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Winter Covers

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Our Original Boom-Tent Sailboat Winter Cover

As one of the premiere designers of the Boom Tent Sailboat Winter Cover we have spent a great deal of time upgrading and perfecting our present-day product. We protect your sailboat, its precious wood toe rail, and the Awlgrip / Painted Hull, or teak decks from the elements be it tropical UV damage to harsh snow & ice accumulation and wind. Protect your investment with a custom made winter cover.

About our Sailboat Winter Covers

In brief, Leon Canvas Inc is designed for mast-up winter storage. It can either cover your sailboat down from the boom to inside the toe rail OR over the toe rail by 6-8 inches. Based on your geographic location and how you winter your boat (in water or on land) we have the perfect solution for you.

We use nothing but the best and toughest materials. We use "Top Gun" fabric, a marine-grade polyester woven fabric with a rubberized finish. This fabric is entirely water resistant but our cover design is NOT air-tight so the shrink-wrap-moldy-swamp-effect come spring-time is not an issue.

For ease of installation, this cover comes in 3 sections. The forward section gets securely tied to the bow and terminates at the mast creating the perfect pitch for liquids to sheer right off. The "Mid-Section" has a mast collar not unlike a main sail cover. This middle section extends to and terminates somewhere mid-boom where the zippers align with your life line gates for easy access port and starboard. Additionally, in the third and aft section, we provide a stern access zipper from topping lift to transom for easy aft entry. Whether you just cover your boat to inside the toe rail or over, we have collared cutouts for all your boat's shrouds, and stays. Every cover is a custom-made cover and we will work with you to accommodate your boat's variances be it davits, radar poles or ladders etc.

Lee Sail Covers

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Product Overview

Price: $236.50     6' x 9.5' $264.00     8' x 9.5' $291.50    10' x 9.5' $319.00    9.5' x 12' Call or Email For Custom Sizes

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(Click here to complete online form) so we can send you a sample.Once you see it we are confident it will become your fabric of choice 

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32 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

Boom tent great product..

Posted by Unknown on 19th Dec 2022

I got the 6' x 9.5' for my 21' boat. I got the UV resistant material I had it up while i was working on the cockpit and what a difference. I was cool and relaxed usually the sun beats down on me and gives me a headache even with a cap and screen. this time I had no cap and was great. The material, stitching, and grommets are top notch. There are grommets all the way around so you can switch the L and W to better suite you needs.

Exactly What I Needed

Posted by John Harkness S/V Moondance on 6th Dec 2021

I ordered the large boom tent for my C&C 110 to help keep my dodger and cockpit area clean and dry. I just cannot bring myself to put a plastic tarp on my boat! Lee Sail Covers delivered the boom tent very quickly (in a time when everything is backed up) and it was exactly what I needed. The quality exceeded my expectations. I would recommend Lee Sail Covers to anyone looking for canvass for their boats. Thank You Lee Sail Covers!!

Posted by Matt Schuckmann on 15th Oct 2021

A well made product that will protect my boat from the wet Oregon winter weather. Looks great with my sail and wench covers also made by Lee.

Excellent Service and Product!

Posted by Shauna on 6th Aug 2021

Very impressed with the quality of the product, the efficiency of the service and my overall experience. It arrived in a timely manner and is a great boom tent. Great experience!

Boom tent is a Boom tent

Posted by Eric on 27th Jul 2021

I have a jib sock from lee sails, very high quality and boom tent to match.

Great blanket for my boat

Posted by Timothy Branson on 6th Nov 2020

This is a great product and a great company to get anything for your boat! I had my sail covers to my wench covers made by Lee’s. I count on them a 100%

Lee Sailcovers Boom Tent

Posted by Lin Batten on 8th Oct 2020

This is the third cover I've received from Lee Sailcovers and as with the others, the quality is great as was the service. I needed to tweek the size bit from standard and a call to Becky received a quick and accurate reply that solved the problem. Highly recommend them.

