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  #11  
Old 04-10-2012
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Re: Bimini or something else?

I also highly recommend over-sizing the framing. You can also put hand holds on the outside, which won't hold your weight from going overboard, but are a nice to gently stabilize yourself when walking down the side decks. They add rigidity to the frame as well. However, our handholds prevent both the bimini and dodger from being able to be folded down.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2012
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Re: Bimini or something else?

I've drawn up plans for a bimini frame but no matter where it would fold down, it would be in the way of hinged seat lids and just something else to trip over. My boat has nowhere for it to fold aft. It's difficult enough getting around the dodger. I am thinking along the lines of something quickly, completely removable, well inside the cockpit boards, maybe just the width of the cockpit well. All it needs to do is to keep wind/rain off me, at the wheel. I am thinking maybe 24" wide, set into deck sockets with a couple of s.s. arches that can be center hinged to fold up small. I would like it to be like a little half wheelhouse with a clear front. I've had a number of trips where getting cold-rained on has brought me to the verge of hypothermia, being stuck at the wheel for hours.
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Old 04-10-2012
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Re: Bimini or something else?

Do whatever needs to be done to make it workable. in summer you get shade, in winter and/or wet weather you stay dry. Frankly keeping warm and dry in cold weather is its greatest attraction for me cos we love our winter sailing. Our girl has a full cockpit enclosure that folds away in a few minutes for full access to winches etc. Boat is still sailable with it up but access to winches is somewhat impeded. I'd not be without it.

Negative of a non bimini cover is as peviously noted that they rarely if ever are useable under sail.
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Old 04-10-2012
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Following this hoping for a good solution for a small boat. I wouldn't have standing headroom with my boom where it is, but I don't stand much when sailing. Any Bimini seems like it would make it very tough to go forward (small boat = climb over cabin top). I also wonder how I'd see the sails. Seems like a window large enough to see sail and masthead windex from either side of the cockpit would defeat the purpose of a Bimini. Not to mention the hassle when trailering. Guess that's why you don't see them on small boats?
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Old 04-10-2012
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Re: Bimini or something else?

I've lost three relatives and several boating friends to melanoma, all of them used sunscreen. A Bimini or Tee top may have prevented many of them from contracting this often deadly form of cancer. I wouldn't leave the dock without my Bimini ready to be deployed. As soon as the sails are set, the top is in place and it stays there until I get back to the dock. If properly installed, it shouldn't hamper any of your lines.

And one more thing. If you get one, be sure to get side and back curtains for it. More often than not the most intense sunlight comes near the end of the day, it hits you from a low angle, and it also bounces off the water right into your face. Side curtains and back curtains are the best thing since sliced bread.

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Re: Bimini or something else?

I would love to have a full bimini enclosure where I could enjoy the cockpit in all kinds of weather. Due to our low boom and traveler position, we don't have a bimini. We have a Shadetree for at anchor and the dock and we use Pro-Tech umbrellas at other times.
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Re: Bimini or something else?

Why worry about making it foldable? Ours doesn't fold and doesn't get in the way, and once you have one, you wonder why you were ever thinking about stowing it away anyway.
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Re: Bimini or something else?

I second what Travelingeasy said about protection from the sun, especially if you live in the sunny tropics. Skin cancer is just too serious to take lightly. One of the reasons I bought the boat I now own is that it came with a hard dodger and permanent bimini. The hard dodger is great to stay out of the wind and rain (and sun), makes for a great, protected place to stand watches. There is nothing more tiring than being exposed to the elements for hours on end. The hard dodger is well ventilated, with an opening hatch in the windscreen and another on the roof. The permanent bimini provides sun and rain protection for the back half of the cockpit. There is standing headroom under both the dodger and the bimini. I have windowless side and back panels I can zip to the bimini to get protection when the sun angle is low. If you can engineer the whole thing to give you standing headroom, free use of the winches and mainsheet and make it tough, you have just about the ideal setup on a cruising boat for the tropics. You won’t last a day under the Brazilian sun in summer without serious overhead protection.
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Re: Bimini or something else?



Mine will fold down, but only after you unzip the front section from the back, then loosen the set screw from the front posts, move that section behind the backstays, and then re-insert them into the joints and tighten back up the set screws. Not particularly quick, but I don't know why I'd want it down. It doesn't help much with rain because of the big window right in the middle for the backstays.

However, it sounds like the OP is really wanting rain shelter more than sun shelter. Maybe something like this?

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Re: Bimini or something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
I've drawn up plans for a bimini frame but no matter where it would fold down, it would be in the way of hinged seat lids and just something else to trip over. My boat has nowhere for it to fold aft. It's difficult enough getting around the dodger. I am thinking along the lines of something quickly, completely removable, well inside the cockpit boards, maybe just the width of the cockpit well. All it needs to do is to keep wind/rain off me, at the wheel. I am thinking maybe 24" wide, ...
24" is too narrow and would not provide useful shelter, note that rain rarely falls straight down, usually there's a breeze and your boat is heeling, and the end result is you need a bimini pretty much the size of your cockpit, with your helm location pretty much centered under it.

Most bimini frames fold aft and rest angled against the backstay. Again, if you have the bimini in place for the right weather, you'll be using it..
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