What RagtimeDon said: right on the money! Design is the key. If any of you are going to have a dodger and/or bimini made, make sure you are there on the boat when the canvas person is there to lay out the pattern.
My wife, the famed Saltwater Suzi, has worked in a couple of canvas shops, and I've worked in a number of marinas.
Between the two of us, we have seen many botched attempts by canvas workers, who may be very good at what they do, but they are not sailors - and sometimes not even boaters.
I have seen bimini frames set up within six inches of winches (hey, that rhymes). I've seen bimini tops which are built too low on the sides to see when you are heeling. I've stopped the layout guys on more than one occasion and pointed out the error of their ways and asked if they shouldn't clear it with the owner before proceding. One comment I got, "Oh, it's okay, he can just get a shorter crank thing."
All I can say is - be there when it's laid out and don't be afraid to speak up.
Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry
"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to buy her things. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." -Captain Larry
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