Solved our companionway leak immediately

Posted by Rolling Waves SV on 16th Sep 2020

Lee sails were great. They added additional grommets and d ring on request. Quality was exceptional and we really appreciate the attention to detail. Thanks so much

Posted by Burton Rau on 11th Sep 2020

perfect fit and quality

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O'Day Daysailer Sailboat - Boat Boom Tent

O'Day Daysailer sailboat Camping Boom Tent Coverby SLO Sail and Canvas

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Product Description

Our O'Day Daysailer boom tent cover is designed after the original boom tent made for the O'Day Daysailer.

The O'Day Daysailer came with this as an option from the factory so that you could camp on your boat, turning your boat into your own tent on the water. Our O'Day Daysailer boom tent cover is equipped with bungee and hooks coming off the edges to hook securely to your rub rail.Today the boom tent style cover is used for a variety of reasons, one of which is to keep water out and sun off of the boat. Our boom tent has a tie collar with three snaps that run down the front of the mast as well as a #2 spur grommet to secure the aft section of the cover to the boom. We also use 10 aluminum hooks coated in plastisol to protect the gunwales and secure the boom tent to your boat. 

We offer this cover in three different fabric types, look over the fabrics in the drop down chart below. 

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR BOAT COVER CLEANING AND CARE GUIDE

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Sailboat Winter Covers: What to Look For

sailboat boom tent winter cover

The post-pandemic rush to the sea has brought a whole new group of readers into the Practical Sailor family, so although many of you are already solved your winter cover cunundrum and may remember this post from years past, I felt it was a good time to help those new readers who are facing their first winter on the hard.

The onset of winter in the northern hemisphere brings with it that age-old problem: How best to protect the boat from snow and ice? Already boats on Lake Superior are buttoned up, and sailors as far south as the Chesapeake have already settled in for winter. While many powerboats choose shrink-wrapping over a more permanent solution, sailboats-with their masts stepped or unstepped-are perfectly suited for reusable custom, or semi-custom covers.

Sailboat Winter Covers: What to Look For

The topic of winter covers is worthy of a larger article all it’s own. A few years ago, seeking a snapshot view of the custom-cover options, we talked to Jim Welinski, co-owner of the family-run Shipshape Canvas shop ( www.shipshapecanvas.com ) in Duluth, Minn., where stored boats face some of the country’s harshest winters.

Most custom covers today are frameless, making them easier to stow and install than the excellent DIY frame-cover described on our website . In either case, a reusable cover will save money in the long haul. A robust, frameless winter cover for a Catalina 30 costs about $2,000 and can last eight to 15 years (with a re-stitching after about eight years), depending on how you treat it. Lighter-weight covers for less-harsh climates sell for just under $1,500 and can last about eight years. A single-season shrinkwrap job will cost $850. You do the math.

Sailboat Winter Covers: What to Look For

For cold-weather covers in dark northern climates, Welinski likes Top Gun, an acrylic-coated polyester that is tough, low-stretch, mildew-resistant, and abrasion resistant, just what is needed to stand up to fierce wind and cold. The material has two cons: It has a tough industrial finish, so a softer material is used to prevent chafe where the cover meets the hull, and it is not breathable, so good vents are essential.

For sunny climates with milder winters, Welinski recommends the UV-stable synthetic blend Weathermax, a breathable fabric that helps prevent mildew and condensation, but is not as strong and abrasion-resistant as Top Gun. Coated acrylics like Sunbrella are another option. Although not as tough or abrasion-resistant as Weathermax (see PS sailcover test , December 2011), Sunbrella’s 10-year warranty (pro-rated) against UV damage tops Weathermaxs five years.

Sailboat Winter Covers: What to Look For

Welinski also recommends using the UV-resistant thread Tenera in sunny places. Some canvas makers charge extra for Tenera, which carries a lifetime warranty, but others like Sailorstailor ( www.sailorstailor.com ) use it in all their products. Tenera’s downside, Welinski said, is that it can allow water to seep through needle holes when sewn into Top Gun, making it less desirable in this application.

