Yeah! I, too, have considered placing a grommet dead-center in the middle of the bed of my tree boat. The only reason I haven't gotten around to it is that I am not very good at doing those sorts of things and I'm scared silly that if I did it, the next time I put my weight on the thing the hole would probably go berserk, rip wide open and I'd fall right through the thing!
During heavy rains I have had my tree boat become an airborne pond more than once, and on one occasion it got so much water in it that I couldn't even tip it over. I had to use a bailing bucket.
Sophia---If you are reading this, what are your thoughts on the matter?
I've considered it also. Since the hammock is made of nylon canvas, it would probably be best to melt the hole with a hot poker to seal the edges. After that, a plastic grommet might be better than a brass one.
So who's it gonna be? Who first? You do sleep with harness and rope tied in, right? Imagine- late at night- a ripping sound. Dream or reality? Where ya gonna fall? Suddenly- its you in the harness again. Or- it was just a figment of your vivid imagination. Who's up for the test?
if I was going to do this I would sew a patch of Cordura in the center. The patch would be about 4" diameter or square with stiiches around the edge and then around the area where the grommet would go. Use a large grommet.
The danger of a rip had not occurred to me. I'm glad I asked the question. If New Tribe did incorporate a drain into their tested design I would certainly send both of my boats to them for a retrofit.
Tom, that is a GREAT idea! My initial reaction was "No, you can't put a hole!!! It'll rip!!!!!" But now you got me thinkin....
I would be willing to try it, but there is one thing holding me back. If it DID rip, I'd be out the cash I spent on it. Any sponsors. If it rips, I get the cash, if it don't...no cash! Either way, we all get to know if it will work or not.
Friday night I thought I could beat the odds of "60% chance of showers after midnight." At 1:30am it began to drizzle off and on until 4:30. Being porous and flat the portaledge stayed dry but the treeboat had a gallon of water in it.
Nick, in the interest of science I'll contribute towards a new treeboat if yours is ruined, but I don't think it will be.
Years ago when a Treeboat guy was planning a trip to the tropics, we burned a 1/4" hole and set a grommet in the center of his Treeboat. Like you, I had some concerns about this drain breaking the integrity of the fabric right where the hammock carries the greatest load. We never heard a complaint from the user. In the spirit of "no news is good news" I assume no problem developed.
But that's not good enough for me to assure you that a grommet drain is ok. Tom Dunlap shares my hunch that a patch of reinforcing fabric might restore the strength around the drain. We're excited to try this now, and give it some serious field testing.
I'll post here to let you know what we find out. In the meantime, we'd love to hear reports from the field about treetop bathing...