Pam Says: The Perfect Awning Pole

Here's a DIY solution for sturdy protection from the sun and rain.

How many times have you tried to find the perfect awning pole? You want a pole that does not bend in a squall or crack in a gust of wind and will stay up and straight no matter what the weather throws at it. I think the ideal awning is a flat awning that covers the boat with shade, keeps the deck relatively dry in rain, and does NOT fly around, regardless if the wind is on the nose or abeam, or up the stern. In other words, you want an awning that will stay tightly in place no matter what.

I cannot tell you how many different awning poles we have tried, and tossed out — wooden dowels, fiberglass battens, stainless steel and aluminum tubing. We even tried aluminum rod. Every one of these awning poles bent, broke or shattered in a gust of wind at one time or another. BUT, here is what we found! My husband, Andy, was a rigger. He installed many roller-furling systems. We had a stack of roller furling foils left over from many headstays that were shorter than what the furling system supplied in foils.

Using the smallest foils we had, we figured the teardrop shape of the foil, and the interior track, along with the lightweight aluminum construction, would make great awning poles. We used a 12-foot length up forward, a 9-foot length amidships and a 4-foot length aft.

You can drill a hole in the ends of each pole and as we did and attach a small shackle to use as an eye on the end of the foil for a tie down. All so easy! We have had our current awning for 15 years with these poles, and our awning goes up the minute we drop anchor to protect us from the heat and the sun, or the cold damp rain. And those foils keep the awning tight and in place no matter what is happening with the wind.

Hope this helps you out if you are having the same problem with awning poles. This is a great solution!

sailboat awning
Pam Wall
Sailboat awning
Pam Wall
Sailboat awning
Pam Wall
Sailboat awning
Pam Wall