For maximum lifespan, the devil is in the details. (Welinski abhors metal grommets, notorious points of chafe.) We recommend using a reputable local canvas maker that will measure your boat and help you fit the cover properly. All it takes is one fierce winter storm to shred a poorly fitted cover. Proper rope tension is critical.

If no local option exists, look for a company that has already fitted your model boat or has a template on file. Insist the company make adjustments for free within the first year. A high-quality cover should carry a four to five-year warranty for workmanship on top of the warranty for materials.

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11 comments.

That’s really nice post. I appreciate your skills, Thanks for sharing.

It’s great that you talked about sailboat’s winter covers and which one adapts to your weather. My dad’s thinking about getting a boat. He’s always wanted one, but since we live in a place where the temperature during the winter goes crazy, he’s worried about how to keep it well covered. That’s why I think this article is going to help him be prepared for it. Thanks for the information on how for cold weather, it’s important to find a cover to stand up to the fierce wind and coldness.

The PO of my Bristol 35.5 purchased a frame and cover from Fairclough in CT in around 2000. I bought the boat in 2013, and by 2018 the cover needed to be replaced. I called Fairclough, they not only had the measurements, they still had the original purchase order! They quoted me around $1,600 for new canvas, since the frame is still fine.

Darrell, a very timely article with the link to the PS sailcover test of 2011 just as informative. I bought a two-piece canvas tarp from that “reputable local canvas maker” (he is) in 2007 that weathered 14 seasons with only minor rips and tears until this past winter when the aft piece tore laterally from side to side. I went cheap on the frames, making my own wooden supports, very amateurish but adequate. From what you say, I seem to have gotten a goodly number of seasons for the $1200 I paid back then. The tarp is currently in for repairs. Fingers crossed that it will cover my 27-ft, mast-up sloop for a few more years here under the heavy falls of snow off southern Georgian Bay.

My boat partner and I invested in a Fairclough custom cover (mast up) in 2008 for our 89’ Sabre 34 and although we’ve had several restitchings done through the years, I feel we made the right decision both economically and environmentally. Suggestions: Wrap foam pipe insulators around any and all possible chafing points using 3M Scotch #893 filament tape. Having a zippered door to use off season is a big plus as well as the vents for circulation.

Rarely seen now are waxed cotton canvas covers. I worked for decades at a yacht club in Toronto and there were some covers that were over 30 years old. They were heavy but ridiculously durable. The only thing that seemed to kill them was poor storage. If left lying on a cradle all summer they would rot but if stored dry indoors were fine.

We have a 2001 Catalina 42 which came with Top Flight cover. We replaced the cover with a new one from Top Flight, and had additions for storing with the mast up. We modified the rear to accommodate our new Tower in a Box, which required four new zippers and flaps to wrap around the tower. So 17 seasons from the first cover, and the new one going on three. Beats having to buy plastic shrink wrap every year, and filling up our waste dumps with all that plastic, and at less expense. And Top Flight is very responsive when you need parts (new conduit or brackets) or to modify the existing cover for new things.

Here on Lake Erie we reuse shrink wrap I get 8yrs of use out of it Mast down with framework on a 42′ sailboat with 13.5′ beam. Some of powerboats are on 17 years of the same wrap a little tape goes along way.

I built a cover for my 43′ sloop using different color scrap strips of Sunbrella fabric. At the boatyard they call it the Circus tent. After the first season the wear points were pretty worn (Sunbrella doesn’t have much abrasion resistance.) I made wear patches from an old cut up dingy and they have held without any obvious wear for the next 3 seasons.

