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  #1  
Old 09-13-2007
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Bimini/Dodger suggestions & considerations

I'm tired of baking in the sun and have decided to purchase a bimini top and dodger for our Chrysler 26. Anyone have any suggestions about
dealers/brands etc ? Because our boat could be considered "out of print"
I imagine that whatever we get will have to mostly custom fitted and the
like.
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Old 09-13-2007
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You could probably get a kit, and the sewing machine here http://www.sailrite.com/ for the cost of getting it custom made and just do it yourself.

Last edited by GySgt; 09-13-2007 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Spelling, what else
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Old 09-14-2007
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The only issue with doing it yourself is getting the framework and installing it. But if you're able to handle the sewing of a dodger and bimini, then instaling the framing shouldn't be too big a problem for you.

If you have a cored deck and cabintop—don't forget to pot the holes for the fasteners and use decent size backing plates when mounting the framework.
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Here is a link to a site that sells the whole package. May not be what you want but it is a start. I talked to them about a year ago, seems they'll make whatever you want. They also offer an upgrade to a stainless steel frame.
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Old 09-14-2007
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We made our own. Even if you don't decide to go that route, it can be a good idea to try out a rough draft beforehand. Having a clear request in terms of style, height and shape really helps. To start with try googling dodger or bimini + picture. That will allow you to view a whole range of designs and ideas. We found that was a great way to define our starting design.

Then we drafted up a model with plastic plumbing pipe and duct tape...cutting the pipe and bending it to shape and then taping it in place. That allowed us to play around with several designs and get the height and shape that we wanted.

From there you can chose to make your own or pay to have someone else to do it. If you do sew your own, you will need a comercial sewing machine. We also have an older "out of print" boat and while sailrite offers kits, they don't carry what we needed. However, sailrite was a great place for us to order bits (zippers, webbing straps, sun resitant thread, gromets, toggles...) and their service was excellent. We found a website that showed how to bend your own stainless frame and had a friend do spot welding where we needed it. We did use comercially made "joints" where the dodger and bimini frame join the deck.



Manny
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A low cost route for the bimini is to go with a "off the shelf" unit from Taylor. Frames are aluminum (not stainless) and fittings are nylon, but cost is only about $200. I've had one for a number of years and am very pleased. All depends if you can find a standard size that works.
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hi
I have found a web site slightly detailing how to make a custom bimini.
the owner designed his bimini for a catalina 22 but, the process described will work for any boat.
I plan to try to make my own bimini this winter. The website owner claims it costs under $100.00 for him to make his.
As iam not a 10= poster a google search my be required to help you with the link
http:
slowflight.net/upgrades/lp/
bimini.
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I find that many times when you build something yourself, what should takes a week, ends up taking a month. Don't ask me how I know this.
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