a spray shield and weather protection (for the better half) when sailing. Cheers Carl

Hi Carl.  Thanks for sharing your experiences with using a deck tent on your T21.  That was a great endorsement and helped us make up our minds.  When we finish building, we will be sailing in Tassie waters.  Cheers, Scott 

Hi Scott and Carl, I've got a Tiki 21 also, getting on to 30 yrs old now, but have recently been getting serious about a deck tent. I'm in Sydney Australia and wondered whether either of you can give me any suggestions for people to manufacture, or other hints on material type or anything useful you may have gleaned. I was planning to go with the original tent design that came with the plans - the fold down igloo type shape. Cheers Peter

Hi Scot, I'm particularly interested in this discussion. I have a tent to the Wharram design for my 21, but am missing the poles. I've been using an old Vango Venture 600 with the extension folded back. I might remodel this to remove the extension as it's a good fit on the boat. The advantage with this tent is the headroom, although it might not be so good in bad weather.

My intention is to fix up the old tent with new poles. The delay has been to do with the deck fixings. I don't like the Wharram design, which is a little crude. I'm looking into some more modern fixings such as these:

These are by Railblaza. 

hi there, 

good to hear your experiences Carl. I have just received a set of poles and hinges from Wharram in the UK and am getting a local sail maker to make up the tent. 

We sail on Lake Taupo which can be cold and wet for sure. 

Seems a great concept, looking forward to trying it out though this won't be for a couple more months as Shag Palace is out of the water for some winter sprucing up and addition of electrics. 

Cheers Jay 

We've been so focused on finishing the boat and getting her into the water, so what to do about a deck tent has been put on a back burner.  I will say we are thinking of designing something ourselves to suit our needs, or having a tentmaker design a tent with more modern poles and fabric.  We spend a lot of time in the mountains and use a Hilleberg design tent and have considered contacting them about designing a deck tent.  Hilleberg designs 4 season, lightweight mountaineering tents that withstand high winds, cold temperatures in all sorts of weather and are used in remote locations from the desert to the arctic.  Summer is a long way away and I think the first season we will focus on sailing and then work out what we want in a tent.  I will say I kind of like the original pram design, but the technology and lightweight strength of what is available now is way beyond the original.

Hi guys. Been a while since I sold the boat, but have retained fond memories. I bought the boat with the deck tent, and would say it was built to plan. I'm sure you are correct, Scott, that the design could be improved upon and more modern and lighter fabrics / poles could be used quite successfully. Saying that, the tent was not particularly heavy and the fact that it folded out of the way when sailing was great. I have seen simpler structures in the form of a "wigwam", simply held up by the main sheet and ends tied to the boat, which worked just as effectively, and gave better headroom than mine did. As mentioned previously the deck tent was a valuable piece of equipment for me as it made the boat more liveable once anchored.

Peter, as far as your queries go, if I were to have one built, I would use a heavier canvas in or reinforce certain areas which tend to scuff and wear thin very quickly. The flap facing aft needs a bit of a rethink too- that's where a modern flexible pole would come in very handy to give it shape. Good luck with that and send some pics through when you can.

Cheers - Carl

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I've used various make-shift arrangements like polytarps over my long oar and tent flys stretched using mainsheet and halyards, but nothing satisfactory. Going for head height led to the occasional near disaster like it becoming a sail and dragging anchor in dead of night, so I keep coming back to a folding frame like the original design, but no doubt the technology available has moved on. Carl thanks for your comment re the aft flap, and Jay do I understand you correctly that Wharram Designs sell poles and fittings as per original design? Peter

Peter, I emailed Wharram yesterday and they say they've sold the last of the poles.

Well I must say my Tiki 28 came with such a deck tent, heavy canvas with 5 meters long inox rods. IT was cumbersome to carry IT on board, IT took between 60 to 90 minutes for a solitaire sailor to put it up, And of course you could not do it in anything above 10 knots of wind. And you had to take it down in a hurry if the wind was in excess of 15 knots, otherwise it was a monster sail of sorts that would happily drag you, the boat, the chaîne And the CQR anchor from even shallow waters and stable sand grounds. I would advise strongly against it, even though I must admit it provided a new comfy room over the cockpit. I called that ugly thing the monster And was glad to be got rid of it.

HI Peter, yes you are correct. I dealt with Emma from Wharram. Their tent maker has retired and last year they had a complete tent with poles for sail - the last one made by him. I missed out on that but was advised they have/had sets of poles with hinges which is what I now have. They are 25mm alu poles with alu hinges. Hinges get fitted to deck. 

Cheers Jay

oh just read Ian's post. Thats a shame. Wouldn't be very hard to get these made. I'll take some photos and can measure pole lengths and angles if you like. 

Jay, please please do put up some photos of the pole angle pieces. I can work out the angles from a photo if you would be kind enough to photograph them on a flat surface. With that and the pole lengths, I can move forward with my tent.

Thanks in advance.

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