Thanks for this great article. I wrestled with this decision after buying my first sailboat in the summer of 2020 and realizing that I had to make a decision as winter approached and some leaky deck problems caused me to want to dry the boat out. I decided I wanted a full cover that would transmit some light, and allow me to work underneath all winter. I chose a system from Kover Klamps. I have not seen them mentioned in your articles. It is based on metal electrical conduit (EMT) and connectors. All told, it cost about $1600 for the frame and a tarp to go over it with a zip door, tie downs, and spares. I expect to get two or three years out of the tarp, and decades from the metal frame. It took a good bit of time to build the first time, and is not easy to move. But it is nice to work under during the winter, and allowed me to replace my two fixed and four opening portlights last winter. This year I will probably repair a piece of broken deck under a stanchion, and re-bed all of the other stanchions. In all, it has allowed me to work in relative comfort. It costs less than shrinkwrap and has less plastic waste. It costs and weighs less than canvas, and allows solar heating and lighting. I worry that it causes a lot of wind resistance due to how high I made it. It is scary to work under when the wind exceeds 25 knots!

Polyethylene plastic, standard sized tarps purchased over the counter and now online have covered my sailboats 23 – 33 ft for the past 40 years. For Upper Peninsula of Michigan and significant snow and wind, relative success with several tarps lasting five years tied over mast down and/or DIY wood frames. I recently purchased two 20’x16′ about $60 each for 16 mil.

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Do you cover your sailboat for the winter?

  • Thread starter cromer
  • Start date Sep 19, 2009
  • Forums for All Owners
  • Ask All Sailors

cromer

How do you cover you sailboat for the winter? Mast up or down? Do you shrinkwrap, use tarps, or use a custom cover? Indoor or outdoor? Do you just leave it uncovered? I'm trying to decide what to do with a Catalina 30 for the winter if I purchase it. I'm not an owner yet. Location: Michigan.  

Winter No. We cruise year around here in the PNW and keep the boat in the water ready to go. Terry Cox  

Maine Sail

cromer said: How do you cover you sailboat for the winter? Mast up or down? Do you shrinkwrap, use tarps, or use a custom cover? Indoor or outdoor? Do you just leave it uncovered? I'm trying to decide what to do with a Catalina 30 for the winter if I purchase it. I'm not an owner yet. Click to expand

BobM

Long term, if you have to store on the hard, the best bet is to buy a custom winter cover. My 30' boat has a Fairclough Boom tent, which was about $1400. A boom tent, as it sounds, is deployed with the mast up. There is a slightly better design than Fairclough, which covers the toe rail. Mine doesn't and the cover can sag with a significant snow-load, as we had last year. Still, it probably would have given my usual tarp and frame system a run for its money too and I only got up on her and shoveled her off once and she was fine. Shrink wrapping at $300-500/year means the ROI on the cover is reasonable, plus it adds value to the boat if you sell later. They also make complete covers that come down to the water line for about $2000. If I had to buy one new now, I'd probably buy a boom tent again, but one that covers my toe rails, just for ease of deployment. My friend has the full cover and says its no problem to deploy, but he has a smaller boat (freedom 28). The other options are to build a frame and use large tarps, which is simpler than it sounds...say $200 the first season. A good tip if you want to use PVC for a frame is to contact a local well company. Up here they are replacing PVC well piping with continuous lengths and getting rid of the PVC is a problem for them. It is a good way to potentially get a few hundred feet of 1.5 inch PVC for free. There are often groups of friends who get together to buy a good shrinkwrapping gun for joint fall shrinkwrapping parties. That is another way to go. If I recall, a gun is about $300, and buying one might be a way to make new friends!  

Attachments

Cover2.jpg

Don S/V ILLusion

Maine Sail said: Where are you? In a snow belt? That will determine the need more than anything.. Click to expand
Don S/V ILLusion said: "I'm not an owner yet. Location: Michigan". As he indicated, he is in Michigan. given the location, cover the boat. How you do so is a matter of budget but it is essential you keel ice/snow from damaging the boat. Click to expand

Roy10289

My boat is kept outdoors with the mast stepped. I have a custom cover that came with the boat. I know that they are rather expensive,but given the price of shrink wrap for a few years,it will pay for itself after awhile. Located in far northern NY syate,a cover is a must to keep snow and ice off. I leave 2 hatches cracked open all winter under the cove with all cushions onboard. I have had no mildew or dampness problems at all so far.  

