Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-07-2010, 20:59   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
Boat: 37' Lagoon TPI - Five Islands
Posts: 7
Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

Hello,

The bimimi cover on our 37 Lagoon TPI cat is getting tired and worn out and needs to be replaced. It is currently constructed of an aluminum frame with a sunbrella cover. A visitor on our boat mentioned that he had made a hard cover for his bimin which was a similar design to our. With the width of the catamaran, it would be fantastic to be able to walk on the bimini when dealing with the main sail. It would also need to be able to incorporate a windshield, side and back shade covers and I would also like to incorporate a water catcher system. I believe the currentily structure will easily support a hard top.

Here are my questions - any suggestions would be appreciated.

How would I go about making a mold?
How would I form the "eavestrough" around the edge of the bimini to act as the rain catcher?
What materials should I use to keep the hardtop strong but light?
How thick do I have to make it?

Thanks in advance for any advice or direction
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1545 (Large).JPG
Views:	463
Size:	117.2 KB
ID:	17731  
__________________

__________________
SoonToBe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2010, 21:02   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
maxingout's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Pierce, Phoenix
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,606
When you get a design, I would also like to see it. We have had a bimini for our Privilege 39 for the past forteen years, and it has worked well. But we have thought about doing exactly what you are thinking about doing. Good luck on your quest.
__________________

__________________
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only

http://SailingUNI.com
http://maxingout.com
http://PositiveThinkingSailor.com
maxingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2010, 02:38   #3
********* Emeritus
 
SaucySailoress's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 8,236
Stop considering, just build it. Here's How:

1 - Order the solar panels you need to power your needs.
2 - Measure the solar panels.
3 - Have a heavy duty stainless frame built.
4 - Attach frame to back of boat.
5 - Use frames to protect electrical cables from sun etc.

Optional Extra:

6 - Make a stainless n shape. Hinge to base of frame.
7 - Have sunbrella cover made which can pull forward to make canopy (think good old fashioned street cafe)
__________________

SaucySailoress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2010, 04:36   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Centreville, VA
Boat: Lagoon 410 ELECTRIC!
Posts: 361
I have yet to see a home made hardtop that didn't look home made. The process is quite an undertaking and since the structural integrity is high on the list I would consider going to a pro. There are 2 places here in VA that have done the French Lagoons with excellent results using the existing frame and incorporating solar panels.

Martin's Custom Structures of Gloucester, VA
and
Schroeder Yacht Services, in Deltaville, Va
I've seen Schroeder's work and consider it high quality. Martins was suppose to be cheaper but I haven't seen their work so can't yet compare the 2. I believe Schroeder's hard top was around $6k for a Lagoon 410.

Steve in Solomons MD
__________________
Hyprdrv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-02-2011, 15:07   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Fontaine Pajot, Venezia 42
Posts: 22
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonToBe View Post
Hello,

The bimimi cover on our 37 Lagoon TPI cat is getting tired and worn out and needs to be replaced. It is currently constructed of an aluminum frame with a sunbrella cover. A visitor on our boat mentioned that he had made a hard cover for his bimin which was a similar design to our. With the width of the catamaran, it would be fantastic to be able to walk on the bimini when dealing with the main sail. It would also need to be able to incorporate a windshield, side and back shade covers and I would also like to incorporate a water catcher system. I believe the currentily structure will easily support a hard top.

Here are my questions - any suggestions would be appreciated.

How would I go about making a mold?
How would I form the "eavestrough" around the edge of the bimini to act as the rain catcher?
What materials should I use to keep the hardtop strong but light?
How thick do I have to make it?

