29 Feb Cruising Dreams Are Made Of This
Okay, admit it. Somewhere along the line you’ve had a dream of lounging in a hammock aboard your boat in a tropical location. Or stringing that hammock up on a secluded beach somewhere.
But for whatever reason, you never quite got around to getting that hammock.
That was us. As a kid, we always had a hammock in the front yard at our cabin on a lake in Michigan. I loved it! And when we talked about cruising, I always imagined a hammock strung up on the foredeck. For some reason, we never got one. Until now.
About a month ago, Emma from Travelling Accessories asked if I‘d like to review her latest offering (she also sells these great “purse/tote bag” dry bags) – a hammock that’s designed to be strung on a boat or from trees. As you might guess, it took me all of about two seconds to reply YES!
We got it a couple of weeks ago and I can only say that I love it. How nice to get something just for fun in the middle of things like bilge alarms, spare parts for the engine and so on.
Admittedly, it took a little trial and error to find good attachment points on the boat – far enough apart and also sturdy – but pretty soon we had the perfect spot between the forestay and a sidestay.
Besides the fact that I just plain enjoy having a hammock, there are several reasons that I like this one:
- It takes almost no space to store – just a little larger than a ball cap (we’ve had a lot of windy days so we take it down whenever we’re not using it)
- Once we figured out the attachment points, it takes less than 30 seconds to set it up. This means that we use it even if just for 15 minutes at a time.
- Stainless carabiners that won’t corrode (many others are steel, which quickly rust in salt air). In case of salt build up, just soak in a vinegar/water bath.
- Holds up to 400 pounds – altlhough it’s light weight and tiny to store, it’s strong.
- Two nine-foot long tree straps (that can be clipped much shorter than that if needed) mean that you are almost certain to find somewhere to attach it.
- Webbing for the straps instead of rope – less point loading on the forestay and furler if that’s where you attach it.
- Nifty loops in the tree straps make setting it up and adjusting it a breeze. No knots to tie!
- Sewn-in storage bag so you don’t lose it overboard.
- Total package – everything is ready to go; I didn’t need anything else. Some travel hammocks don’t come with tree straps or you have to tie everything together.
This last point was one of the reasons I’d never bought a hammock before – I didn’t know what all we’d need. The idea of one that was ready to go really appealed to me!
A few tips on setting a hammock up:
- Try to have the hammock stretched out lengthwise as much as possible; if the two ends are too close together, you’ll find your feet trying to touch your head once you’re in it.
- If using the forestay as an attachment point, put the strap above the jib sheets so it won’t slide down too far.
- If attaching to the mast, go above the main/boom for the same reason.
- Close hatches under the hammock!
- Don’t attach to lifelines or stanchions – you’re likely to bend the stanchions.
Emma/Travelling Accessories sells these only on Amazon:
Now that I know how great it is to have a hammock aboard, I can’t imagine why we didn’t get one years ago!