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Old 05-04-2013, 12:05   #1
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Making a bimini from bamboo?

My brother just told me about a guy who put together a bimini using bamboo poles and Sunbrella material. This guy was a legitimate liveaboard cruiser in Mexico.

My question is has anyone ever heard or toyed with using bamboo poles for this application. He also noted that the guy had a whisker pole made out of a bamboo pole.

Given the lightweight, strength, flexibility and affordability I'm toying with trying to make my own bimini this way rather than using stainless steel tubing. The ease of cutting and binding and lashing the poles would make it a lot more doable project for me.

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Old 05-04-2013, 12:10   #2
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Re: Making a bimini from bamboo?

Why not? The Chinese use it for everything from scaffolding to feeding Pandas.

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Old 05-04-2013, 12:32   #3
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Re: Making a bimini from bamboo?

My neighbor's house is completely surrounded by bamboo. She planted it 30 years ago and it quickly got out of control. She now spends a considerable amount of her time during the growing season struggling to keep it in check.

As a result, I have an endless supply of bamboo at my disposal and it is tough stuff. I have used it for everything from garden stakes to lantern posts to even new shovel handles. There is no reason why you can't use it to make a bimini provided you find an effective way of assembling it. For my own part I would drill holes crosswise through the ends and use stainless bolts to connect parts. That would also allow you to fold it, depending on the design. One thing though, you're going to want to seal the bamboo after it has dried out, if it's not already dried when you get it. Otherwise it will deteriorate relatively quickly.
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Old 05-04-2013, 18:18   #4
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Re: Making a bimini from bamboo?

It would be much stiffer than PVC which I've seen used.

Our bamboo here in Hawaii is subject to beetles. They get into any area of the bamboo that is not treated or painted with something to keep them at bay.

From experience trying to use it as a construction material the largest hindrance is connecting one piece to another at right angles. If you can master the lashing required to make a clean project I'd go for it. I have some 6" diameter Guadua variety growing here in my yard. I think that would make a pretty impressive spinnaker or whisker pole.

kind regards,

kind regards,
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Old 05-04-2013, 18:53   #5
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Re: Making a bimini from bamboo?

There has been an effort to build bicycles out of bamboo to mass produce them at an affordable price for developing nations. My understanding is they are are very light and durable.
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