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  1. #1
    MAD777's Avatar
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    DIY small hex tarp

    PREFACE: I wanted to make a smaller, lightweight tarp to complement my very large OES MacCat Ultra SpinnUL. I wanted to make it in spinnaker but, that waterproof spinnaker is no longer available for purchase. I contemplated going to cuben, but basically chickened out

    DESCRIPTION: The tarp is 116" long x 59" wide at the center (63" wide at the tie-outs). It I made of 1.36 oz/SY (coated weight) silnylon from Quest which was 66" wide and 120" long in forest green ripstop. I used Gutterman's sew-all 100% polyester thread, also in forest green.

    There is no ridgeline seam and the edges are a true catenary cut at 3/4" per foot. The edges are rolled twice and sewn. The corners at the ridgeline started out at 90* before the cat cuts.

    The corner re-enforcements are double layer silnylon (3 layers incl tarp) with 3/4" wide grosgain running 4" away from the corners. The tie-out loops are grosgain. Only corners are seamed sealed (top & bottom) for added strength.

    The two tie-outs on one side and one ridgeline tie-out have a 10" long piece of 1/8" shock cord loop as an auto-tensioner. There are two figure 9's, one on each end of the ridgeline. The guylines are permanently attached 1.75mm Zing-It. A small prusik loop connects the shock cord to the guyline for adjustment. (I use a marlin spike hitch on the stake).

    It all fits into a 4"x4"x4" stuff sack made from the same material. Total weight including guylines, tensioners, figure 9's and stuff sack is 7.5 ounces.

    I wouldn't change a single thing about it.
    And yes, it happened ... and here are the pics to prove it
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    Awesome man, nice work!
    Good luck,
    RED

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  3. #3
    Senior Member exup's Avatar
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    That's real nice mad, thanks for the great desciption. I've been wanting to do a maccat micro style tarp for awhile. keep me updated as to how it works in the field with the blackbird. Sounds like its just enough.

  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Today I got a chance to deploy my new DIY small hex tarp.
    I can describe the results in one word ... PERFECT!

    Well, perfect in the sense that it accomplishes all that I intended for it to.
    I wanted a "just in case" tarp I could pack when it's NOT supposed to rain, without carrying one gram of extra weight.

    As you can see in the photos attached, it just covers my WBBB with hardly any material to spare. The ends of the ridgeline are only 6" outside the hammock end knots. It requires precise setup to do this, so I might add a continuous ridgeline to make this easier, we'll see.

    This is not the tarp I would take when storms are expected; I have a MacCat Ultra Spinn that will cover my hammock and then some, provided the tarp and hammock are attached to the same trees, regardless of my level of care in the setup.

    The first picture below is the entire setup,
    the next three you can see the shadow of the WBBB under the tarp and are taken looking straight down in the following order;
    * the wing on the entrance side
    * the shelf on the opposite side
    * the corner of the footbox

  5. #5
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    I really like the size of this tarp, relative to your WBBB.
    Looks like you did a great job crafting it.

    I just added one just like it to my gear making list.
    Might you share your dimensions?
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

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  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcress View Post
    I
    Might you share your dimensions?
    I'm really happy with it. The dimensions are all pretty much in the original post. It is critical to have at least the 90* angle at the ridgeline ends and don't start with anything less than 120" long and 66" wide and don't make more than 3/4" per foot cat curve.

  7. #7
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    Nice Job!!! I am going to do the same thing, I have a 15 foot piece of sil laying around. Whats the distance from corner to corner?

  8. #8
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bags4266 View Post
    Nice Job!!! I am going to do the same thing, I have a 15 foot piece of sil laying around. Whats the distance from corner to corner?
    Thanks, the edge dimensions (before hemming) are 47" diagonals (next to ridgeline) and 53" for each of the two sides.
    Check the width on your sil, you need a minimum of 66" usable width. I had to email all the suppliers asking for an exact measurement of each of their offerings. The Quest Outfitters forest green was the largest. Within each supplier's stock, the difference color nylons are also different widths.

    I made an asym diamond tarp last month to try to satisfy this need but was unhappy with it, mainly because it had unsupported edges that were 87" long and it flopped about too much. Some of that was just a reflection of my skills but, I found the hex easier. These edges with their cat cut, sat there solid as a rock in my test setup with steady 20-25 mph winds with higher gusts that were swinging the hammock.

    Plus, with this hex tarp, there is no ridgeline seam to measure, cut catenary curves, and sew. I know there are asym diamonds out there with no ridgeline, but they have to be very small and personally, I would not feel adequately protected in a hammock as large as a blackbird with wings, shelf, and protruding footbox.
    Last edited by MAD777; 01-03-2011 at 06:35.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777;
    The dimensions are all pretty much in the original post.
    thanks
    I got distracted by the pictures
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

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  10. #10
    Senior Member rip waverly's Avatar
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    nice work mad!
    your desires for a smaller "in case" tarp are exactly what sent me to brian at oes for his micro tarp. i have a wb big mjamba in spinn & its awesome, but like you, i wanted a lighter, smaller setup for summer

    if sitting in front of my injector didn't involve sweat, cursing and teeth grinding i'd probably follow your lead. so for now, i fund the grad student.

    really awesome work... keeps me beckening the arrival of my micro in spinn.
    "Jeff-Becking"

    DOWNTOWN BROWN!!!!

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