We have a 2006 B30 Cruiser, and considering getting a cockpit tent. From talking to a couple of suppliers, I’m concerned that the framework might restrict the opening of the locker … can anyone with a B30 with an enclosure help?
I have a 2003 B32, not a B30, but read on. I would advise caution here … I have a high-quality tent which came with the boat but I never use it. These are the issues:
1. on a B32, which is probably wider than your boat, the tent really is not big enough to be useful. It is impossible to stand up. It is OK whilst sitting but tiresome having to move about doubled up when getting from the pontoon into the cockpit.
2. the installation of mine required two large fittings to be fixed to the outer sides of the cockpit and countless small fixtures for the bottom of the cockpit tent to be attached to with its shock cord. All the fittings leaked and it took me a long time to remove them all and refit them.
3. it is very cumbersome connecting the frame and them manhandling the cover. I can do it alone but it is a big job. You have to remove it before sailing and – on a B32 at least – there is really nowhere to store the metal bits and the canopy. I used to leave it all in a pile on the pontoon.
4. it would be next to impossible to use on a long cruise due to the storage issue.
5. if you install the fittings yourself you might be able to do a good job but mine was fitted professionally. I haven’t counted but there must be at least thirty holes drilled in the GRP. Some went through the headlining in the aft cabin.
A tent would be a lovely addition to a much bigger boat but, from personal experience, on a small boat it is more trouble than it’s worth. The only time I think I would install it now is if I had to do a lot of work in the cockpit in the rain.
I hope this gives another perspective. Good wishes, Jonathan