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Discussion Starter #1
There's no other way of saying it, I'm Irish. I love sailing, but... I'm Irish!
I have light skin and burn easily, and a light burn is something akin to a medium flu, fever. nausea and all.

So my main requirement is SHADE UNDERWAY. Oh sure you can throw up a bimini while at anchor, but what do you do underway, when the main sheet is obstructing, and when a wide brimmed hat and gobs of sunscreen just doesn't cut it?

So many boats, the vast majority really, even if they have a hard dodger with hard cover, put the wheel as far back on the boat as possible to be 'protected' from the shelter, in full blatant exposure to the searing glare of the sun.

How do you sun conscious and light skinned folks out there deal with this obvious dilemma?
 

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There's no other way of saying it, I'm Irish. I love sailing, but... I'm Irish!
I have light skin and burn easily, and a light burn is something akin to a medium flu, fever. nausea and all.

So my main requirement is SHADE UNDERWAY. Oh sure you can throw up a bimini while at anchor, but what do you do underway, when the main sheet is obstructing, and when a wide brimmed hat and gobs of sunscreen just doesn't cut it?

So many boats, the vast majority really, even if they have a hard dodger with hard cover, put the wheel as far back on the boat as possible to be 'protected' from the shelter, in full blatant exposure to the searing glare of the sun.

How do you sun conscious and light skinned folks out there deal with this obvious dilemma?
I’m not sure where you get this info, but it’s simply false.
Most people want/ need that sun protection, plus it’s cooler under a bimini
Coach roof travelers and center cockpit travelers are out of the way of Bimini , while cockpit travelers can be made
98% of the boats in my area and that I’ve seen have biminis
 
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Old soul
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Guess it depends on the boat. I too have Irish genes that have never seen sunlight. So I take what precautions I can. I'm rarely out of long-sleeve shirts and pants. Wide brim hats of course, and lots of good sunscreen.

But my boat also runs with its fixed bimini and canvas dodger. These provide decent shade. And by using the windvane or electric auto I can easily remain out of the sun most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I’m not sure where you get this info, but it’s simply false.
Most people want/ need that sun protection, plus it’s cooler under a bimini
Coach roof travelers and center cockpit travelers are out of the way of Bimini , while cockpit travelers can be made
98% of the boats in my area and that I’ve seen have biminis
In a center cockpit, the traveler is usually directly behind the helmsman who is at the very back of the cockpit, so I can see a bimini possible if the main sheet is going straight up, in other words if the beam is directly back. But if actually under sail and the beam is to the side, then the main sheet would be pulled forward at an angle and would hit a bimini that was actually over the helmsman wouldn't it?

Take this Westerly for example:

Or this one:

Or this moody:

Those main sheets are going to be pulling forward at an angle as soon as the beam is to the side, aren't they?
 

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I don't typically sail my current with my bimini up either. I can, but there are all kinds of issues- can't see my sail, makes it hard to get around, risk of entanglement etc. I just use it motoring or when stopped (anchored/beached/docked).

I cover up if exposure is going to be prolonged. Legionnaires cap, long sleeve sunguard shirt, long quick drying pants, shades and a neck buff I can pull up over mouth and nose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guess it depends on the boat. I too have Irish genes that have never seen sunlight. So I take what precautions I can. I'm rarely out of long-sleeve shirts and pants. Wide brim hats of course, and lots of good sunscreen.

But my boat also runs with its fixed bimini and canvas dodger. These provide decent shade. And by using the windvane or electric auto I can easily remain out of the sun most of the time.
Interesting, so what kind of boat do you have that you can sail with the bimini up?
I hadn't considered that a windvane or autopilot would also help a lot to stay mostly in a shady spot, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't typically sail with my bimini up either. I can, but there are all kinds of issues- can't see my sail, makes it hard to get around, risk of entanglement etc. I just use it motoring or when stopped (anchored/beached/docked).

I cover up if exposure is going to be prolonged. Legionnaires cap, long sleeve sunguard shirt, long quick drying pants, shades and a neck buff I can pull up over mouth and nose.
Interesting, so physical 'sunguard' clothing, and Legionnaires cap, etc good tips, thanks.
 

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Interesting, so what kind of boat do you have that you can sail with the bimini up?
I hadn't considered that a windvane or autopilot would also help a lot to stay mostly in a shady spot, thanks!
Rafiki-37, cutter rig. Aft cockpit. End-boom sheeting and no traveller. Mainsheet enters the cockpit from forward, so no issues. Like I say, it depends on the boat, but my bimini and dodger never come down (except for hurricanes ;)).

