We love sitting outside on the aft deck, but we have lacked the possibility of being able to create shelter.
When we bought the boat, it included a bimini with corresponding shade sides. However, the bimini had to be sewn before it could be set up. In Denmark, it is often shelter rather than shade that is needed, especially on a relatively high and open aft deck, so the bimini was packed away for the time being.
Once at a boat show we have questioned one of the canopy sellers the possibilities of a tent for our yacht , but they were not interested in looking at the task at all, so it just died there and we made do with a few cut pieces of canvas that could be tied to the bimini stand and a loose tent pole.
Just before we left for the Mediterranean, the old bimini was found and repaired. It had to be mounted on the shrouds, which made it difficult to handle. This also prevented it from being used with the masts laid on the deck, so we had to make an extra one for that purpose.
The biminis worked brilliantly in the Mediterranean and we had even placed solar cells on the roof of the front part, but we didn’t dare leave it up in windy weather, so we had to take it all down several times. In addition, the bimini was a little too narrow, so you bumped your head against the shadow sides when you sat on the bench. But now the trip soon went back to the cooler fatherland, so we had a wish to get a better solution.
A Danish couple we met in Greece had got a new bimini and tent sewn by a local tent maker and was very satisfied, so we contacted the tent maker to brainstorm our ideas and get a price estimate.
Our thoughts were on having a fiberglass roof made for solar cells between the aft end of the mainsail boom and the mizzen mast. From this and aft, a new bimini and tent sides under both roof and bimini, which can be rolled up or completely removed, according to need. It was expensive even at Greek prices, but we judged that the utility of the tent would be worth the price.
The new tent is very flexible in relation to both sun and especially wind, it is always possible to get shelter, and it is also possible to remove some of the bimini while the sides still provide shelter. The old shade sides have been sewn over so that they can be mounted on the new bimini.
Since both the mizzen mast and four shrouds go through the bimini, and since the sides stop at the guardrail, making the solar cells on the side still active with the tent sides mounted, the tent is not completely waterproof, so in rainy weather we place the cushions aft on a chair, where they stay dry.
Steel work, roof and tent were done in winter 2021/22 while we were in Lefkada, Greece, price approx. 8,000 Euro. We had it made by Takis Paspalidis, Yachtshelter Lefkada