Thanks in advance for any advice or direction
Did you ever do this to your cat?
__________________
islandguy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-02-2011, 19:52   #6
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
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

Just do a search under bimini or hard dodger on the search engine after my signature. You'll see some solutions.
kind regards,
__________________
John
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-02-2011, 19:59   #7
Registered User
 
CDunc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Jacksonville Florida
Boat: 1972 Tartan 34C Fleur De Mer
Posts: 141
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

The Questions you were asking is going to depend on what you will accept as risk.
as far as strong and light weight those are engineering questions and best bet is to hire an engineer or N.A. to design your hard top. The structure you Have may support the top as is but what about if you are on it, or you and your partner are on it, or a breaking wave crashes on it? Hire a Professional to do a preliminary assessment and design. Or take the risk as is.
__________________
CDunc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-02-2011, 20:13   #8
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

This FB Belize 43 Fiberglass Bimini might give you some ideas.
No More Problem - Fiberglass Bimini Made

Mark
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-02-2011, 21:05   #9
Guest
 
otherthan's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 843
Images: 3
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

I went to a scrap yard and mesured severald models of old fiberglass pick up box...fund one with the right size took it home for a big $45...once the top cuted and sanded you cauldent say it was a truck box...only need to build the frame...for this I fund a damaged tempo car garage, free!
its galvanised 1in steel but hey the price is right้
__________________
otherthan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-02-2011, 21:19   #10
Registered User
 
lookoutnw's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Currently on the HARD in Guaymas Mexico and staying in Phoenix, AZ
Boat: Columbia 45
Posts: 302
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

I did one for a friend and am thinking of doing it on mine. I will modify my enclosures bows a bit though. I did it by taking 'door skins' and soaking them and then strapping them to the bows on his boat. They dried, I then took some foam cord and cut it flat on one side a bit and glued it to the underside of the skins. I put 2 layers of glass on the top and 1 layer on the bottom after I built up the foam cord 'beams'. Tough and not too heavy either. We put 3 solar panels across the top and he is very happy with it. A lot of work but again, I am thinking of doing it to mine also. YOu may add a layer or 2 more of mat if you have large spanses and are looking at tromping heavily on top of it.
__________________
lookoutnw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-02-2011, 22:48   #11
Registered User
 
CDunc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Jacksonville Florida
Boat: 1972 Tartan 34C Fleur De Mer
Posts: 141
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

another thought, look at the support poles, where do you think all the weight is going to be transfered, get the structure under the bases re-enforced and increase the bases so you dont put cracks or worse a hole in your coamings.
__________________
CDunc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-02-2011, 06:46   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Norseman 430, Jabberwock
Posts: 691
Re: Considering Building a Hardtop Bimini

Missed seeing this thread last summer.

Your frame looks similar to mine, which was designed to support 2 men. The top panel the fabricator built was made of a material I think was called cell-tech, 1/2 " thick which is commonly used by the "tuna tower" fabricators.

Since it was a little heavy, and had to be made in 2 pieces because of the size, from the start I planned on replacing it with a one piece top that I would make of 1/2" Dekolite, which is fiberglass skinned end grain balsa. I had to join the 2 pieces with a butt joint covered with fiberglass.

To allow me to "reef" the top for huuricanes, etc.(on a cat, the top can be a very large wing), the out board 2 feet are removable Sunbrella. I glued a plastic boltrope track to either edge of the hard top. Also, with the cloth sections, it was easy to incorporate coverable windows either side for checking the set of the main.

It all works very well, and to my eye looks great. Oh, and the joint between the panels that I eliminated with the Dekolite was right at the the helm, so now I stay dry!
__________________

__________________
ggray is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bimini

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
For Sale: 53' Hallberg Rassy - 2004 HARDTOP saltydog47 Classifieds Archive 3 02-03-2010 07:15
Hardtop to Replace Canvas Bev & Bill Liveaboard's Forum 8 19-08-2009 22:47
For Sale: '81 ChrisCraft 283 Hardtop Express Cruiser - $10K Dave the Canuck Classifieds Archive 0 27-07-2009 16:02
building a hardtop dodjer replacement captjohn360 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 13 06-05-2004 00:35
hardtop captjohn360 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 06-03-2004 19:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:49.


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.