But yes, having a good autopilot means you're not chained to the helm. So you can be anywhere on the boat.
 

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In a center cockpit, the traveler is usually directly behind the helmsman who is at the very back of the cockpit, so I can see a bimini possible if the main sheet is going straight up, in other words if the beam is directly back. But if actually under sail and the beam is to the side, then the main sheet would be pulled forward at an angle and would hit a bimini that was actually over the helmsman wouldn't it?

...

Those main sheets are going to be pulling forward at an angle as soon as the beam is to the side, aren't they?
I don't think it should be a centre cockpit problem. My last boat was CC. I sailed it with bimini up. It provided good sun protection under way. In this pic I was sitting at the helm under the bimini, main sheet is well aft of the cockpit (seen over my left shoulder). No interference.

However, I agree that some boats are more tolerant of having bimini up under sail than others.
20200719_083518.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rafiki-37, cutter rig. Aft cockpit. End-boom sheeting and no traveller. Mainsheet enters the cockpit from forward, so no issues. Like I say, it depends on the boat, but my bimini and dodger never come down (except for hurricanes ;)).

But yes, having a good autopilot means you're not chained to the helm. So you can be anywhere on the boat.
OK, so maybe this is the kind of boat setup I need to look for. So just to clarify, your end of boom sheet doesn't contact your bimini when you're under sail and the boom is to the side? So does your bimini stop a little short of the back of the boat? I'm just trying to picture how this works, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't think it should be a centre cockpit problem. My last boat was CC. I sailed it with bimini up. It provided good sun protection under way. In this pic I was sitting at the helm under the bimini, main sheet is well aft of the cockpit (seen over my left shoulder). No interference.

However, I agree that some boats are more tolerant of having bimini up under sail than others. View attachment 136363
Thanks for the pic, with little big boat (greater than 15 foot) sailing experience it helps to visualize it.
What kind of boat is this BTW? So I can add it to my list of possibilities and see what 'kind' of boats will work, thanks.
 

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There's no other way of saying it, I'm Irish. I love sailing, but... I'm Irish!
I have light skin and burn easily, and a light burn is something akin to a medium flu, fever. nausea and all.

So my main requirement is SHADE UNDERWAY. Oh sure you can throw up a bimini while at anchor, but what do you do underway, when the main sheet is obstructing, and when a wide brimmed hat and gobs of sunscreen just doesn't cut it?

So many boats, the vast majority really, even if they have a hard dodger with hard cover, put the wheel as far back on the boat as possible to be 'protected' from the shelter, in full blatant exposure to the searing glare of the sun.

How do you sun conscious and light skinned folks out there deal with this obvious dilemma?
I replaced the vinyl dodger with two solar panels then added two more as a bimini angled up at the rear so I can stand at the helm. Kills two birds with one stone. Provides shade and power I also collect rainwater for fresh water rinse downs. I also live in long sleeve Columbia Fishing shirts and an ALL ABOUT THE BAIT wide brim fishing hat with neck protection.
 

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OK, so maybe this is the kind of boat setup I need to look for. So just to clarify, your end of boom sheet doesn't contact your bimini when you're under sail and the boom is to the side? So does your bimini stop a little short of the back of the boat? I'm just trying to picture how this works, thanks.
Yes, that's right. My bimini is made of solar panels. I've built it so the main can swing freely without ever contacting it. This means the bimini doesn't reach all the way aft, so if sun is at a stern angle it may not provide cover. This is where a good auto pilot come in handy. Set it and then go hide under the shade.

Here's a pic that shows my setup. Obviously each boat is going to be different, but many boats of various configurations sail with their bimini up. For folks like you and I it's pretty essential (y).

Here's a pic of my boat. It's a bit hard to see where the cockpit ends, but you get the idea I think.
 

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When we sailed a Tartan 34C (#136) with a long boom (the first 140 or so had a 13' boom before they went to a 10.5') and an aft-cockpit traveler we were also unable to rig a bimini. Our only underway option was SPF50, wide-brim hats, and sun blocking coolmax long sleeve T-shirts.
 

