When you are spreading an awning, haul it over the
jackstay and spread it out fore and aft. If the awning is
large and heavy, it may be necessary to rig a block and
tackle to haul it taut. Next, man and reeve the earrings
around the ridge rope. Pull them taut and secure them
temporarily to the ridge ropes. Reeve, set taut, and
secure the stops temporarily to the ridge ropes. It will be
necessary to go back and tighten all stops and earrings
to take the sag from the awning. Earrings and stops are
secured by wrapping their bitter ends around the parts
reeved through the grommets and around the ridge rope,
tucking the ends between the parts.
During rains, awnings must be housed to allow
them to shed water better. This is done by casting off
two or more stops between earrings and securing them
lower down to the lifeline. When awnings are secured
by long lacings reeved through a number of grommets,
it is almost impossible to house them. It may be to your
advantage to replace the lacings with earrings and stops.
In particularly windy weather, awnings sometimes
are furled. To furl an awning, you cast off the stops and
earrings and haul one edge across the jackstay to the
other side. Then roll the awning up and secure it to the
jackstay with marline hitches.
Many repair facilities today such as shore inter-
mediate maintenance activities (SIMAs) routinely man-
ufacture canvas items such as awnings and gun covers.
However, you may still have to insert grommets. For
this reason you should have a basic knowledge of
Metal grommets have almost replaced the
handsewn type, but if you should ever be caught with-
out the proper size of metal grommets, you should know
how to make them by hand. Handsewn grommets are
almost as strong as the metal type when they are pro-
perly made and sewn to the canvas.
The first step is to fashion a two- or three-strand
grommet of marline. Stretch this over a fid to make it
round and firm. Double your sail twine, twist the two
parts together, and wax it adequately. Then punch a hole
slightly smaller than the grommet in the canvas. Sew
the grommet into the hole using a round stitch. Pass the
needle through the canvas, well back from the edge.
After completing the stitches, shape the grommet again
with a fid.
Using Metal Grommets
Several different types of metal grommets are in
use, but the two that are most familiar are pictured in
figure 3-39. The one in view A is called the
eyelet-and-ring type; it comes in sizes 6 to 15, inclusive,
with inner diameters from 3/4 inch to 2 inches. View B
shows the spur type. It is in sizes 0 to 6, inclusive, with
inner diameters from 1/4 to 3/4 inch.
The cutting punches shown range in diameter from
1 inch down to 7/16 inch in the double bow type (view
C), and from 3/8 to 1/8 inch in the single bow type (view
D). When you are using these to punch holes in canvas,
lay the canvas on a piece of heavy sheet lead, and they
will cut a neat, clean hole.
The grommet-inserting punches and dies are avail-
able in sets in the same sizes as the grommets; that is,
from 0 to 15. Use the same size set as the size of
grommet. In figure 3-39, view E shows the punch and
view F shows the die.
The proper way to insert the spur type of grommet
is to push the eyelet part of the grommet through the
hole in the canvas. Place the eyelet on the die and the
spur over the eyelet. The punch fits inside the eyelet
and, when struck with a hammer, curls the edge of the
Figure 3-39.Grommets, cutting punches, and inserting