MrBee

Blue tarps at Harbor Freight are cheap enough to buy new every year if needed. Guess it depends on budget and needs and opinion,,,and on Want verses NEED. Are you gonna cover a $50,000.00 boat or a $5,000.oo boat ? I will be covering with a few blue tarps. nothing special, just want to keep the snow and ice of the deck. and I make a boom tent to allow room for me to get in and out and do some work inside over the winter. and maybe stay over a night or two....just to remind me why I don't camp in the winter.. Brian  

Blue tarps are ok and cheap to buy new each year. I have used them a few years ago once or twice. In my opinion though, if you go this route,you have to check the boat often to be sure they have not ripped off in the wind or that you have a ton of snow and ice on the deck from a rip. I know that price is certainly a factor for all of us, however, I feel if you have a a 30,000 or more investment it deserves more than a $30.00 blue plastic tarp to keep it's value over the winter.  

sand sailor

sand sailor

first of all we only have two seasons here , spring and damn hot. nine months of one and three months if the other so covering the boat is for heat releaf in the summer or we sail at night and love it  

being in southern Virginia we keep her in the water all year long but I know that in northern Germany (which has a comparable climate to Michigan, OK even northern Germany is warmer) most ppl houl their boats each winter and try to find affordable indoor storage on the ohter hand in the Netherlands a lot of ppl simply use a bubbler and keep their boats in the water all yhear around but as mentioned before it is a question of cost or rather boat value  

I store my 22 foot boat outside in Minnesota (mast down). Mast is secured horizontally on top of boat from pulpit to stern post and inexpensive tarps are draped over the sleeping mast. I use a lot of bungee cords and duct tape to make sure the tarp is taunt so it is less likely to flog and damage the gelcoat. As added security and/ or should the tarp tear, I secure a 4x8 foot sheet of treated plywood angled and resting high at the cabin top and low on the transom (foam sandwiched between plywood and boat to protect the gelcoat). This way- any snow load that got through the tarps could slide (or be pushed) out of the cabin area. Any residual water remaining after the water tank has been emptied (potable water tubing and hand pump) is blown out with compressed air. I close all the seacocks, use corks to plug the through hulls from the outside and place laundry dryer sheets throughout the boat and especially in any smaller compartments (under-seating compartments, lazarette, storage, bilge, et al.) to keep any "hitchhikers" (mice et. al) away. We get a lot of high wind and snow in Minnesota and this storage system has worked well for me with no problems. The mast ridge tent is quite steep. I check it often and have never seen any snow accumulate on the tent.  

Always Cover A Boat I would always cover up a boat because the water turns into ice and that will cause damage If you are planning on keeping the boat for 10+ years then buy a cover. 10 years or shrink wrapping = the cost of a cover. If the boat is a short term thing then build a cheap wood frame and cover it with a plastic tarp from Home depot. Depending on the size of your boat that will cost about 1/3 that of shrink wrapping. Once closed in, remember to slightly open all of the ports / companion way so any moisture down below has a place to evaporate out. Otherwise you will get mold/mildew. We got frost last night.  

Joe Blizzard

Joe Blizzard

Mich222 said: Mast is secured horizontally on top of boat from pulpit to stern post and inexpensive tarps are draped over the sleeping mast. Click to expand

DougM

Use a custom cover if you store outside. Use the boom as a ridge pole and have it made so that it secures below the lifelines and around each stanchion. a good custom cover will last up to 10 years if properly cared for. Shrink wrap is more expensive in the long run and ultimately ends up in a landfill somewhere. There are many good sources here in Michigan for custom covers. Just ask around your sailing area for referrals.  