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Our last boat had nothing in the way of shade in the cockpit while sailing so we just had to tough it out with big hats and lots of sunscreen. We did have a couple of small umbrellas that clamped to the pushpit, but those had to go away if it got too windy. Once we got to our destination we had a boom tent that covered the cockpit.

On our current boat we have a huge bimini that can remain deployed while sailing. It has windows in it so you can see the sails from behind the helms. I thought we would most likely sail with it furled up out of the way most of the time, but we have come to really enjoy having the shade during long days on the water. We arrive at our destinations refreshed and energized rather than feeling fried and exhausted.

Certainly having the traveller on the cabin top rather than in the cockpit is a big compromise from a sailing standpoint because sheet loads are so much higher, but the benefit of being able to have as bimini up while sailing, as well as a clean, open cockpit makes the tradeoff worthwhile to many people.



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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, that's right. My bimini is made of solar panels. I've built it so the main can swing freely without ever contacting it. This means the bimini doesn't reach all the way aft, so if sun is at a stern angle it may not provide cover. This is where a good auto pilot come in handy. Set it and then go hide under the shade.

Here's a pic that shows my setup. Obviously each boat is going to be different, but many boats of various configurations sail with their bimini up. For folks like you and I it's pretty essential (y).

Here's a pic of my boat. It's a bit hard to see where the cockpit ends, but you get the idea I think.
Well that's a very interesting solution, and saves space and complexity over needing a separate arch install just for solar panels, and thanks for the pic. Nice boat BTW :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When we sailed a Tartan 34C (#136) with a long boom (the first 140 or so had a 13' boom before they went to a 10.5') and an aft-cockpit traveler we were also unable to rig a bimini. Our only underway option was SPF50, wide-brim hats, and sun blocking coolmax long sleeve T-shirts.
Yep, I see what you mean. I found a few pics of the early long boom models and the traveler location is right in the cockpit. Well this definitely helps to narrow my search thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Our last boat had nothing in the way of shade in the cockpit while sailing so we just had to tough it out with big hats and lots of sunscreen. We did have a couple of small umbrellas that clamped to the pushpit, but those had to go away if it got too windy. Once we got to our destination we had a boom tent that covered the cockpit.

On our current boat we have a huge bimini that can remain deployed while sailing. It has windows in it so you can see the sails from behind the helms. I thought we would most likely sail with it furled up out of the way most of the time, but we have come to really enjoy having the shade during long days on the water. We arrive at our destinations refreshed and energized rather than feeling fried and exhausted.

Certainly having the traveller on the cabin top rather than in the cockpit is a big compromise from a sailing standpoint because sheet loads are so much higher, but the benefit of being able to have as bimini up while sailing, as well as a clean, open cockpit makes the tradeoff worthwhile to many people.



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That is a huge bimini, nice! Looks fully side to side on your boat.
So that's definitely a compromise I'll be willing to make.
Thanks.
 

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Yes, that's right. My bimini is made of solar panels. I've built it so the main can swing freely without ever contacting it. This means the bimini doesn't reach all the way aft, so if sun is at a stern angle it may not provide cover. This is where a good auto pilot come in handy. Set it and then go hide under the shade.

Here's a pic that shows my setup. Obviously each boat is going to be different, but many boats of various configurations sail with their bimini up. For folks like you and I it's pretty essential (y).

Here's a pic of my boat. It's a bit hard to see where the cockpit ends, but you get the idea I think.
Our last boat had nothing in the way of shade in the cockpit while sailing so we just had to tough it out with big hats and lots of sunscreen. We did have a couple of small umbrellas that clamped to the pushpit, but those had to go away if it got too windy. Once we got to our destination we had a boom tent that covered the cockpit.

On our current boat we have a huge bimini that can remain deployed while sailing. It has windows in it so you can see the sails from behind the helms. I thought we would most likely sail with it furled up out of the way most of the time, but we have come to really enjoy having the shade during long days on the water. We arrive at our destinations refreshed and energized rather than feeling fried and exhausted.

Certainly having the traveller on the cabin top rather than in the cockpit is a big compromise from a sailing standpoint because sheet loads are so much higher, but the benefit of being able to have as bimini up while sailing, as well as a clean, open cockpit makes the tradeoff worthwhile to many people.



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Both great set ups. I can't imagine to be in warm weather without some refuge from the sun.
 

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3 bow Bimini with windows to see the sail mad by my wife. Side zippers for side panels and screen for complete enclosure in very brutal weather. Zip in connector to dodger
 

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