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  1. #1
    Senior Member cv66seabear's Avatar
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    Noob Catenary Question

    Ah yes, another noob question!

    Why is it that "Hammock Tarps" are made using a catenary design? I don't get the advantage to removing material - and having less at the fore and aft as well.

    Thanks for the help!
    Kent

  2. #2
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    it stays taught in the wind.

  3. #3
    Bubba's Avatar
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    It seems to me that the hex shape covers the hammock where needed. Extra material at the four corners is not necessary since the foot and head ends are smaller. The cat cuts allow for a taut pitch of the material. Reducing material without sacrificing protection is a good thing for the weight conscious. At least that's my take on it. I could be wrong.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fish<><'s Avatar
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    Saves weight and pitches tighter so it doesn't flap in the wind.
    "We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it."- G. W. Sears

    My forum name is Fish<><; I'm in the navy; and I hate sleeping on the ground. If I didn't need ground to walk on or measure resistance to, I think I could happily give it up.

  5. #5
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Noob Catenary Question

    As stated above, straight edges flap in the wind. Under certain conditions, they can even buzz from the vibration of that edge. It's not at all intuitve. You would think that a straight cut edge would stay straight; it's just not the case.

    The degree to which this is a problem is dependent upon how much stretch there is in the material. The worst culprit is silnylon because it has a lot of stretch. Cuben has the least problem since it has virtually no stretch.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  6. #6
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Think of a suspension bridge and the way the curve supports the bridge underneath. The cat cut does the same to pull the tarp material more evenly.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cv66seabear's Avatar
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    Thanks! I hadn't thought of the wind picking up the edge. I get it now. I was looking at DD equipment and saw their tarps are rectangular, but that shape is outnumbered by the Cats, got me wondering why.

    I'm not as concerned with weight as I Moto-camp, at least for now. Doesn't mean I won't change that one day and start backpacking to sites away from my motorcycle.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yakfoot's Avatar
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    I am not a fan of such a cut but mine is rather extreme. I have yet to find any positives. The tarps look tighter but X amount of tension is still X amount of tension on each guyline whatever the design. I find there is less headroom and the higher peaks on the end catch more wind. Fancy tailoring can make a woman look thinner or give a man broader looking shoulders but that does not make it so. All sizzle no steak as far as I am concerned I will never buy another one.
    Last edited by Yakfoot; 03-22-2013 at 11:38.
    "To turn from this increasingly artificial and strangely alien world is to escape from unreality. To return to the timeless world of the mountains, the sea, the forest and the stars is to return to sanity and truth." --Robert Burnham Jr.

  9. #9
    XTrekker's Avatar
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    Its hard to dismiss proven science. The curves allow for an even distribution of tension along the entire fabric and edges rather than just at the guy out points. Take these to photos for example.


  10. #10
    Senior Member cv66seabear's Avatar
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    I also realized that when you pull a rectangle taut from the corners, you'll see the taut ripples across the surface, going up into the center.

    Ah, science!

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