Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-11-2006, 16:31   #1
Registered User
 
Amgine's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 1,384
Images: 1
Back of the head doodling - bimini/dodger

I'm tracking down rigging, talking with the local loft for new sails, and suffering sticker shock for the new shaft/propeller... but in the back of my head I'm trying to figure out how I'm not going to die from cooking by the sun, and incidentally I'd like a dodger too.

So what does the community think of dodgers? Home design or hire professional/loft to build it?

Same questions about biminis.

What about hard/rigid dodgers/biminis?

Should a bimini be used while sailing, or an only-at-anchor design?

Here in the PNW a lot of the dodgers seem tumorous: they start out small and covering just the coach roof. Soon they're stretching back a foot or two, and two or three adults can huddle under them. Then
a bimini structure grows, and most if not all of the cockpit is covered, quickly followed by a complete surround of transparent material, and only the temporary nature of structures differentiate the boat from a pilot house without a cockpit.

Two years ago I kinda sneared at this, now I'm respectful, and I'll prolly move on to envious this winter.

I'm just wondering if I should simply plan for the whole thing now and skip the intermediary growth stages?
__________________

__________________
Amgine
Blog

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
Amgine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2006, 17:31   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Hi Amgine:

Chartered a boat in Florida w/o a bimini and swore I'd never sail in the tropics with one ever again. In the PNW I believe it is more for extending the season then the sun.
__________________

__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2006, 18:25   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: O-Day 32 CC Slow Ride
Posts: 201
bimini

Actually, i can't see any crusing without a bimini in Florida!

I am looking for a dodger for my Catalina 27, want to add one to the boat and the current bimini.
__________________
exranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 02:19   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,585
Images: 240
Unless you have excellent pipe bending & sewing skills and equipment, building an attractive, functional, and durable Bimini/Dodger is probably a professional job.

Some of the features I’d recommend:
~ 7/8" φ Thick Wall High-Grade Stainless Steel Pipe (not tubing) and Fittings
~ High-Quality UV-resistant fabric & thread, such as Sunbrella
~ Elkhide reinforcements at all chafe points, and at rear bow on dodger.
~ Exterior side handles on dodger
~ Interior pockets on dodger
~ Roll-Up front window on dodger
~ Interconnecting Awing (or provision for) between dodger & bimini
~ Provision for cockpit side curtains on bimini

A well-conceived bimini can be used under sail (moderate conditions).
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 05:50   #5
Registered User
 
mudnut's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 666
Amgine,I would imagine that a bimini/dodger while being a very importen part of your yacht should not be a permanent structure.It should be a fold out/fold in type set up.That way it is there when ya need it and not when ya dont.Anyway you acheive this costs money,if you are able to make it you will save money,if not,you will pay money.If you can see the benifits in having them get them but dont go the cheap solution because they will be something that you will want to last a long time(Stuctually that is)Mudnut.
__________________
mudnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 06:30   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Leucadia, California
Boat: Stevens 47 Komaru
Posts: 428
Hard Dodger

I am leaning toward a smallish hard dodger that covers the companion way. Good in storms, can put solar panels and hand holds on it. A Bimini over the helm made of 7/8 SS and fabric. Then a infill that clips in between the Bimini and the hard dodger depending on the conditions. In So Cal the sun is not very intense.

Jack
__________________
Stevens 47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 09:26   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
Boat: WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 591
There are many options and no 'right' answers. A choice either of you fellows would find acceptable will probably be a function of a wide range of variables: your pocketbook, where you will sail, your tolerance for cold, your fear and genetic predisposition for skin cancer, the quality of your weather gear">foul weather gear, and whether you do longer distance cruising. I can tell you that, even after living in Florida for some years, I don't think my wife and I could have hacked it physically in the Caribbean without a bimini. And we would have hated to sail in the Baltic, off England's South Coast and at times in the rainy Spanish Rias without a dodger.

Jack, I don't think you can match up a 'companionway' dodger, hard or not, with a full-width bimini; the two sets of dimensions just won't work. Moreover, companionway dodgers (vs. full width dodgers) protect the companionway, not the crew in the cockpit. They've always seemd only half an answer at best to me.