Prime Time

Simple Cover Hi, I made a simple cover and frame for my Mirage. I bought saw horse kits x 2 and made them so they are equal heights above deck. One is placed just forward of the companionway hatch, the other on the foredeck. I make an a frame aft in the cockpit and forward by the pullpit. I make a ridgepole with 1 x 3s screwed together. The pole is duct taped to the forestay and backstay and mast if it is up and also to the saw horses. I remove the stanchions and lifelines. Brown tarp over boat and frame. If mast is down, 2 tarps connected together with aperture for mast. Gary  

Rascal18590

Rascal18590

Hey there !! I live in NE OH, so Yes, I cover my boat with a custom cover that came with it. I bring my O'Day 23 home each winter, for backyard storage, so the mast has to come down. The cover goes over the deck only. One trick I learned, from a magazine article, was to buy a bag of Contractor Garbage Bags (the ones that come in a roll). I stretch the entire bag out over the mast, then open them out (width wise) and duct tape them down around my mast and halyards, and then open two out completely and cover my roller furling unit and the top of the mast also. Hope this helps you, or others, but Yes, if you're in MI, Oh Ya, I'd be covering the boat if possible. And make sure you put mosture absorbers in the interior, or you will have mildew in the spring. The interiors will develope their own atmosphere, with the temp.s rising & falling in the fall, winter, and spring. And finally ........ my previous boat was a Catalina 25 and I covered it also. I went to the local Tractor Supply and bought a 20' X 30' silver / black plastic tarp (used to cover hay bails). I also used 1" plastic pipe and bent them over the mast, and tucked them under the safety lines (and tied them down) ....... they worked as supports for the tarp. It was a real project each fall but it worked for 13 yrs. that I had the boat ! Oh Ya, and big heavy rubber bungie cords, down around and under the boat kept it tight with the weight of the snow. OK, enough from me !! Again, I hope this all helps !!! Bob Burns = Rascal  

RichBone

Last winter was my first with my boat and it needed a lot of work on the deck and interior so I used the mast as a ridge pole, high enough to get around on the deck and had it shrink wrapped. I had a zippered door installed and plenty of vents. On sunny days with temps in the 40s temps inside were over 70. 70 outside and 100 inside. This winter I'm building a pvc pipe frame that will give me open access to the deck. Two doors, one forward and one aft for better ventilation while working inside. Think of it as a portable boat shop (she's stored on a trailer). This year it'll be white shrink wrap. The blue wrap last winter was a bit much at times while working in it. With the vents the boat had no problems with any condensation or drying anything inside. Rich  

gettinthere

Shrinkwrap supplies for a 45' sailboat run about $200. Not too hard to do if you have a calm day and a little help. Make sure you add some vents to keep air flowing. Michigan has a lot of freeze/thaw cycles over the winter. Covering is an excellent idea  

Douglast

i live in snow belt...i put mast down and then lay 2 long wide tarps over mast...the mast give peak effect to shed snow...the tarps overlap 4 ft...and over hang 4 ft each end and hang along the sides at water line...then i just tyvek tape a few rounds around the circumferance  

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An idealistic image of the Karakalpak yurt. Courtesy of the Khorezm Archaeological and Ethnographic Expedition, Moscow.

The Karakalpaks inherited the yurt from their Turkic ancestors � the essential characteristics of the collapsible trellis-walled felt yurt had already been fully developed before the Karakalpak confederation of tribes emerged in the 15th or 16th centuries somewhere in the vicinity of the lower Syr Darya. The yurt has remained the predominant dwelling for the Karakalpak family up until the early part of the Soviet era. A multitude of different crafts and skills were required to make its various component parts. Not surprisingly it has become the centre piece of a whole branch of Karakalpak culture and folk lore. The yurt has many qualities: portable yet robust; quick to erect and dismantle yet stable and secure; warm in the bitter winters yet cool in the baking summers; affordable for a livestock-breeder yet capable of being used by a Khan. Of course the design of the Turkic yurt has evolved through a process akin to natural selection over almost one and a half thousand years. Each tribal confederation developed its own style of yurt with its own unique features, so although Karakalpaks lived besides Uzbeks, Qazaqs, and Turkmen in the Aral Delta, their individual yurts were immediately discernable.

A Karakalpak yurt with a shiy screen and outer door. Photographed at some time prior to 1960. From Vasilyeva and Makhova, 1960.

