Shade and Rain Protection: We added a nice shade umbrella tent to the boat in the summer of 2013. I love the look, and it is similar to putting up a tent. If you don’t use it a lot, sometimes you just forget what to do. I often would try to raise it, while it was under the boom instead of on top. We didn’t use it often, but when we did, it worked wonderfully. It has its own little bag for storage. I purchased it from Marine Outfitters in Kingston, Ontario. They were great to deal with and had the best price I could find with minimal shipping charges. The price in 2014 is $139.99. It worked so well, that on our last trip, we left it up as we were travelling in thick fog and no sails. It kept a lot of dampness off us but we forgot that it was there and went home without putting it away! Next update will tell you, if it survived throughout the wind storms that happened while we were not on the boat.
Update on the Shade Umbrella: It has been going strong. For the first three years, I could never seem to tie it down properly and it often gave more protection over the dodger than the cockpit. Last summer, I started to secure it first to the stern before securing it forward. This helped to keep it back and give full protection in the cockpit. It is going strong and other boaters have purchased it after see ours. As I am always cautious of things falling overboard (we have lost poles, hats and glasses) I added little key chain floaters to each corner, just incase a gust of wind picks it up, while putting it up or taking it down. (Update 8 January 2017)