If you want to beat the costs of of a commercial dodger, hard or soft, visit www.writebyte.com and read Tim's chronicle on the construction of his hard dodger. He's on iteration #3 now and perhaps could have bought 3 new soft dodgers or 2 hard dodgers for what he's invested to date. But of course, the dodger is 'his'. If you want to consider a commercial hard dodger, you might start with Wavestopper. It's a franchise arrangement and you may have a vendor in your area who can show you some examples on a diversity of boats. Commercial hard dodgers usually are built off a standard mold (or small set of molds) to make them affordable, and this means they will not fit on some boats. E.g. the models available in our homeport area stretched too far aft to leave a comfortable space between the dodger aft end and our mizzen mast, a favorite watchstanding position for us. A great set of pics of what looks to me to be a handsome, functional add-on hard dodger can be found at www.bethandevans.com - and HAWK has certainly been an active test bed.

Dodgers best serve their crews IMO when conditions are rough, and during the long night watches when things can feel generally cold and clammy, even in the tropics at times. Therefore, dodgers IMO should beable to be left up, in which case they need a rigid backbone, which in turn makes aft and side hand-holds all that much more reliable. A strong 'soft' dodger backbone typically uses stanchions under one bow with side hand-holds to make the other bow rigid. This is as opposed to the cheap kinds where the bows only attach to the cabin trunk sides and may be tensioned with webbing straps.

Biminis OTOH present so much windage that I can appreciate a logic that says they should be totally convertible. The problem with this approach is that they can then be very flimsy when up. Add in the tendency some folks have to use the bimini as a foundation for solar panels, and you quickly move in the direction of having a bimini reylying on stanchions on one of its bows, as well. This brings us to a bimini that's hardly convertible. And the bigger a bimini is (for protection), the more it's a challenge to the pocketbook and its convertability. Biminis are great examples of how quickly a boat becomes a compromise.

Jack
__________________
WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/WhooshSection.htm
Euro Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 13:50   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Aloha Charlie,
Is that really what you meant to say? You wouldn't have a bimini in the tropics?
Amgine and all. I think it comes down to everything in sailing is a compromise. Dodgers and biminis are great but sometimes they don't look good.
Amgine, what is the size of your boat? How tumorous the look of a very functional dodger and bimini has quite a bit to do with your boat size.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
__________________
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2006, 21:50   #9
Registered User
 
Amgine's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 1,384
Images: 1
Great comments!

I'm definitely sold on the dodger / bimini combination. Being able to afford the rigger and rig is another question, but one of the primary reasons I chose a smaller-than-the-largest-we-could-buy boat was that gear would be somewhat less expensive, and we can save up to get the best one. Since all the deck canvas is in the process of being replaced we may end up with a color coordinated boat for once in our lives...

I'm still doodling ideas, and will be all winter I'm sure. I'm interested, Euro Cruiser, in what you described as "stantions" for one bow. Did you mean heavier gauge stainless pipe as suggested by GordMay?

Speaking of whom; yes, I plan to meet all the guidelines you gave Gord. Here in the PNW side curtains are pretty much assumed, and most of the boats I've been aboard have a cockpit which is reminiscent of a glassed-in gazebo. Whenever we visit friends for dinner we usually eat in the cockpit, but the clear curtains are often completely fogged if there's any cooking going on unless we open a window or two as vents. Still, it's wonderful to eat almost on deck during a cold winter drizzle.

When it comes to a folding Bimini, what have been people's experiences? Are they easy enough to un-rig and fold back that you're willing to do it for every good blow? Most of the ones I've seen down (usually on powerboats) seem both clumsy and in the way. On the sailboats the bimini is usually completely removed for the winter, or left standing, but we have gales off and on through the winter and particularly in late fall.


__________________
Amgine
Blog

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
Amgine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2006, 05:42   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
Boat: WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 591
Amgine, think of biminis as coming in two generic categories: one set will expand out/fold up like an accordian and typically they consist of one full width bow, anchored to the sides of the cockpit, with one or two smaller bows which hinge part way down the main bow. This is the typical 'Caribbean charter boat' bimini, they are tensioned by the use of webbing straps when expanded, easily folded up when necessary, and a bit flimsy for full-time cruising & offshore passagemaking...tho' still found on some cruising boats. The other category are intended to be left up in a rigid form (altho' it's a simple matter to remove the canvas if e.g. leaving the boat for a while), it is likely to have both vertical stanchions supporting one full bow and with horizontal braces that rigidly connect the second bow to the first. This is the kind that you'll most often see a solar panel 'rack' built on top of.

