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Old 28-08-2012, 04:39   #76
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Re: Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKB53 View Post
Mark (Cotemar)

I am looking at my Bimini again as I want to mount some flexible solar panels.
The "obvious" change seems to be to expose the center walkway and gel coat it.

Am I correct in understanding that with your Bimini mod you only used the Azek panels on the sides and helm station roof? The center walkway was just gelcoated? Did you need to build it up to improve the curvature?

I had a quick look at mine and thought that a little bit of Bog and some Gelcoat should make it look quite respectable.

Can you please confirm what you did to the centre walkway panel and if you would do anything differently with hindsight?

I am thinking that I will take the centre out of the canvas bimini and attach each side with a bolt rope. That should be easy and I can then think about a hard top on the rest. I have already fitted a S/S rubbing strip for the mainsheet.

Regards
Martin
MKB53,

Yes, I only used Azek Panels on the sides of the fiberglass walkway.

Yes, The center walkway was sanded and just gelcoated with two coats of white. Texture is easy to clean and good for walking on without slipping.

I would not do anything different. It's like having a new boat for me. I can actually sit and enjoy the helm seat without getting cooked. Cock pit is cool all the time now. This has been my secound best upgrade since the solar panels.
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Old 28-08-2012, 21:23   #77
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Re: Bimini

Thanks Cotemar

My wife has had a look at the pics of your mods and now I am committed!

I will probably stick with soft side panels but white. I can't find a supplier for Azek panels in Australia. I will look for something similar but would be happy with soft panels as a worst case.

Cheers
Martin
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Old 29-08-2012, 02:04   #78
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Re: Bimini

Hi Jef
Hopefully the pics load this time, I have reduced the size.

There is a shot of the Port & Starboard quarters showing the corner and aft shades. (mesh). There is one showing the interior view of the port side shade (canvas). The exterior shot is poor but I have cropped it from a distant shot. If you zoom in and look carefully you will see how the shade projects forward of the rear of the saloon to keep rain out.

I do not have a Photo of the starboard shade but it will depend very much on how you have modified the bimini and I am not happy with mine. I have a streamlined "dodger" so mine would be unique anyway.
Hope this helps

Martin
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Old 20-09-2012, 17:51   #79
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Re: Bimini

Hi Mark
I am progressing slowly with my Bimini conversion unfortunately.

Did you consider using King BoatBoard HDPE? It seems to be purpose made for this sort of application and is readily obtainable here.

Only downside seems to be relatively high weight.
Also it may need some additional supports to reduce the span width.

Any comments appreciated.

Martin
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Old 20-09-2012, 18:12   #80
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Re: Bimini

MKB53,

King BoatBoard or King StarBoard should work well. It’s very expensive in the USA.
I have used small pieces before. The only issue is that silicon caulking will not bond to it.
I do not think you will need any extra support at all.
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Old 20-09-2012, 18:21   #81
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Re: Bimini

Thanks for the response Mark, I have yet to get prices!
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Old 21-09-2012, 04:24   #82
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King starboard 54" by 8 ft is $502 dollars its actually cheaper in 54" widths than 48" how does that compare to Azech boards
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Old 21-09-2012, 05:51   #83
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Re: Bimini

1rkghost,

Azek sheets 4 feet x 8 feet x 1/2 thick at $110 each

Bimini

Bimini
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Old 21-09-2012, 07:31   #84
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You can bond silicon to azek right do u have to put a finish on it ? Hows it holding up to weather
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Old 21-09-2012, 08:10   #85
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Re: Bimini

1rkghost,

Yes, you can use silicon on Azek.

Azek has a nice factory satin finish that you do not have to do anything with.
You can use standard wood working tools. Its very easy to work with.

Azek is weather proof.

AZEK Warranty - will be free from manufacturing defects that cause the Product to rot, corrode, delaminate, or excessively swell from moisture for a period of twenty-five (25) years
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Old 22-09-2012, 20:59   #86
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Re: Bimini

Best price on Starboard sheets 3/8" x 48" x 96" (1219mm x 2438mm) seems to be a little under $300. (AUD & USD more or less equal at the moment.) The Fibreglass edge on the bimini walkway measures at ~10mm so 3/8 (9.5mm) would seem to be the correct thickness to butt up neatly. Rare for something to be cheaper here than the US so I am thinking we are not talking the same panel thickness at $502?
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Old 22-09-2012, 21:55   #87
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Re: Bimini

Hi Guys,
To replace my soft top Bimini with a hard top I have kept the centre part which is fibre glass and made the hard top in two halves and the pieces are ' bolted" to the original centre peice. Note that when you remove the canvass you will fing that the top of the centre peice is " raw fibre Glass" so I appled teo layesr of gel coat to give it a better finish. I did not modify the S/S support frame and used the existing. I have kept an opening above the helm station ( have a new soft top piece for that) and quite happy with the end result .
See photos here enclosed .
Cheers and have fun

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Old 23-09-2012, 00:55   #88
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Re: Bimini

We have used Starboard to make shelving for cans in our bilge. Largest piece is about 18 inches across and 1/2" thick. It has been in place about a year and is showing some flexing and has developed a memory. Given that the hard bimini needs to be strong enough to withstand high winds, the odd wave and the UV from the sun, not to mention the expense, I don't think Starboard would be my first choice in this application.
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Old 06-11-2012, 20:50   #89
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Re: Bimini

An update on the Bimini conversion.

I have fitted the outer panels made from 3/8in (9.5mm) Seaboard from San Deigo plastics which seems to be the main competitor to Starboard. These sheets cost me A$260 each (approx) collected in Sydney.

I was going to finish the centre panel by bogging it up and gelcoating it but have decided against this. I now plan to get a sheet of 6mm Seaboard (to save a bit of weight) and fit this to the centre panel.

This will allow me to get a nice edge along the forward edge that will match the outer panels and look better than the FP Sika wedge that was hidden under the canvas.

This will look better and cost less than bogging and gelcoat! I am a little concerned about it being slippery but if so I will roughen up some section of the panel.

I am also in the process of making a panel to cover my helm station. I am doing this by routing out sections of the 9.5 panel and heat bending them to fit my existing s/steel work.

The main issue with the HDPE is that it is hard to glue. I have found some glues recommended by the manufacturer but these are impossible to get in retail quantities in Sydney. So I am relying on mechanical fastening.

I am getting the zips on my side covers replaced with a bolt rope and will fit the track to the underside of the edging.

I don't have any good photos at this stage but will post some when I have them.

The reduction in temperature is quite noticable! It looks like you can make a "permanent" cover for less than the cost of a new canvas bimini!

Cheers
Martin
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Old 08-11-2012, 14:35   #90
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Re: Bimini

Martin that bimini looked great on the weekend.

daniel
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