Habitent - review and some pictures...

V1701

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Joined
1 Oct 2009
Messages
4,532
Location
South Coast UK
I just got a Habitent and there are occasionally posts about them on here so I thought I'd do a quick review with some photos...
Having got the boom out of the way by attaching the mainsheet to one of the toerail holes, out of the bag it all seems a bit unwieldy at first with the whole thing in the cockpit with clip straps everywhere, the first thing to do is attach an adjustable strap to the grabrails across the coachroof and then throw the whole tent over the sprayhood. There are four straps to attach to the orange one and another two to the hole in the toerail (you could use the stanchions but that mightn't be as effective in holding the bottom edge of the tent down). Then to the back, assemble the top half of the rear pole, push through the flap at the back of the tent and fit the two down poles, inserting these in the velcro pockets. Then it all takes shape as you attach it at the back to the pushpit. Adjustment can then be made forward or back and the straps tightened. I thought the single backstay and adjuster on my boat might get in the way but you can angle it forwards...
Finally the tent needs to be attached to something along the bottom edge, here I was able to use the holes in the toerail again. Photos show first go at pitching the Habitent, I'm sure with some more tweaking I'll be able to get it to look a bit neater and better fitted, particularly along the bottom at the back. This is the larger of the two sizes, for boats with a stern measurement of 2.0 – 2.4m, mine is a smidge over 2m. There is another pole provided so it can be fitted without a sprayhood. The smaller size (for stern 1.6 - 2.0m) would I think have been a better fit for my boat, especially as my sprayhood is quite low and narrow, but this one came up on ebay for half the price of a new one, which is £445 plus postage. It is a lot but not compared to the cost of a canvas stainless framed one. I got it mainly for use over winter as I live on the boat, having read here that they last well enough, stand up to most weather and from what I've seen it is well made. The only negative comments I've read about them have been from people who haven't actually seen or tried one. I would say they look better on some boats than others but that's partly due to how much effort is put into getting it right and it will be more tricky to fit properly on some boats than others. My boat is a 1978 Dufour 29...

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maby

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Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
I have a lot of respect for them. It will obviously never match a proper cockpit enclosure for comfort and wind resistance, but they are an order of magnitude cheaoer and excellent value for money
 

chewi

Active member
Joined
8 Oct 2007
Messages
1,804
Location
Poole
But they are too wide for my pinched IOR stern, (even the narrow stern one), and the upcoming very narrow stern "sirocco" version has been upcoming for almost 3 yrs now so I've given up watching out for it.
 
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