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Old 15-11-2012, 17:33   #1
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Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

I was wondering if anyone had any advise for sheet material that would be light and strong enough to replace the canvas bimini on my Belize 43 catamaran. The aluminum structure seems pretty strong. I'm just considering options as the existing material is quite old and when it rains water leaks all around the grommets and into the cockpit. I'm also adding a solar panel up top and need support anyway for that.
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Old 16-11-2012, 00:24   #2
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Re: fiberglass panels for hard top bimini?

Starboard. Or a custom hard bimini in cored fiberglass.
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Old 16-11-2012, 00:57   #3
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Re: fiberglass panels for hard top bimini?

Hi Brit Horn,
I've sailed on the Robertson & Caine/ Moorings charter cats, which have hard top fiberglass biminis over the cockpit area. They are supported by both stailess and fiberglass post. It really is great for cruising as they are strong enough to walk on to tend to the mainsail, and the mainsheet traveller is up out of the way. Also it is extra deck space for tanning.
Craig
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Old 16-11-2012, 01:12   #4
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Re: fiberglass panels for hard top bimini?

try coosa board. Light and stiff
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:42   #5
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Re: fiberglass panels for hard top bimini?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewke07 View Post
try coosa board. Light and stiff


Coosa board needs to be glassed over, it cant be used for exterior without it. It also weighs about as much as marine ply, which is a bit heavy for a bimini. Much better to use 5lb. rigid urethane for a core material here. Or 3/8" starboard for the cheap option. And I use a ton of Coosa.
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Old 16-11-2012, 09:05   #6
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

Azek sheets 4 feet x 8 feet x 1/2 thick at $110 each.
www.azek.com/azek-sheet

Maybe these links will help

Bimini

Bimini
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:54   #7
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Azek sheets 4 feet x 8 feet x 1/2 thick at $110 each.
www.azek.com/azek-sheet

Maybe these links will help

Bimini

Bimini
I just came across your post in researching hard biminis. I have a couple of questions about yours.

How is the Azek sheet holding up?

What is the exposed edge like when you cut the sheet? Did you have to do anything to cover that edge or is the sheet one solid material?

Thanks,

Jesse
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:22   #8
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
I just came across your post in researching hard biminis. I have a couple of questions about yours.

How is the Azek sheet holding up?

What is the exposed edge like when you cut the sheet? Did you have to do anything to cover that edge or is the sheet one solid material?

Thanks,

Jesse
My Azek hard Bimini is 2 years old now and looks good as new.
I routered the edge with 1/4 round. Just sanded the cut edge smooth and that's it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 13:52   #9
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

Thanks. I got a quote from a local lumber yard and it's definitely cheaper that going with something like starboard.

They can only get the sheet I want in 1/4" thickness. I think that should be thick enough but want to think that through a little more.

JK
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Old 29-10-2013, 19:47   #10
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
My Azek hard Bimini is 2 years old now and looks good as new.
I routered the edge with 1/4 round. Just sanded the cut edge smooth and that's it.
Can you post any pics of it? Your Bimini, I mean.
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Old 30-10-2013, 06:10   #11
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

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Can you post any pics of it? Your Bimini, I mean.
Sure, here's a few pictures of my hard bimini that replaced my canvas one.

Bimini

Bimini
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Old 30-10-2013, 08:05   #12
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I made mine from 1/8 inch plywood, 2 coats of west system epoxy 3 coats primer/ paint on bottom. Still have to prime paint top. We'll see how it holds up, I'm thinking it will do well.
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Old 30-10-2013, 08:35   #13
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

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Originally Posted by Samantha ann View Post
I made mine from 1/8 inch plywood, 2 coats of west system epoxy 3 coats primer/ paint on bottom. Still have to prime paint top. We'll see how it holds up, I'm thinking it will do well.
Nice job
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Old 30-10-2013, 17:50   #14
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Thanks! I had several people tell me they weren't sure if it would come out as well as it did. I'm happy! Currently, trying to find a trim place to go around the edge . I sealed them well but trying to make it look nice. Anyone have any ideas? It's an 1/8 inch thick so.. Needs to be real flexible to go around the corners.
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Old 30-10-2013, 18:45   #15
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Re: Fiberglass Panels For Hard Top Bimini?

Hi Samantha Ann, I used the same process on my own hard bimini project. I ran some 1/2" or larger wood dowelling through a table saw to cut a kerf large enough to fit over the edge of the ply, then epoxied it on, saturated the whole thing and finished it off with the same treatment as the main surface. For the corners I took a little time and cut out the corners on a band saw and hand shaped them. I guess you could sculpt something out of solid epoxy as well.
good luck
Greg
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