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Old 27-11-2015, 09:26   #1
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Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Fellow Cruisers:
I was recently dismasted and I am in the process of planning repairs and replacement of damaged items. I had a full canvas enclosure which worked very well, but I am considering replacing with hard tops to the bimini and possibly the dodger. I saw a vendor that had a nice product for this at the 2013 Boat Show in Annapolis, but I cannot remember the name or find anything similar on the internet specifically for sailboats. I still want the full enclosure, so would need to have a means of attachment for the side panels etc.

Has anyone had experience with anything like this? If so, can you provide a referral to a vendor.

Thanks!

Neil
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Old 27-11-2015, 09:48   #2
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

This is the outfit. Did a hard bimini for my boat this summer.

Canvas Creations
919 Bay Ridge Rd, Annapolis, MD (410) 267-0333
Canvas Creations, Inc - Marine fabricators of custom design canvas biminis, dodgers, Wavestopper hard dodgers, seat cushions, enclosures, awnings, covers, sailcovers and do it yourself canvas parts supplier for powerboat and sailboat located in Annap

Fax: 410-280-5456


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Old 27-11-2015, 13:16   #3
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Many thanks! yes, I believe this is the firm I saw in Annapolis.

Neil
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Old 28-11-2015, 07:39   #4
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Could you send me some pictures of your enclosure. I am thinking of having Dan complete the enclosure on my Tayana 48 that he started for previous owner.
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Old 28-11-2015, 08:14   #5
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Here is the one we replaced our canvas bimini with. It can be made into many configurations and the price is reasonable. It's been up for a few years now and only experienced 65 knot winds. We couldn't be happier with it. The Trawler Beach House: From A Fabric Bimini To A Hardtop In One Day . Chuck
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Old 28-11-2015, 08:26   #6
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Their web site could use some help in the photo department... I reasearched and found TARTAROOGA (tm) HARD DODGERS who I've reached out to for more info.
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Old 28-11-2015, 08:31   #7
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Good luck with Canvas Creations. The owner, Dan, is a pain in the butt. I asked him for a quote on a hard dodger - he measures, the factory does the manufacturing - and he couldn't be bothered. I told him I wasn't in any hurry, etc., and after a few patient months of waiting, he had a meltdown ranting about how busy he was taking care of "old customers." My come about how new customers become old customers went right over his head. Suggest you have a Plan B.
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Old 28-11-2015, 08:40   #8
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

A hard dodger is not difficult for your local shipwright to make. In fact will be cheaper than a new canvas dodger with all the tubing.

We had a canvas "door" fitted to our hard dodger so one could stay inside the dodger and be dry and warm from the weather. Clear plastic, zipper in middle, rolls up to snap into the dodger's top, cut to touch the cockpit floor with side common sense fasteners. Put handholds along dodger's edges and a "visor" for the front windows so it does not become a hot house. Be sure front windows(ports) will open.
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Old 28-11-2015, 12:18   #9
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

We had one fabricated by S&S Marine in Norfolk VA (s-smarine.com). It has dual plastic tracks on its underside, one for enclosure, one for mosquito netting. They did an excellent job.
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Old 28-11-2015, 15:12   #10
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

This husband and wife team does nice work. TARTAROOGA (tm) HARD DODGERS

Might be out of your way.
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Old 29-11-2015, 06:15   #11
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, svoasis48.

Chuck (AnchorageGuy - post 5) used “Hart to Top”.

"Hard to Top boat hardtops are custom made for each boat's specifications and are attached to the boat's existing bimini frame or other structures. The ultra-light polycarbonate sheets and aluminum framing add little weight to any vessel, an important consideration. Adding side curtains or panels is easy. Hard to Top provides a unique pre-measured Keder slide attachment that installs on the hardtop, making adding side curtains just as easy as installing the top.

Once the pieces arrive, cut to the owner's specifications, one simply has to take them out of the shipping carton, assemble them panel by panel on their framework and attach with the included stainless fasteners. The average hardtop can be installed by a boating couple in one Saturday afternoon."


Home | Hard To Top
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Old 29-11-2015, 07:38   #12
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

The hardest task of any dodger, hard or soft, is to get the lines just right; otherwise your boat will look real ghetto. I personally like a slightly curved top with a slightly rounded front.

The big advantage of having a local shipwright do it is to make sure the dodger blends in well with the existing boat lines. Chances are it will take several trials to get things just right. Can not do that will mail orders. You pay the same price just about so might as well do it right.
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Old 30-11-2015, 15:06   #13
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
The hardest task of any dodger, hard or soft, is to get the lines just right; otherwise your boat will look real ghetto. I personally like a slightly curved top with a slightly rounded front.



The big advantage of having a local shipwright do it is to make sure the dodger blends in well with the existing boat lines. Chances are it will take several trials to get things just right. Can not do that will mail orders. You pay the same price just about so might as well do it right.

Yes, that makes the best sense. Just bought a new Jeanneau 349 and don't like factory canvas options. Sailing in the SE FL waters, a canvas dodger will take a beating.
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Old 30-11-2015, 19:13   #14
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

We had our hard top built in Thailand (but any welder/chippie could do) and the local canvas maker in Oz completed the awnings. The awnings all roll up allowing 360 view and breeze and either lock in to cockpit or railings depending on the weather.
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Old 30-11-2015, 22:18   #15
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Re: Hard Top for Bimini and Dodger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
The hardest task of any dodger, hard or soft, is to get the lines just right; otherwise your boat will look real ghetto. I personally like a slightly curved top with a slightly rounded front.
Yes, and stylistically as well. I have been thinking for two years how to put a hard dodger and hard bimini on our Cabo Rico without making it look out of place. Maybe a top with the same camber as the cabintop, with a slight rounded edge to soften, and then maybe plasti-teak inlayed in to give it some classic looks.

Then, you start to think, what about adding some lighting and maybe some place to run wires for solar, some fold up fans, maybe some misters , some place to put speakers, etc. etc. etc.
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