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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Catalina 320 Dodger/Bimini Frames
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Thread: Catalina 320 Dodger/Bimini Frames Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-07-2011 03:55 PM
adamsj23 I'm wanting to build a dodger for my little 26'er and I'm wondering what wall thickness for 1" SS tubing is appropriate? Also will a conduit bender do it? Good source of sunbrella? Other sources? Thanks!!
07-26-2011 04:37 PM
chef2sail We got the bows which were apart where you could "fit the center joining one to adjust the length. I would make a mock up of the way you want it to look as mentioned here. We went with a three bow set up. The "height" of the longers bow fits about 1.5 inches under our boom.The other two bows are led off of the long bow. Web straps tightened keep the whole contraption in place solidly as well as allow for adjustment.

Dave
07-26-2011 04:20 PM
primerate84 I just bought the bimini kit from Sailrite and I haven't installed it yet. However, I have opened everything up to inspect it and it is high quality. I bought the 1" stainless steel tubing but I believe they also sell the 7/8" ss and also aluminum. Sailrite includes a very detailed DVD that goes through the installation instructions and the patterning and sewing of the Sunbrella. The kit also includes the material to cut out the patterns for transfer to the material. It is a very complete kit. If you are at all handy, you can save thousands by making it yourself.
07-26-2011 04:08 PM
Cptken Ask around your marina for a good canvas person. They can and will make one to your specifications. A good one will last 8-10 years so it is worth the investment. Also take a look around your marina, blown out/baggy dodgers & bimini's really detract from the overall appearance, again a good one is worth the investment. I've been sewing canvas for years, I'll do a bimini, but getting the dodger right takes a pro.

Things to think about. Do you want to look through or over the dodger from the helm? Nothing is more annoying than having the rails right in your sight line. Do you need handrails on the dodger? Do you need any special cutouts for sheets, halyards, traveller lines? Do you want the center window to roll up for ventilation? Placement of the frames/mounts to avoid interference with winch handles. Will they be put up/taken down once a season or more often? Will they be hard mounted with pipe supports or soft mounted with adjustable straps? Which do you need more, the dodger or the Bimini? Might want to split the purchase into multiple years.
07-26-2011 02:21 PM
Glen53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
How many bows do you want? They are not all the same width!
The real hard part as I am starting to learn is where to put the feet of the frame in the right places so they do not interfere with your winches and cleats; and get the height correct, meaning as high as possible without interfering with your boom, all the while keeping the top level.
Now, how do you want it to fold? forward or aft, and what will that interfere with?
Not so simple.

Dick
Dick if you are familiar with the tool that electricians use to bind conduit, then bower or buy one, along with a pipe cutter and get some sticks of half inch conduit. You can use this as a cheep way to figure out the “Leg Length” of your bows

First off don’t worry about your mock up going all the way across to cockpit. You are looking to find the height of the bimini or dodger, and how it will look. So what you are making will only go from the intended mounting point to where the bow bends, plus a foot or two across.

Have someone hold a tape measure at the point you think you want the “Deck Hinge” to be mounted.
Pull the tape on about a 45 degree angle to the height and distance you want the frame to cover
With that measurement you can start to experiment with the conduit

Put a 90 degree bend a foot or so from the end of the tubing
Measure the distance (including the radius of the arc) and cut it
Have someone hold it in place and see if it looks right (be sure to tape the end of the tube, so you don’t scratch anything)
Start longer then you think and cut as needed until it is just right
Now check if it will interfere with anything
The secondary bow will attach to this bow so you can figure it’s leg length making sure it will fold even to the other (if you intend on having a frame that folds)

It may seem like a lot of work and some extra cost, but ending up with the right frame is priceless
07-26-2011 01:37 PM
Glen53
Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Glen,

I disagree. I purchased the 1" tubing as well as the handles and special joints at Sailrite. Their prices were far cheaper I found elsewhere. The binding, UV Thread, zippers, snap kits, webbing binding etc. also. The sunbrella can be found cheaper elsewhere. There materials at sailrite are top notch. I am not affiliated with sailrite in any way.

There is nothing like a good canvas maker I agree...thats why a custom bimini -dodger costs so many thousands. It is not the4 materials as they are the same..it is their expertise as well as their experience and they have all the proper tools.

Dave
Dave was the frame made in sections, so it could be shipped easily, or were the bows in one piece. Sorry to imply that Sailrite wasn’t up to quality, in-fact we bought a 150 kit from them to replace our head sail. I am happy with the way that it turned out, and I can see that you are happy with your bimini, so I will add Sailrite too the list of quality manufactures of stainless frames.
You sound like you did some research before purchasing your system, so you may agree that there are a lot of mail order firms offering discounted products that are not very solid. We get a lot of customers that say they will not use the bimini to grab onto when going forward, but I know at some time or another, they (or some one else on board) will. So my concern is for the safety of the crew. The system MUST be solid
07-25-2011 09:13 PM
MarkSailor I have a C320 with a dodger that attaches to my bimini, but it was on the boat when I bought it, and I don't know where the prior owner got it. However, I noticed when I was looking for my boat that a lot of the C320's out there had a fully enclosed cockpit option (including side curtains). If you try the C320 owner's association you can probably find someone who knows the manufacturer of those dodger/bimini combinations. They are at "www.catalina320.com".

Another resource for Catalina owners is "www.catalinadirect.com". They essentially track down the suppliers to Catalina for various parts and then re-sell replacement parts. I am not affiliated with them, but they were very helpful to me in finding some small parts that needed replacement on my boat.

If you find the frame without the canvas, I agree with the previous post about finding the Sunbrella material cheaper if you shop for it from a fabric store instead of a sailmaker or awning shop. The trick is to find a shop that will let you supply the materials yourself.

Good Luck with your project. We can all use a little shade in the summer.
07-25-2011 07:31 PM
Flybyknight How many bows do you want? They are not all the same width!
The real hard part as I am starting to learn is where to put the feet of the frame in the right places so they do not interfere with your winches and cleats; and get the height correct, meaning as high as possible without interfering with your boom, all the while keeping the top level.
Now, how do you want it to fold? forward or aft, and what will that interfere with?
Not so simple.

Dick
07-25-2011 06:12 PM
chef2sail Glen,

I disagree. I purchased the 1" tubing as well as the handles and special joints at Sailrite. Their prices were far cheaper I found elsewhere. The binding, UV Thread, zippers, snap kits, webbing binding etc. also. The sunbrella can be found cheaper elsewhere. There materials at sailrite are top notch. I am not affiliated with sailrite in any way.

There is nothing like a good canvas maker I agree...thats why a custom bimini -dodger costs so many thousands. It is not the4 materials as they are the same..it is their expertise as well as their experience and they have all the proper tools.

Dave
07-25-2011 11:24 AM
Glen53 Kits are nice and moderately priced, but lack the strength and safety of a 7/8” or 1” SS frame constructed specifically for your craft. Any reputable canvas shop will be able to help you with this. Ask boaters you know who they recommend, and expect to pay around $500 for the frame alone
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