Reversible Weather Cloth

When sailing in rough weather, cresting waves can send buckets of seawater flying into a cockpit.
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 A simple fabric curtain that you can switch from one side of the cockpit to the other will help keep you dry when the spray is flying

A simple fabric curtain that you can switch from one side of the cockpit to the other will help keep you dry when the spray is flying

When sailing in rough weather, cresting waves can send buckets of seawater flying into a cockpit. Some people pay big bucks to install full curtains all the way around their bimini tops, but I found a cheaper, more practical way to keep my cushions and crew dry.

My weather cloth, as I call it, is a simple water-repellent fabric barrier that I snap in place along the windward edge of my bimini top and the outboard base of my cockpit coaming. The forward edge snaps to my dodger; aft I lash it to anything convenient. When it’s time to tack, I shift the same cloth to the other side of the cockpit. My weather cloth goes up in a minute, even in a blow. If you like, you can incorporate slits or cutouts to accommodate turning winch handles, sheets and other lines led aft. Adding one or two windows so watchkeepers can check the windward horizon without getting a face full of spray is also a good idea. —Tor Pinney

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