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Sketchbook: Sprayhoods & Grab Rails

A If the framework of a folding sprayhood is strong enough, it is sometimes possible to add a grab rail across the back. But take care when using it if the mainsheet runs close by. B When your boat is on the mooring, covers over the flexible windows protect them from ultraviolet light damage. C Some boats have a large fixed framework over the folding sprayhood. This creates a good set of grab bars to hang onto in the cockpit, or when moving up on to the side decks. It’s also a handy place to mount a solar panel, lash down the boom or secure the front edge of a cockpit awning.

A. If the framework of a folding sprayhood is strong enough, it is sometimes possible to add a grab rail across the back. But take care when using it if the mainsheet runs close by.B. When your boat is on the mooring, covers over the flexible windows protect them from ultraviolet light damage.C. Some boats have a large fixed framework over the folding sprayhood. This creates a good set of grab bars to hang onto in the cockpit, or when moving up onto the side decks. It’s also a handy place to mount a solar panel, lash down the boom or secure the front edge of a cockpit awning.

D A small set of grab rails around the companionway creates very secure handholds when entering or exiting the cabin. The frame can also be filled in with canvas to form a mini sprayhood.

D. A small set of grab rails around the companionway creates very secure handholds when entering or exiting the cabin. The frame can also be filled in with canvas to form a mini sprayhood.

E I’ve seen a couple of boats that have a framework of grab rails over the companionway, which is then partially covered with clear polycarbonate sheeting. This can either be curved and fitted professionally, or bent by heating with a hot air gun and then bolting into position. They are very strong, look quite good and create a snug area to sit behind. F A folding sprayhood that matches the curved top edge of a fixed windscreen looks good and stows away well. Having a solid windscreen gets over the problem of having flexible window material that can degrade over time. To avoid an ugly-looking result, the overall proportions need to be carefully worked out and several full-sized mockups made.

E. I’ve seen a couple of boats that have a framework of grab rails over the companionway, which is then partially covered with clear polycarbonate sheeting. This can either be curved and fitted professionally, or bent by heating with a hot air gun and then bolting into position. They are very strong, look quite good and create a snug area to sit behind.F. A folding sprayhood that matches the curved top edge of a fixed windscreen looks good and stows away well. Having a solid windscreen gets over the problem of having flexible window material that can degrade over time. To avoid an ugly-looking result, the overall proportions need to be carefully worked out and several full-sized mockups made.

Dick Everitt has sailed thousands of miles in various parts of the world. He has been an illustrator, journalist and engineer for more than 40 years

June 2016

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