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Old 10-10-2009, 09:45   #1
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Show Us Your Bimini

Starting to draw some lines for my bimini.
I was hoping to get some ideas from your "what works, what doesn’t" thoughts.
As of writing this I'm leaning toward fairly rigid/permanent structure
PV panels on top.
May hang my radar display and a sunlight viewable, waterproof nav monitor from the underside.

What do you like and dislike about your bimini.

Please include pictures if you can.

These are picture of the cockpit I'll be covering.

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:11   #2
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We went down the cheap and chearful route and found this one on e bay. Suprisingly the plastic frame and canvas top withstood several days of rain and F5 winds. It is quite cleverly made as it just folds up in one piece, poles and all.

The only problem at the moment is it fouls the boom so can't be set at sea.

Pete
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:22   #3
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Are you doing standard bimini construction or more of a hardtop? For what you mentioned, solar etc may want to go with 1-1/4" frame. They're becoming more and more common. I have four 50 watt panels on mine. Its made with 1" , .065 wall t305 with hard kicks. In a seaway that's a lot of weight swaying back and forth up there. I ended up running a diagonal tube from port side high down to pedastal for lateral support. Turned into a handy place to mount a "dash" that houses radar, chartplotter and navpilot displays. A horizontal bar to seatback adds extra support to pedastal and mounting for dash. Wish could send pics but limited to blackberry and haven't figured that part out. If you're sewing a top check out the album in my profile. I've done hundreds of tops and have written out my procedure.
Steve
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:47   #4
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Thanks guys...
I am also thinking that 1-1/4" is the way to go.
I've been going back and forth on a true hard top or a soft top that isn’t meant to be folded down.
And what about openings to see the sail...lots to think about.
I don’t see any picture albums in your profile Steve.
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Old 10-10-2009, 14:57   #5
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Here's mine. The rails are either 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch stainless. Much sturdier than the 1 inch.

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Old 10-10-2009, 15:11   #6
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Our bimini is fairly standard. We use our mizzen and dinghy davits for mounting accessories.

The unique feature is the side panels with the round view port. With the lower aft corner of these side panels led to the toe rail, they make excellent splash guards for offshore.

'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 10-10-2009, 15:18   #7
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No pics the album is text describing construction process
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Old 10-10-2009, 23:54   #8
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Do any of you have a "window" or other means to view your sail through your bimini?
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Old 15-10-2009, 14:55   #9
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Yes, mine has a clear patch in it and on the underside (inside) there is a Sunbrella piece that can be zipped to cover the "window".
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Old 15-10-2009, 15:58   #10
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We've had windows in both soft and hard biminis. We usually ended up sticking our heads out from under to look at the sail anyway so we did away with the window on the latest incarnation.

If you mount solar panels on top make sure the corners can't be snagged by stray lines (reefing, etc.) as the boom comes across. Mounting them so as to leave a gap for air flow between the panels and the bimini can help keep the panels cooler/more efficient.
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Old 15-10-2009, 16:12   #11
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The sides and the rear curtains come completely off for good breeze and the front curtain has a half moon zipper so that too can be opened. We had a viewing window put in the roof to see the mast and main and love that. It can also be all put down and we are snug and safe inside and considering the weather here in NZ this week that is a good thing. We would have loved a hard dodger but we were quoted $25,000 NZ and that is ridicoulous.
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Old 15-10-2009, 19:11   #12
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Bimini, Enclosure, and Solar Panel Photos and Details....

James,
I had a new Bimini built last year....and installed 4 x 130 watt panels above the bimini 3 years ago.....
They've been thru two Atlantic crossings, a few full gales, 3 days of tropical storm, etc. etc....and all is well....

My photos are too large to post here....
But I do have links to them.....

Bimini

Solar Panels


I hope these photos and details help you out....

John
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Old 15-10-2009, 20:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
My photos are too large to post here....
But I do have links to them.....
Bimini
Solar Panels
John
Great stuff and nicely detailed. I bookmarked your stuff...thanks!
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Old 16-10-2009, 08:42   #14
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Excellent stuff guys....
I'm still going back and forth...soft or hard top?
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Old 16-10-2009, 09:06   #15
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For a center cockpit like yours I'd get a hardtop. Mount panels on it. But it really depends on the depth of your cockpit and how high this top is going to be. And how tall you are.
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