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Old 09-07-2016, 10:28 PM   #1
FOG
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Retractable awnings.

Has anyone used a retractable awning as an overhang for their side decks?
My boat, a Prairie 36, doesn't have overhangs for the side decks. When it rains I have to close the salon windows and doors so things don't get wet. I would like to leave them open for those days that it rains and I want some ventilation but don't want to turn on the AC. CaptTom made a similar comment in a recent thread so I believe he has the same desire. He also has a Prairie 36.
My dock neighbor has a Mainship with some nice overhangs. I have looked at his boat and drawn some rough plans for some "wings" that I could make out of foam, glass over and then bolt to the sides of my flybridge. But that is a lot of work.
So why not retractable awnings bolted to the sides of the flybridge. I have one on my RV and it works great. I've also seen very large ones installed on homes. What are your thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:34 PM   #2
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On a previous boat we put an awning track, or keder track, on the side of the cabin above the windows. We could slide a large piece of sunbrella into the track and velcro it to the side rails. We did it in San Diego for sun shade, but it could also work just as well for rain. Much better than having a huge awning permanently installed. Took about 3 minutes to put up of take down.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
On a previous boat we put an awning track, or keder track, on the side of the cabin above the windows. We could slide a large piece of sunbrella into the track and velcro it to the side rails. We did it in San Diego for sun shade, but it could also work just as well for rain. Much better than having a huge awning permanently installed. Took about 3 minutes to put up of take down.
That's a great idea and inexpensive. I was looking for something that I could leave up for both rain and shade as you suggested, but still walk underneath.

Having sunbrella fastened to my side rails would require the Admiral to crouch way down when walking the side decks, and she's only 5'.

However, I've always thought a boat is nothing more than a floating bucket of compromises ............... and this may turn out to be one of them for us.
Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:30 AM   #4
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RV sources have awnings for a single window , if that would work.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:57 AM   #5
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I like that idea of window awnings but most RV types have an internal spring that will rust and make them inoperable after a period of time. A friend just replaced the inner springs on a couple of his after spending the winter in the Keys.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
On a previous boat we put an awning track, or keder track, on the side of the cabin above the windows. We could slide a large piece of sunbrella into the track and velcro it to the side rails. We did it in San Diego for sun shade, but it could also work just as well for rain. Much better than having a huge awning permanently installed. Took about 3 minutes to put up of take down.
+1... did the same and it worked well. I also thought with a little creative design it could also be snapped over the windows when leaving for extended times.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:53 AM   #7
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Following this thread with great interest. It would be nice to have both shade and rain protection for those enormous side windows, but I haven't figured out a way yet.

I'm liking the idea of a track for a removable sunbrella awning.

On a similar note, I bought a ready-made sun shade (big square piece of fabric) that I'm trying to figure out how to rig over the sundeck. I'm thinking of snaps on the flybridge bimini and two poles mounted pointing up from the aft rail of the sundeck.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:58 AM   #8
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Retractable awnings.

Something like this would be nice

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http://www.seaworthygoods.com/store.html
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:04 AM   #9
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Our 16' Airstream uses an awning made by Zip Dee. I met the man who owns that company once and he is an avid sailor. Maybe he will have an idea or two...
Can't hurt to call and ask.
I will caution you that you really do want to ask for the owner. I have successfully asked for him and been connected...
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:06 AM   #10
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http://www.autobarn.net/sunrearwinsu.html

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Wonder if this truck rear window visor would work for larger pilothouse or salon windows?
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Following this thread with great interest.

On a similar note, I bought a ready-made sun shade (big square piece of fabric) that I'm trying to figure out how to rig over the sundeck.
I'm thinking of snaps on the flybridge bimini and two poles mounted pointing up from the aft rail of the sundeck.
You might consider Zip instead of snaps on the bridge - 100% connection and easy on/off
also rod holders will sometimes work well for holding the vertical poles

I've also seen boats use a rod holder (or PVC/alum/SS tubing attached to rail) and a conventional patio table umbrella - sounds tacky but actually not bad looking if the fabric soordinates w/ the boat. Some have had 2 mtg locations - Port & Stbd so you can reposition according to sun direction
I've seen some that were made w/ Sunbrella exactly matching the boat canvas
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:29 AM   #12
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We have something along the lines of what comodave described and use it for those long rainy days above the side door. Works well and stays put under some pretty strong storm winds.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:05 AM   #13
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We have the same issue with the Pilothouse doors. When it is wet (most of the year here) we get water in the PH whenever we open the doors. I did see a GB one time that had small Sunbrella awnings over their PH door. It came out about 6" and seemed to be pretty effective.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:33 AM   #14
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Our 'Europa' has about 20" overhang. Seems quite effective for both sun and rain. A little more would be nice occasionally.

I've been on one trawler (not a Europa) with sunshades that were affixed to the flybridge and down to the rail. Made the interior quite dark and removed the pleasure of looking out at the world, also tended to block breezes.

Perhaps a rectangular bit of Sunbrella laced to a light frame could be hung over the windows and swing up to store alongside the flybridge. When up, it would look like the fabric railing covers some folks use. It could be deployed horizontally, or even flat down over the windows.

I think powered awnings as in Fog's initial post would be overkill, expensive, and maybe not sufficiently marine quality. They're usually quite a bit wider, too, and would require heroic effort to mount strongly enough. It would be dandy for our back porch (if the roof edge were straight) or someone else's sundeck!

I'd love to deploy an outdoor ceiling fan and awning over our back porch on Revel, rather like what we did over our patio.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folivier View Post
I like that idea of window awnings but most RV types have an internal spring that will rust and make them inoperable after a period of time. A friend just replaced the inner springs on a couple of his after spending the winter in the Keys.
Do you know how long they worked before the springs needed replacement?
And how difficult it is to replace the springs?
Maybe a SS spring replacement is possible to extend reliability?
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:38 AM   #16
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"Do you know how long they worked before the springs needed replacement?"

Because of there location few are painted, a rattle can might solve any problem.

With a female style track , simply slipping them in place is a quick cure.

WE have a 10 ft track and canvas for the PH fwd windows that also helps ventilation with the windows swung open .
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:13 AM   #17
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He had zipdee awnings with the inner spring similar to a garage door spring. Normally these last almost forever but he spends 2-3 months in the keys each winter. Not too difficult to change if they aren't seized up in the aluminum tube.
I like the idea of using SS tubing frames with Sunbrella.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:54 AM   #18
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Retractable awnings.

I'm not particularly fond of the 'look' but the PO installed the bolt rope aluminum tracks. Click image for larger version

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ID:	56177 He had these 'curtains' made to snap down over Windows to give UV protection to the plastic Windows/Frames. They are made of heavy plastic weave which are about 30% see through. They roll up and snap when underway.


I have had them down in a rainstorm with the windows open. And almost all of the rain just flows down the outside of the curtains. Only a little splatter gets on the screens. And less comes in the boat.

But in retrospect they could be just as easily held up and out from the hand rails to made defacto shades as you are thinking. It would be a 'duck under issue' when walking FWD. But I would be more leery of forgetting to stow the poles when coming along side. I don't have a close up of the curtains but will get a couple Wednesday when we go check the boat. Then again, they are long enough to just clip to the hand rails to make them hang off the house. I'll have to experiment when j get home.

My avatar pic shows the curtains down and snapped for leaving the boat. I guess they could be modified to clip on the rails.
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