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  1. #1
    Boston's Avatar
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    Tarp seams - center ridge vs 2 offset seams

    I've seen a few tarps made without a center seam, instead sewing two panels on each side of a full width of fabric to extend the tarp to size. I can post a quick sketch if this isn't clear.

    Anyone have any experience with this, and pros/cons?

    I just finished one tarp and already thinking about the next...I don't have a problem...really..I don't!

    From what I can think of:

    Pro:
    1) Any seam leak isn't directly over you, and more likely to just run down the inside of the tarp
    2) When pitched the center will "catenary" more = more width space under the tarp w/o pull-out's

    Con:
    1) More stitching vs a stitched ridge-line (slightly heavier for gram weenies)
    2) Stitching pulled laterally instead of longitudinally - not sure of strength issues at the seam.
    3) Fabric strength vs flat felled seam strength may be less at ridge line
    4) When pitched the center will "catenary" more = less head room
    5) Flatter roof more likely to pool water

    Obviously the main advantage of this construction is Pro #1. Do the con's out-weight the benefit though?
    Last edited by Boston; 06-25-2013 at 14:24.

  2. #2
    Shotgunred's Avatar
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    Tarp seams - center ridge vs 2 offset seams

    Con #6 two seams to leak/seal as opposed to one The only pro I really see is the ability to make the tarp wider.

  3. #3
    Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shotgunred View Post
    Con #6 two seams to leak/seal as opposed to one The only pro I really see is the ability to make the tarp wider.
    Yeah, but if they do leak, they're not going to leak ON you.

  4. #4
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston View Post
    Yeah, but if they do leak, they're not going to leak ON you.
    Unless you use a tarp like I do ... in porch mode then it would potentially drip on me, my gear or anyone sitting out the rain under it with me. That would be a down side to me ... unless you would seam seal it of course.

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Well-made seams and seam-sealer are enough to take care of leaks. OP notices than too many makers would seem to limit design to fabric width and labor cost considerations. Methinks Gargoyle Gear are three-panel tarps.

    The center seam at the ridge-line offers the advantage of being coincident with the line of tension. It doesn't stretch much as the fabric is folded and stitched comprising four layers, and doesn't create unpredictable luffs in the tarp as the three panel design might. Shape can be modified as the designer likes to create a saddle, if desired.

    Here's Warbonnet Outdoors explanation:

    All our tarps are made with slightly caternary-cut ridge seam to achieve a tighter pitch. They have lightweight low-stretch polyester edge binding on the ridge seam. The binding along the ridge seam makes for an extra-strong low-stretch ridgeline seam that eliminates the need for a separate ridge cord, it also means you'll never need to seam seal the ridge seam.

    Nothing stops you from including the same features even within a single width of fabric.

    There was a tarp maker who used different fabrics for the parts of three-panel tarps,
    Last edited by DemostiX; 06-25-2013 at 16:15.

  6. #6
    Senior Member scum's Avatar
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    I made a Gargoyle Ogee style tarp. In my opinion, it is a genius tarp design. In fact, I have made 5 tarps now for friends and son and myself. 3 of the 5 use the Ogee style and I find it to be superior. The other two were the traditional with a seam down the middle. I've used my Ogee style for years now without an issue.

    Pros:
    -Gives coverage where needed and no where else (saves weight - why have a rectangular shape if the hammock is a 'U' shape).
    -'Wings' are very wide tip to tip. So porch mode gives great coverage. Also, pitching low for storms gives great coverage without compromising headroom too much
    -Coverage is wide enough that I've stuffed two hammocks (shared head tree) under the tarp in light sprinkling rain without any issue.
    -No seam sealing needed - ever.
    -Has built in doors. In normal pitch mode, the doors are small, but effective. I haven't ever felt the need for doors which go to the ground so am content with the design. They close low enough to cover the ends of my hammock from driving rain and hold in heat. Normally, I have shockcord attached to the doors and wrap the cord around the trees so the doors sort of 'reach' out towards the tree trunk. The tree blocks any direct wind, the doors block any angled wind. Works really well.
    -Very reliable. I've ridden out some very intense thunderstorms. I had a river under me, but slept perfectly dry. Just last week I slept through a massive thunderstorm. My tenting buddy woke up complaining about the worst storm he's ever been in and all the rain that was driving through his zippers.... thanks goodness for ear plugs. I should note, my son who has a traditional style rectangle tarp had wet feet from the driving rain.

    Cons:
    -More work to make. Some more sewing for the seams but that shouldn't deter you. What was the most time consuming to me was reinforcing all the tie outs which is for any tarp so sewing the seams is really negligible.
    -umm... none others I can think of ... honestly.

    Clearly I'm a biased fan. If someone can afford buying from Gargoyle rather than diy, I would highly recommend it. It's a great design.

  7. #7
    SnrMoment's Avatar
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    My all time favorite tarp made by Streamline. On my DIY list: https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...highlight=tarp
    Love is blind. Marriage is an eye opener.

  8. #8
    Senior Member FLScouthanger's Avatar
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    Here's my DIY offset seam tarp. Been using it for the last year and a half without any problems. No "pooling" or leaks so far. Seams are flat-felled. I've never used it in porch mode though.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Senior Member FLScouthanger's Avatar
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    And a couple more pics...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Tuck's Avatar
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    To the OP, you may have already seen this, but I'm showing you this just in case... I haven't done it myself, but I really like it.

    [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnAXF...ElMd2gCzccycVQ

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