Yurts are normally associated with nomadic pastoral societies, so it is important that we remember that the Karakalpaks were not nomads. They were traditionally �semi-settled�, meaning that each clan would have a wintering ground, qıslaw , and a summering ground, jazlaw , the two usually not too far apart from each other. In the winter the yurts would be erected inside a windbreak fence for protection, and another fenced enclosure or qora would be built for the cattle. In the spring they would move their yurts to the summering ground, close to the cultivated areas, allowing their herds to graze on the surrounding pastureland and marshes. Working bullocks would be used to till the land. The awıls of individual clans were often located close to a water channel to which the members of that clan had hereditary rights. In the winter they relied on their agricultural by-products for forage: hay, wheat and millet straw, ju'weri stems (sorghum), and cane. In the autumn the fodder would be harvested and moved to the wintering ground by bullock cart or arba . In the marshy areas, especially in the north of the delta, this fodder would be supplemented by harvesting the local rushes.

A local fisherman with a qayıq full of fish.

"Poor and ill-clothed as these people are, each little gang of fishermen has a canopy or tent of cotton cloth, within which to pass their nights; for without such shelter, sleep, and perhaps, indeed, life, would be impossible, so innumerable are the mosquitoes and so painful are the bites of these insects in this locality."
"Approaching the Karakalpak village, located near the small estuary, supplied with water by the Amu only at high water, we saw bustle; cries were heard from all sides; property and nomad tents were rapidly loaded onto arbas , and everything which was prepared was moved away somewhere in a hurry. Assuming that our unexpected appearance was the reason for this flight, we accelerated our step and sent our leaders to quiet the population. It proved to be, however, that the reason for the bustle was the rapid increase in the level of water in the adjacent estuary, and before our eyes the place occupied by the village was flooded, so that the arbas which had arrived late were being loaded by people already standing in water."

Special Features of the Karakalpak Yurt

Karakalpak yurts have retained their distinctive conical roof shape up to the present day..

However the yurts of the Khorezmian Uzbeks and the southern Kyrgyz also had a conical roof, the uwıqs having a single bend about 45cm from the end, just like the Karakalpak. Of course Kyrgyz yurts were never seen in the Aral Delta, but Uzbek yurts were quite common in the 19th century, especially on the left bank of the Amu Darya. The main difference between the Karakalpak and the Uzbek yurt lies in the kerege trellis wall: Uzbek qanats were made from thicker and rounder poles and had much smaller lattice openings ( ko'z ). Zadykhina reported that an Uzbek yurt could weigh three times as much as a Karakalpak or Qazaq yurt, the reason being that the Uzbeks were settled so their yurts were never moved. In the winter, even though the felts and shiy screens were removed, the frames were often left in situ. Another obvious difference between Karakalpak, Qazaq, and Uzbek yurts is that the frames of the latter were never stained red. When properly decorated, the Karakalpak yurt can be immediately identified from the white tent bands criss-crossing the roof, the shiy screen walls, the jolly pink and brown janbaw suspended like a garland on either side of the door, and the bold ram�s horn motifs on the weavings flanking each side of the door.

An Uzbek yurt from the Qon'ırat region of the Aral Delta

Types of karakalpak yurt, as karakalpak families built single-storey adobe houses in the early soviet period, the yurt was retained for recreational use and for sleeping in the hot delta summers., materials available for yurt construction, as the aral delta progressively dries out, the areas of marshland become smaller and smaller..

People have lived in this region since antiquity, generally following a similar lifestyle centred on cattle-breeding and fishing. This has led some to assume that there must have been a continuum of occupation within the deltas, the Karakalpaks being descendants of the original Apasiak marsh dwellers who entered the region over two and a half millennia ago. The heterogenic nature of the Karakalpaks and their genetic similarity to the Khorezmian Uzbeks proves that this cannot be so. The explanation for this similarity in lifestyle is quite different � the special features of the delta environment determine the domestic economy of the peoples who successfully inhabit it. For example the Kelteminar people, who arrived in the region in the 4th millennium BC, built communal shelters made of poplar which they roofed with reeds. They were hunter-gatherers who lived primarily by fishing and hunting game. Later pastoral inhabitants, such as the Tazabagyab, the Apasiaks, the Jety Asar, the Pechenegs, and the Kerder were all cattle-breeders, who supplemented their diet through fishing, hunting, and simple farming. In the 19th century the Karakalpak Qon'ırat, who lived in the northern part of the delta, were mainly cattle-breeders and fishermen, while the lives of the more southern dwelling On To'rt Urıw principally revolved around irrigated agriculture. Some cattle were raised in stalls using both agriculturally grown and natural fodders, while some were driven to summer pasturelands and were only corralled in the winter.

