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Good day!

We made the maiden yoage and had some awsome sailing (it is still unbeliveable that it really works). I am absolutely happy how unspectacular everything somehow does the strick.

But at the anchor wind and rain make life on the platform hard. So here is my request: How to make a simple DIY deck tent?

It should enclose the main hatches in a way that the cover can still be opened. I thought about it quite a time but have come to no conclusion yet. Please tell me your solutions. As always photos are very welcome.

fair winds


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I've just picked up an old Vango Venture 500 tent. It fits over both main hatches. I can stand easily. The hatches open without a problem. I will buy camp beds so when we sleep on the platforms we will be out of any rain water comes in. 

See here

I plan on sewing up a tent like this one for Beto.


I like the availability of venting with this style, much like an ultralite backpacking tarp.

As well as the Vango, I have a deck tent to Wharram's design. I'm missing the poles at the moment, but have found replacements. The reason for delaying fitting out the original tent is that I'm not impressed by the way the poles fix to the decks. I'll try to find a picture showing this later.

All this make me think about other possible designs a bit like those shown in Brad's reply. I think using a halyard and the mast as a support is an obvious opportunity. Unlike in Brad's link, the Tiki 21 does not have a boom, but a boat hook or similar could be used. Perhaps the main sail in a mast mounted bag with the gaff could be used as a ridge pole.

The other design problem is how to keep rain off the platforms. The Wharram design attempts this by tucking the tent between the platform and the centre beam just where the platforms sit on the lower edge of the beam. This is not elegant, but going over the beam with the tent material means you have to go around the mast. This is difficult.

If anyone can share alternative designs, I'd be delighted to see them. This is a nice design problem and a really good solution could transform the boat's utility.

I think that guy has a Tiki Rig, and lashes a boat hook to the gaff to extend it back. I think Rory's deck tent was a cool design. He had basically the same setup , but with a water collection system. If you sort through his pictures you can see the tent and get some ideas. It looks like it was pretty spacious!

My Tiki 21 came with a custom-made full coverage sunbrella deck tent. I never use it even though I overnight quite often. The reasons why I don't use it are that it takes a lot of effort to fully assemble (and then disassemble), if the wind comes up once the tent is up things can get dangerous quickly because of the windage (think lee shore in 20 knots), and it is far more snug and warm sleeping in the cabins. I would only consider using it if I was staying a week in a very protected location. What I DO use instead is a simple tarp thrown over the gaff and secured with bungees - because I can get it down in a minute if the wind gets up. Just some things to consider before investing hundreds of dollars/hours making a custom tent.

Good points Roger. I've used a tarp with just two people and it works well. In fact, I think much of the time in sheltered conditions I'd be happy just using the tarp to cover kit removed from the hulls to make room to sleep. The hulls are really comfortable. It's different when we go with the two adults and two kids, here we need to sleep on deck and in the hulls. Wind is definitely a big factor. I think our local climate and coastal characteristics are different from yours and Pius'. For me, we generally will be heading up the rivers for the night and hiding on pontoons and mariners in bad weather (when the family is out). I quite like the idea of have options aboard for different situations.

Interesting debate...


Wharram have frames available for the Tiki deck tent. The frame set comes with the required hinges and a plan so that you can get the tent made. 

I have one in transit at the moment. It looks like a nice design which folds down and sits in behind the mast; there is a cover you can make too to secure it to the deck. Looks like it would be really simple and quick to put up or down. 

I dealt with Emma at Wharram - email is - James Wharram Designs <wharram@wharram.com>

Cheers Jay 

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