Join Date: Jun 2006
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Maybe this info will help...
Well, mine will require a camber that matches the deck and will be in SS and will more or less sit in 24 inch deep galvanized pipe "holders" that are welded to the steel toerails...a bit like the things that hold fishing rods, only welded, not clamped. The stainless steel will be clevis pinned in or thru-bolted (with bushings) at two point (eight in total) to make it semi-permanent. It will not be required to fold down. This is probably a cost-savings, as it's a bending job, essentially.
The "arch" will be two C-shaped lengths of SS tubing, probably 1 1/2" and 60-62 inches off deck. This is considerably lower than most, because the arches are over a "sailing helm/foot well" sunk 14 inches into the deck.
The price of not having weight aloft on deck any higher and not making an already tall "poop deck" even higher is thus a bit of stooping. Keeping the height low also keeps the airflow to the windvane less disturbed.
The arch is meant to hold 4 135W solar panels that are about 60 x 27 inches each and weigh 26 pounds each. Therefore, the arch has to support at least 110 lbs. aloft securely in all conditions and will likely also have tether clip-on points and the ability to hang coiled line. I am also considering putting in the ability to hold a reel of 300 feet of polypropylene line for extra stern line to shore in narrow anchorages.
This would necessitate a total of seven clamped cross-bars: two each on the vertical part of the two "main arches" and three across the top.
The panels themselves will provide much of the shade needed, as four of them effectively span the deck. Snap-on canvas awnings will provide the rest. My boat is a pilothouse and consequently we don't require a full canvas enclosure. Also, being at my chin level, the panels are easy to clean and maintain.
The prices quoted above sound ridiculous to me. I salvaged a bimini from a C&C 35 for my Viking 33 and apart from some canvas repair done by me, it served me well for years. I can't see that something salvaged from a power boat couldn't work on a sailboat, even if it involved cutting and welding in inserts.
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