A young Karakalpak boy with cow and calf at the Sunday mal or large livestock bazaar.

Unlike the nomadic Turkmen and Qazaqs, the semi-settled Karakalpaks did not specialize in raising sheep until well into the 20th century. Even then there were only two specialist sheep-raising kolxoz , both utilizing land on the fringes of the delta. By contrast, the Turkmen long ago developed sheep farming into a refined art, breeding varieties specifically for the quality of their wool.

A mixed herd of cattle and goats in the central Aral Delta.

Sheep and camels were not suited to the marshy, frequently flooded lands of the delta, while cattle and goats thrived, feeding on the extensive reedbeds and tugay forest scrub. Of course sheep were bred in limited numbers in certain Karakalpak awıls � in 1873 the Russian writer A. V. Kaulbars observed Karakalpaks keeping young lambs and kids inside the yurt for protection and observed them seasonally migrating with "fine bulls, cows, calves, goats and sheep...". Herbert Wood saw Karakalpaks moving both cattle and sheep by boat later the same year.

A Karakalpak goat herder north of Kegeyli in 2005.

Sacks of goat hair for sale at shomanay bazaar..

The Karakalpak yurt and its contents were all constructed from these local materials. The components of the yurt frame and the doors were made from local willow and poplar woods, tent bands were woven from either goat hair or cotton, felts were purchased from local Qazaq nomads, and screens and outer doors were made from goat hair and shiy , more latterly, qamıs . Inside the yurt, mats of reed or rushes were spread on the floor and were covered with simple felt mats and quilted cotton ko'rpe . An alasha gilem woven from goat hair or sheep�s wool might hang on the kerege to decorate the to'r and goat hair tassels might hang from the roof. Grain might be stored in a hemp sack, while other provisions would be kept in leather, skin, or cotton storage bags, or perhaps hollow gourds, all hung from the keregebas .

An itinerant merchant selling dried gourds for water containers in the Aral Delta.

Yurtmaking crafts, a young qazaq weaver from shımbay making a modern beldew on an o'rmek loom., pronunciation of karakalpak terms.

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Under Chandelier of the Tent Roof Intercession Chapel

Under Chandelier of the Tent Roof Intercession Chapel

View from under the church chandelier on the ceiling interior of the main chapel of St. Basil's Cathedral , the Chapel of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin, with a tent roof structure. This Chapel was one of the earliest architectural experiments that placed two octagons sharing a ribbed roof on top of a square. This started a whole new trend in architecture. However, a tall structure like this with a small base plate is very difficult to heat, and cannot be used by many people praying at the same time, which is one of the reasons why very few churches like this were ever built. Tented roofs are thought to have originated in the Russian North, as they prevented snow from piling up on wooden buildings during long winters. This roof style was widely used in 16th- and 17th-century Russian architecture for churches, although there are examples of this style also in other parts of Europe.

Photo #359 taken on July 16, 2016, during a tour of St. Basil's Cathedral with my dear clients from the USA, Andrew and Karen Green.

About Me in Short

Guide, Driver and Photographer Arthur Lookyanov

My name's Arthur Lookyanov, I'm a private tour guide, personal driver and photographer in Moscow, Russia. I work in my business and run my website Moscow-Driver.com from 2002. Read more about me and my services , check out testimonials of my former business and travel clients from all over the World, hit me up on Twitter or other social websites. I hope that you will like my photos as well.

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