I have put down a deposit on a new custom-made boom tent. It will cost more than I like, but I say that now sitting in my very dry and comfortable kitchen looking out the bay windows on a sunny day. Aboard on Spartina last fall on day five of the sail, waiting out the weather on the Honga River with a possible forecast of 50 mph wind and five to eight inches of rain, I would have considered it a very, very reasonable price. That rain never arrived. It reached about halfway out over the Bay two days later, then slid back to the west. But the idea of a newer, less leaky boom tent has stayed with me.
The original boom tent, which you see here, I made with help from my friend Jim, using polytarp, some line, grommets and bungee cords. It cost about $60 and served me very well for eight or nine years. I have spent many rainy nights sleeping comfortably under the tent. Yet when I did get rain on this last trip, the tent seemed to be leaking. The seams were wearing out and on the inside the tent had developed a dank, mildewy smell. I think I got my money's worth this one, it is time to move on.
The new design will most likely be similar. The ladies from the canvas shop will be out here in a little over a week to take measurements and discuss design, but they told me that if I am happy with the current design they will stick close to the that. They may have some ideas to offer, which I will welcome The new material will be waterproof and breathable. It should be comfortable and should keep me dry, or at least as dry as one can expect to be on a small open boat. Comfort equals safety. Being comfortable means a good night's rest. And being well rested means making better, smarter and safer decisions the next day. Plus it is more fun that way!
It should be ready for the spring sail, which will be down in North Carolina.