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A Simple Boat Shelter

 P4220167.jpg (68904 bytes) This is a variation on the PVC Quonset Hut design. I finally put a nice enough finish on a boat that I'm trying to make it last a while.

I wanted something quick, cheap but effective. Mostly I need shade from something that wont blow away. Also I want it pretty easy to move as our lake comes up.

P4220141.jpg (44600 bytes) Materials
  • 4 - 10 ft 3/4" PVC pipe
  • 8 - slip unions
  • 4 - 4 ft 1/2" rebar
  • 8 - 1" x 1/4" galv hex head bolts (1/4-20 thread) for lock bolts.
  • 1 - 9'x12' poly tarp
  • Some 1/4" line to lace on the tarp
  • bamboo as a spreader, but PVC could be used too
P4220144.jpg (59088 bytes) After gluing all the slip unions on the ends, I drilled for the lock bolts. The unions are to give thicker plastic to thread the lock bolts through.
P4220145.jpg (57738 bytes) Then using a 1/4-20 tap in my hand drill I put threads in the holes.
P4220147.jpg (30302 bytes) Here's the guilty party in need of protection!
P4220146.jpg (76827 bytes) Here is the proposed protection site.
P4220148.jpg (69775 bytes) I started by positioning the boat and testing the clearance of the arch formed by the pipes. (I'd sketched this in advance but its nice to find that theory matches practice!)
P4220149.jpg (67419 bytes) After measuring and deciding on angle and spacing I drove in the 4 ft rebar stakes with a sledge hammer, untill only about 6" is still showing. (This is Florida sand, and other approaches might be necessary with other ground characteristics.) The PVC slips over the end with the galvanized lock bolts facing out, and tightened. In addition to keeping the shelter from blowing away, these will be used to tie the edges of the tarp as well.
P4220150.jpg (72436 bytes) After getting three of the 4 arches up its time to lace on the tarp. Notice I'm using 3" PVC pipe as rollers to move the skiff, and as skids to rest it up off the ground.
P4220154.jpg (67787 bytes) I laced the tarp on with 1/4 rope before driving the rebar for the last hoop. This way I could be sure I had the right amount of tension on the tarp.
P4230173.jpg (30542 bytes) Lastly I cut a length of bamboo with notches in each end to act as a stretcher, holding the end hoops apart to maintain tension. I drilled holes in the ends and twisted some insulated copper wire to hold them to the end hoops. 



P4230172.jpg (62081 bytes)
P4230171.jpg (51984 bytes) The interior arches have truckers hitches tensioning the sides down to the lock bolts. P4230174.jpg (72670 bytes)
P4220157.jpg (73599 bytes) Here you can see the three lengths of 3" PVC pipe I use as rollers to move the skiff to and from the water.

For just a few dollars and a couple of hours time I have a serviceable boat shelter. Maybe you can use a variation of these ideas for your boat. I'll let you know how it weathers.

P4230170.jpg (73445 bytes) At mid-day the next day, Summer Breeze is blissfully hanging out in the shade. Her epoxy dermatologist would be proud of her!

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