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  1. #1
    Senior Member 6 feet over's Avatar
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    Rectangle vs cat cuts...

    If I'm unwilling to sacrifice ANY tarp protection from the elements, would it be better to go with a rectangular tarp, or make an even larger cat cut tarp to make up the difference lost by the cat cuts.

    In essence my question is: are cat cuts THAT much better than a simple rectangular tarp?

    If so, why? Quietness? Wind survivability? Slightly better view?

    Why are cat cuts worth the trouble when a simple rectangle tarp must be way easier to make?

    6
    The harder I work, the luckier I get.

  2. #2
    Brian's Avatar
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    6FO,

    I have found that after working with both, especially on large tarps, that cat cuts do add a fairly significant amount of wind shedding ability. A 5" or so cut on an 8' x 10' tarp really makes the tarp much quieter in most wind conditions, and also makes it a bit easier to pitch taught. Also, if it's nice and gusty, the wind shedding ability keeps the tarp from becoming a drum.

    Now if you're a DIY'er, then cat cuts become a different story - they can be a bit frustrating to make, especially with all of the debate of calculated vs drawn, and the extra time and effort it takes to finish the tarp. Certainly no small chore if you're doing them for the first time. The instructions in the BlackCat directions do the curves pretty good justice though, and for a rectangular tarp, they should be even easier.


    If you want to keep similar coverage, add 4" to the tarp and make a 5" curve - you'll be cutting most of that fabric away so you'll only be adding a fraction of an ounce with silnylon, and you'll still have the improvements in wind shedding ability. For a hammock, an 8' wide tarp is more than wide enough for adequate protection, so if you're looking to purely save weight, then just go and cut the curves in it at the 8' width.

    Plus, as you said, you get a better view. Just my $.02.

    Brian
    OES

  3. #3
    Senior Member Quoddy's Avatar
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    Brian has pretty well covered it all. I presently have one of his Deluxe models and would never go back to a flat tarp. The ease of a tensioned setup and it's wind shedding ability alone are worth it. For ground use a also have a cat cut tarp, an MLD, as well as a cat cut tarptent... all purchased for the same reasons.
    I my Warbonnet

  4. #4
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    Well put Brain.

    I came across a piece of sil and made a 5'x12' rectangular tarp. I was surprised by how loose of a pitch it has compared to my 12'x10' hex tarp with cat cuts. A plus to the rect tarp is the coverage gained on the ends. With a 10' ridgeline, I still had to center the hammock pretty good to get coverage on the ends. The rect tarp is mainly a good weather dew tarp now.

    What I am thinking next is something closer to the Speer winter tarp. Not a hex yet not a rect. I think it takes the best of both. Or idea 2 is a hex style tarp with the bottom sides a lot longer than the sides. This would give extra end protection. Then T-Back's and Jeff's end cover ideas from there.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  5. #5
    Mule's Avatar
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    I really like Brian's idea of adding material then Cat Cutting it. You wouldn't HAVE to use sil, you could possibly use DWR just to use it for tensioning the main tarp, but of course, sil would be better. Mule
    There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
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  6. #6
    slowhike's Avatar
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    I have no doubt about the cat cuts adding to the taughtness, quietness & wind shedding ability of a tarp. Matter of fact, I'd have to argue w/ someone that said it didn't.
    But in defense of the lowly, strait edge, rectangle tarp, if properly pitched, it can do quite well in high winds for someone that just doesn't want to go to the extra trouble of adding the cat cuts to a DIY tarp.

    In this picture you can see that it could use some readjusting after coming through a high wind night in an exposed location, but she did OK<G>.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  7. #7
    Senior Member 6 feet over's Avatar
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    Has anyone made a tarp with cat cuts on the sides, but left the ends flat to better help the hammock ends stay dry? If so, what was the out come? Do the ends flap too much in the wind?

    This was why I'm asking if they (cat cuts) are so much better that it's worth it to add to the tarp length, so even with the cat cuts it's still the same length to cove the hammock ends.
    The harder I work, the luckier I get.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6 feet over View Post
    Has anyone made a tarp with cat cuts on the sides, but left the ends flat to better help the hammock ends stay dry? If so, what was the out come? Do the ends flap too much in the wind?

    This was why I'm asking if they (cat cuts) are so much better that it's worth it to add to the tarp length, so even with the cat cuts it's still the same length to cove the hammock ends.
    IMO they real do cut down the noise and make it super easy to make the tarp taught. I love my Deluxe for a couple of my other hammocks and really wish I would have gotten the bigger MacCat tarp and maybe this will be my xmas present for myself this year.

    I am getting entirely to many hammocks and tarps I know I know most of you all have a half dozen or so but I have enough now to supply my girlfriend and son no more

  9. #9
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    The benefit of a catenary cut tarp is a taut, quiet, reliable pitch. The benefit of a well-constructed flat tarp -- one with ample tieouts, on both the perimeter and the panels -- is versatility in how it can be pitched. You lose this versatility with a tarp having a catenary ridge line.

    If you feel comfortable limiting yourself to an A-frame pitch, which isn't much of a limitation with a hammock, a catenary cut tarp is hard to beat. If you want your tarp to serve double duty -- in the air and on the ground -- a well-designed flat tarp may be appealing, although one can opt to limit oneself to an A-frame pitch on the ground, too.

    The larger Mountain Laurel Designs silnylon Grace Tarps (http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com...dd58e5d130cedd) have side panel tieouts. With catenary ridge, sides, front, and back cuts, these tarps appear to offer something in between, although I'm not sure how well it would take to non-A-frame pitches.

    FarStar

  10. #10
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    if you are going to use your hammock tarp in any wind, you will appreciate having catenary edges. They are not difficult to make. As opposed to forming a flat seam at the edges of a rectangle tarp, you will have to use grosgrain or similar folded over the edge of the curved fabric and then sewn shut. Brian uses this technique and that is what I did on the Kiddy Kat tarp for my son's hammock. Its very strong.
    I say, if youre going to sew a tarp, do it with cat cuts.
    catenary ridgeline is unnecessary. it would prolly do more harm than good and sil is very stretchy anyway which forms its own "false" catenary ridgeline.

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