How to Make a Mainsail Cover Boom Tent

Item # X-HT-300181

Stay cool and shaded when you’re at anchor or at the dock with a cockpit awning. We’ve devised a boom tent design that utilizes your mainsail cover to create a sheltered area over your companionway and extending to the cockpit. This is a very easy DIY and something even a beginner sewer will be able to tackle. Learn how to sew your own easy-to-install boom tent with this step-by-step, how-to video.

Boom tent installed on our Islander 37 sailboat.

This boom tent is made up of two fabric panels that attach to the bottom of a throated mainsail cover using the twist-lock fasteners already on the cover. The panels stretch and are tied to the lifelines to create a shaded area in your cockpit. Since this awning makes use of the sides of the sail cover too, it uses less fabric than other cockpit awning designs.

Depending on your designed size, you can make your own boom tent with just 3-4 yards of 60-inch-wide marine fabric. In the video, we used 4 yards of 60-inch Sunbrella® Marine Grade fabric to create a boom tent for an Islander 37 sailboat. We recommend using the same material as the mainsail cover for the boom tent panels.

View from underneath the mainsail cover boom tent.

Watch the video to see just how simple it is to sew these panels and make a mainsail cover boom tent for yourself! Create this easy-to-sew project and enjoy a cool and shaded cockpit area on your boat!

Video Chapters:

  • Taking Measurements – 0:47 min.
  • Cutting Fabric to Size – 2:15 min.
  • Creating Hems – 4:00 min.
  • Installing Spur Grommets – 9:22 min.
  • Installing Twist-Lock Fasteners – 10:12 min.
  • Attaching Panels to Sail Cover – 13:54 min.
  • Materials List – 15:14 min.

Materials List:

  • Marine canvas fabric (we used Sunbrella® 60" Marine Grade fabric in Jockey Red #6003-0000)
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas #129
  • V-92 Polyester or PTFE Lifetime Thread
  • Spur Grommet Nickel #1 (5/16") #26315
  • DOT® Twist-Lock Fastener Cloth‑to‑Cloth SnapRite Button Back Set #777200
  • Leech Line Dacron 1/8" White #21209

Tools List:

  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White #102766
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler #107040
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package (110 Volt) #103800
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Collapsible Sewing Table #104821
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ‑1 PLUS (110V) Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300602
  • Deluxe 5 1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597
  • Premium Cutting Block 5" x 5" #103651
  • Die Set Spur #1 (5/16") #18202
  • #2 Hole Cutter 3/8" #18211
  • Sailrite® SnapRite® Twist-Lock Die Kit #104619
  • Stayput Spin Cut 1/8" (4mm) Tool #104482
  • Professional Heavy Duty Rivet Tool #103520
  • Tape Measure
  • Straight Edge
  • Screw Driver
  • Hammer