Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Friday, July 15, 2016

CATCH: Making Shelters for Small Boats

Last week we posted a set of photos and diagrams of shelters/tents that can be used in oar cruisers. 

Following is an addition that is a perfect follow-up to that post: Paul Butler’s very informative article on how to make and set up shelters for small boats.

Just One Example of the Illustrations in Paul's Excellent Article

If you are thinking of creating a shelter/tent for your open boat, read (study) this article!

Thanks to Justin Miller for the link.


  1. Good article by Butler. He does not mention any particular fabric, so let me say I am very happy with the Sailrite Shelterite 18 oz vinyl coated polyester used to make the front dodger of my tent. Sailrite makes an adhesive for it which can be easier than sewing. I used only the adhesive. The dodger has been used over a year now, and it stays up when towing at 60+ mph. The only damage has been a small tear which started at an un-reinforced cut. A quick folded over and glued on patch has fixed it easily. The material does not breath, so vents or partial breathable material should be added for a full tent.

  2. Hi Rick... Thanks for the reference to the Sailrite cloth... always good to hear people's actual experience...
    How do you handle the ventilation problem in your 'shelter'... I don't remember seeing any vents/windows?

  3. The Shelterite is only for the dodger, the back and center are made of Weathermax breathable fabric. I'm not completely sold on this yet, it can let in some drips when soaked. Maybe a repellent coating will help.

  4. Rick, does the breathable fabric provide enough ventilation to prevent condensation?

    1. Yes, unless it is raining hard and soaked. I think only double wall works in heavy rain, very hard to make this kind of tent on a boat.