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post #21 of 30 Old 08-07-2017
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

Our current dodger & bimini are about 8 years old. Can't recall exact cost, but probably about C$2k including new S/S frames. Only used for about 6 months of year. Still in good condition, but we have had to have then repaired several times. Reason being, that the stitching rots out. They say they used UV resistant Dacron thread, but maybe not? Maybe they make up for low initial price on repairs Anyway, all but one repair done by my neighbor who has a Sailrite machine!
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post #22 of 30 Old 08-07-2017
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
I have owned the boat 32 years... How long should a sunbrella dodger last? Here are 2 of them... you can see how some makers / designs / craftsmenship is better than others. I had one "repaired"... YUCK

I don't make them.... I use a professional canvas shop.

??? in Saybrook, CT (can't recall name)
Wm Mills Sailmakers, Greenport, NY
American Marine Canvas, Mamaronek. NY
The Canvas Store, Huntington, NY

chef2sail... we have a completely different sense of boat aesthetics.. and I would never ever do what you have done with your cockpit... But hey... different strokes...
Not sure it has to do with " boat aesthetics" . We don't exactly have an ugly duckling. I am sure when people see us they do t say....there go the Clampets. I am quite amazed my wife can tackle such a challenging project which costs us less than $800 and saves us big boat bucks. It also gives her/ us a certain expertise in that we have constructed ourselves from scratch rather than buy one. However we are by no means experts so. We employed a reputable canvas maker...Annapolis Canvas to help design a new dodger and Bimini. Their cost was $ 6000. 12 years ago. It sent us in the direction of buying a Sailrite machine since my wife was so adept and sewing.

We utilize Haleakula from March 15-Dec 15. Our canvas encourages that. Most boats in your area are pulled during those shoulder months. We. Average 30 weekends about 1500 miles and two two week vacations , at least 800 miles or about 2300-2500 miles per year conservatively according to Haleakula log over the last 14 years.

Our first dodger was a racing design one like yours. Because when you climb out of our cabin on a ledge/ bulwark, the same height as the cockpit benches we were bent over, we decided to use the height under the boom more effectively. Also on our racing dodger the helmsman was constantly catching the weather as you looked over the dodger. If we put a connector to the Bimini in the helmsman had to duck to look under the window.

Comfort and safety of us are more important than racing aesthetics. We do a lot of long range night sailing so visability I see important. That's were the strataglass also comes in as it specs on visual acuity and distortion is superior to many other types of glass. Particularly important after dark when a distant light / buoy is something you are trying to identify.

Like most things on a boat each person has differing priorities and use of their boat. Choices of dodgers shapes/ uses have very little to do with differences with aesthetics as your backhanded comment implies. It was far less comfortable for us to continue with a racing dodger so. We went in an improved for us direction. Everyone has their own specific needs/ requirements, and none should be considered less aesthetic or inferior looking by someone setting arbitrary standards sitting on a perch.


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post #23 of 30 Old 08-07-2017
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

1. Heres a functional conundrum ..... old Sunbrella fabric was treated with 'potent' water repellent chemicals that are no longer available; NEW Sunbrella is treated with a quite inferior water repellent that only lasts for several months before re-treatment is required.

2. If your boat model is common, there are internet mail order outlets that offer 'off the shelf' dodgers and biminis. Although even these 'cheaper' mail order suppliers are becoming more and more expensive.
Example: Island Nautical, etc. http://www.islandnauticalcanvas.com/page-dodgers.htm

Last edited by RichH; 08-07-2017 at 10:37 PM.
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post #24 of 30 Old 08-07-2017
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
1. Heres a functional conundrum ..... old Sunbrella fabric was treated with 'potent' water repellent chemicals that are no longer available; NEW Sunbrella is treated with a quite inferior water repellent that only lasts for several months before re-treatment is required.

2. If your boat model is common, there are internet mail order outlets that offer 'off the shelf' dodgers and biminis. Although even these 'cheaper' mail order suppliers are becoming more and more expensive.
Example: Island Nautical, etc. http://www.islandnauticalcanvas.com/page-dodgers.htm
Totally agree the "old" stuff was better. Washing the fabric gently to not remove the previous application, making sure it's dry when you apply 303 , help, but you are right 3-4 months.


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post #25 of 30 Old 08-07-2017
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

The sad truth is that the 'chemical' base of these now 'unavailable / unobtainables' used as water repellents was the most stable synthetic compound ever made .... just about
EVERY living thing on the planet even in the remotest of places now has minute traces of it inside them. And with such 'half-life stability' reaching perhaps thousands of years it was the ethical thing to ban the manufacture .... simply because it is impossible to project untoward effects that long in the future.
The 'stuff' now used in 303 and Sunbrella has a quite short 'half-life' before total decomposition, so the 'shift' from the original formulations is probably equal to the notable Montreal Protocol which lead to the ban of (most all) atmospheric CFCs (which do have a relatively short 'half-life' of decomposition).

I believe that Sunbrella is now offered with a urethane, etc. coating (on the non-sun side) for 'best' water repellency. Haven't used it; but, have used ballistic nylon fabric with such coating for 'rugged' outdoor activities ... but they're not water vapor permeable like Sunbrella.
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

Chef2 -
I noted that you are using StrataGlass. There's a newly offered 'protective' suncover for strata glass that is supposedly when attached to a Sunbrella (as a 'sandwich') over-cover will greatly extend the useful life of the StrataGlass .... mine turned brown at 12-13 years.

Supposedly 'Evolution' isn't chemically reactive nor 'abrading' to StrataGlass as is Sunbrella
Name - "evolution' Sailrite - Fabric, Canvas, and Sewing Machines Since 1969 So advise your wife when she's making a sun cover for your StrataGlass
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post #27 of 30 Old 08-08-2017
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Chef2 -
I noted that you are using StrataGlass. There's a newly offered 'protective' suncover for strata glass that is supposedly when attached to a Sunbrella (as a 'sandwich') over-cover will greatly extend the useful life of the StrataGlass .... mine turned brown at 12-13 years.

Supposedly 'Evolution' isn't chemically reactive nor 'abrading' to StrataGlass as is Sunbrella
Name - "evolution' Sailrite - Fabric, Canvas, and Sewing Machines Since 1969 So advise your wife when she's making a sun cover for your StrataGlass
Thanks Rich. Looks like a great improvement. We had sewn microfiber inside our window cover exactly to prevent the scratching of sunbrella. This looks like a great improvement and less bulky

Thanks


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Re: New Bimini Dodger

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.....They say they used UV resistant Dacron thread, but maybe not? ......
I think the go-to thread is now Tenara.
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post #29 of 30 Old 08-08-2017
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

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I think the go-to thread is now Tenara.
Our canvas company says they now use Solar thread - uses PTFE Apparently Tenara, Solarfix, Helios are all ptfe based threads. Difference seems to be in how well they work in sewing machines:

"In tests at CTC and in customer locations, it has been shown that helios P CLEAR performs better than both Gores Tenara® and Quality Threads SolarFix®. Helios P CLEAR has exceptional sewing performance for this type of product. Helios P CLEAR sewing has been likened to using bonded polyester." (From Coats, I believe)

Not in market for new canvas, but will bear these threads in mind if we ever get to that.
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Re: New Bimini Dodger

We have always used Sailrite V92 and we're very happy with it. This dodger we used the tenera. Way more expensive. Time will tell if it makes a difference

We found that it required a smaller needle and was harder to work with many layers also.


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