By 'stanchion', I'm referring to vertical stainless tubing - just like your lifeline stanchions - that are mounted in pairs, e.g. each side of the companionway or equally spaced along the cockpit's aft coaming. The top ends are mounted onto a full-width bow and the bottom ends attached to the cabin trunk or coaming, respectively. This means the bow is anchored at both ends and along its port/starboard run, making it fairly rigid. With this kind of support, moving up from 1" OD tubing is not necessary in the smaller boats we sail. E.g. I can chin myself on the stanchion-supported bow of our bimini.

Jack
__________________
WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/WhooshSection.htm
Euro Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2006, 06:01   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,585
Images: 240
Check out the features offered by these guys. They have it just about right. http://www.iversonsdesign.com/dodger_construction.html
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2006, 05:58   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 31
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
Check out the features offered by these guys. They have it just about right. http://www.iversonsdesign.com/dodger_construction.html
That is a nice dodger. I would make sure and get the grab bars that you see along the aft part of the dodger, as well as the port and starboard sides as well. They will usually cost extra, but you'll be surprised at how often you will use them. Besides adding safety to your boat, they have the added bonus of keeping the dodger material along the sides and aft portion clean.
__________________
slow shoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2006, 10:28   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,585
Images: 240
In addition to the horizontal side handholds (2), I liked our vertical side handholds, outside of the aft support (3). This, for use exiting & entering the cockpit.
We didn’t have, and didn’t miss, the aft horizontal handhold (1). I did have an elkhide reinforcement on the after bow, which was the perfect height, upon which, to rest my chin, thereby providing hands-free stability for binocular use, etc.

All of these (so-called) extra features cost money* - but, remember, the frames will last forever (the canvass, perhaps 10 years or more).

Most canvass shops, that specialize in Bimin/Dodger work, will have an extensive portfolio of past projects. It can’t hurt, if they’ve worked on your boat model, so you can judge the aesthetics of their treatment for your particular boat.

Too bad Iversons don’t offer a Bimini.

* If you don't have the money to do right in the first place; where will you get the money to fix it?
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2006, 23:06   #14
Registered User
 
Amgine's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 1,384
Images: 1
Bimini?

http://www.iversonsdesign.com/enclosure_gallery.html A rose by another name? their "enclosures" appear to be small aft biminis with joining pieces to the dodgers, with full side curtains.

__________________
Amgine
Blog

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
Amgine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 07:28   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: West coast of Florida
Posts: 127
Images: 8
Am a little late to this conversation but have been working on this very project for the past few months.

When we purchased the boat, it had a standard "charter" bimini. Four-bows, the width of the boat, support solidly astern to the aft rail and forward with straps. I've hated the configuration for four years while waiting for the canvas to rot so I would have a good excuse to fix it. The things I hated were: 1) Low headroom; 2) restricted visibility because of #1 above; and 3) the straps and bow supports always seemed to be just where I wanted to step as I entered or left the cockpit.

So, I found mom's old Thompson walking foot machine in the attic and went at it. Sailrite.com and Canvasdealer.com are excellent resources for both advice and materials. Sailrite usually has the better selection and Canvasdealer.com the better prices. Sailrite has some good "getting started" instructions that you can download as well as some pre-bent bow kits.

This is not a job for the faint-of-heart. I was able to salvage most of the bow material and reconfigured to a 3 bow bimini, a 2 bow dodger, with connecting panel and am now working on enclosures. I've spent close to $2,000 US on materials so far but this will complete the entire project including side curtains. Professional estimate for just the bimini and dodger without enclosure was $3,500. The materials are VERY expensive: Sunbrella is at least $17/yd and the clear plastic stuff is priced like gold. A few "do-overs" and you have eaten up your savings on labor.

I've been working nights and weekends on this since late October. Although I've spent a bunch of time, I've been able to get things that matter to me just right. Visbility, mobility, and headroom in that order have been my priorities.

The full side curtains should be done in the next week or so..I'll keep you posted.
__________________

__________________
“…whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off them, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” - Melville
Curtis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bimini, dodger

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Head discharge lines clogged with marine growth? ssullivan Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 27 23-10-2006 10:04
Back Lighting Sandero Navigation 0 27-09-2006 19:52
The Trip Back! Carol General Sailing Forum 1 17-06-2004 13:58



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:50.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.