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Old 10-06-2008, 12:25   #1
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Bimini Top

Hello All,

I have a 33' Morgan O.I. that i need to make a Bimini Top for, can someone please tell me what the gage of the pipe used on the frame? I plan to step it up a little from the normal with Stainless pipe.

Thank you,

John
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:39   #2
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usually 1", mine is quite large and uses 1 1/2" stainless.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:41   #3
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Quote:
I plan to step it up a little from the normal with Stainless pipe.
7/8 th inch Stainless is pretty normal. If it is not that already then I would switch. One inch is not normal unless you have some other special application. One inch is used more for railing. If you need to support more weight then add more tubes to the frame and use more attach points. Watch the fittings type. Real 316 Stainless fittings cost more but look nicer and last longer. The folding joints are the ones that cost the most.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:49   #4
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Paul,

This is interesting, most of the new biminis I see have 1" rails. Some of the older ones are 7/8". I think the smaller rail just isn't sturdy enough. Especially now with the popularity of solar panels on top of the bimini. On my B393 with a 13 ft beam (carried right aft) they used a 1 1/2" rail.
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:02   #5
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Thank you for the input, would any of you happen to know the wall thickness/Gauge of the tube/pipe? from what i have seen it is very light.

Thank you,

John
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:44   #6
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I think it's all pretty standard. I would consider any I've seen not light at all. Some times you see alumni mum tubes used and those are light and you can bend them by pushing on them. When joined in a proper frame and anchored to the hull the steel frame is plenty strong if properly constructed. They can take gusts to 60 knots. Above that you add enough windage that the force of that will move the boat or rip the fabric.

In one inch you can get it .065 or .049 gage. I don't have numbers handy on 7/8 th inch. You can get 304 stainless or 316 stainless. In fresh water 304 is perfectly fine at least I think so. 316 does cost more. 304 is stronger and if you cover it with fabric so you can't see it maybe it's not a bad choice and is used. 304 shows surface rust in salt water and you need to stay on top of it. eBay is great at this bait and switch. They tell how thick it is then not tell you it isn't 316 yet is priced far less than 316. Cheap 304 stainless is in fact far cheaper than 316.

If you are going to spend more money on tubes get the 316 tubing and the fittings too. It will work grreat and look brand new 20 years later long after the fabric has been replaced twice.

Before you say it's "very light" I think it would help to go over the application you have in mind. For a bimini top only you really don't have advantage with using heavier tubes. Sronger does not always matter. The fabric is still far weaker. If you make the frame so it is solid and not held up with straps and such you can make it very rigid.

If what you have is a folding type arrangment I would switch to a rigid frame before I increased the size of the tubes and make it heavier. If you have aluminium then by all means the change will be dramatic. Light isn't allways bad.
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:48   #7
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now with the popularity of solar panels on top of the bimini.
Last boat had solar panels and was 7/8. the thing was strong enough to walk on. You throw in a few extra crossbars and make a grid out of them and this thing did quite well.
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:55   #8
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The standard for 1" ss tubing is .049
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:56   #9
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Paul Thank you so much, you are very informative.

I can get Stainless 316 seamless Tube 1" from my old work at cost around $11.35 a foot it comes in 22 gauge and up, i was thinking of 16 or 11 gauge but thought the 11 gauge would be over kill.

John
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Old 10-06-2008, 15:32   #10
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Might also check out the kits at Sailrite.
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