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Old 27-09-2011, 08:56   #31
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

Nothing quite like 40 years of racing in cold wet conditions to give you another perspective about canvas. Done a couple Mac's where I couldn't feel my fiingers but could see my breath. It's so much fun having ice water trickling down my back when on the dog watch.

Cold and wet is over rated. Canvas is nice!

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Old 27-09-2011, 09:34   #32
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

SeaTrek. H
It is good at dock and out at seaas a custom hard dodger and zip out windows
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Old 27-09-2011, 09:37   #33
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

anyone know a dodger designer / builder in the bay area that they can recommend?

i removed the PO's greatest life failure within days of buying the vessel and am starting to think about the soft dodger replacement.
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Old 27-09-2011, 09:44   #34
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This is something we have considered. The issue that has held us back is the location of the traveler (in between cockpit and companionway). To sail we have to remove part of the Bimini. Has anyone seen a system that work with this setup? I know I can move the traveler but I thought I'd ask since many boats have this rigging configuration. Thx! SC
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Old 27-09-2011, 10:56   #35
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

I don't see many full biminis around here, which is odd considering our weather. If I'm on the boat the sides and backs are rolled up in the summer, day and night, in the winter they're up when I'm underway but otherwise they're down. I sail when I can, often just to do it. Perhaps I'm the exception but in this neighborhood the determiners seem otherwise. In the gulf islands most of the time if you're sailing you are making short tacks or jibes since it's all channels that the prevailing winds run up and down and it seems a lot of people don't like to sail under those conditions. In the Georgia Strait it's mostly larger boats since conditions can get more intense and small craft warnings are not unusual. Although the tack can be a long one the prevailing winds mean that if you are going to one end or the other of the strait you have to be prepared to take the long way and again it seems many folks aren't willing to be controlled by the winds.

I enjoy being exposed to the sky when sailing on someone elses boat for sure but much prefer having a bimini to not. With the bimini I can hide from the sun in summer and duck the wind in winter. Mostly I'm sitting on the combings or standing on the lazarette to see anyway and the bimini probably isn't that much of a factor with regards to where I sit or stand since the pilothouse deck is fairly high anyway and restricts visibility from the cockpit. With the pilothouse I can go below and still see really well.

When the weather gets cool I can limit the dampness and draft at night by closing the bimini up. It makes a surprising difference. I have a large foredeck and hang out on it more then the cockpit, which seems different from what I see with most people. If I'm motoring under AP I'm out on the foredeck. Now you're talking visibility!

I suspect with a different vessel this post would look very different.
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Old 27-09-2011, 11:04   #36
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

big winds tend to do great harm to biminis..... tears canvas and makes a mess of things nicely.....
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Old 27-09-2011, 11:13   #37
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
big winds tend to do great harm to biminis..... tears canvas and makes a mess of things nicely.....
What do you mean by big wind? Gales are routine here. Every winter we get several storms where the winds hit 70. My experince leans toward the sun doing the damage at first. I have been sewing up seams and will continue to do so to make sure everything is ready for winter but, like tenting in a boat, if you make sure things aren't flapping the wind doesn't seem to do much damage. The sun is going to get to it though and at some point it will need replacing.
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Old 27-09-2011, 11:30   #38
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

I agree that most of the time the wind does not cause problems with a well built dodger plus the fact that we can pull our entire dodger down in under 5 minutes and the bimini will be built the same way makes the argument that wind will be a problem a non-issue.
It is always seems to be the sun that causes the most amount of problems with sunbrella. I believe purchasing the higher quality (i.e. heavier) sunbrella would allow you to get more years out of the installation but we have yet to do that ourselves except on our dinghy chaps which lasted through two years in the tropics and still look perfect. The first set we had was made with the standard sunbrella and made it for less than a year in southern california.
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Old 27-09-2011, 15:31   #39
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

pnw gales plus heat and sun and duration plus 10-20 mph or more....lightning and sideways rain.....
way the breezes are here, i should have no problem finding a decent out of here when is time...
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Old 27-09-2011, 15:39   #40
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

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Have had an enclosure for years with windows all around for sailing that could be rolled up during pleasant weather.
We have had full enclosures that lasted decades as well, and loved the 'roll up stowage'. Well worth it to save having to stow bulky stuff below, and the ease with which we could change from closed to open, partial or full.

Keep in mind these installations last a LONG time, so don't be pound foolish penny wise. Get the features you will really use. If pro-rates over the years.

With the new gortex threads they should really last. It was always the stitching that went on ours.
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Old 28-09-2011, 03:48   #41
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

The 'lid' is made from a 2.4mm sheet of grp - Its the stuff they make refrigerated truck bodies out of. The 'windscreen is polycarb so very clear. The sides and back can be raised for air, out for shade or down for dry. We often sail with the weather side down - stops spray in the cockpit.
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Old 28-09-2011, 06:12   #42
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

I am considering a bimini after 26 years to be able to escape the hot sun in the summer afternoons. The rest of the time not having the cover is fine... and even preferable. And of course the boat looks better without a bimini.

We have a low dodger which does a great job of protection from wind and some spray sailing upwind. The front window can be zipped out completely or partially and thrown over the top... which is where it stays most of the time except when it rains, or we are sailing upwind in more than 15k of breeze.

I don't drive from the helm underway... except for rare occasions... coming along side, anchoring or mooring... when the auto pilot is a not able to do as well as human... or when it's just too much fun to drive the boat. Seeing the sails is important but not critical under these conditions... but a roof over the cockpit would make mainsail trim a bitch.

I am thinking of a easily foldable bimini with a zip in fly where the mainsheet is... something that could be zipped in for rain protection. The slot would be fairly wide to accommodate the mainsheet, but provide the view to the main for sail trim.

What would be perhaps even better than folding bows would be split removable ones so the whole thing could be stowed in the V when not used. But it would have to be a quick set up and take down... not as study as a fixed or hinged mounted one. This would be more a *sun shade* than a weather protection.

Privacy is not a real concern... I am not an exhibitionist but I don't need to hide what goes on in the cockpit from others... most of which are too far away to see anything. So definitely this will not be permanent, not have sides and be demountable or foldable. I am still toying with ideas... I've enclosed a sketch of my present idea...

Any comments or suggestions?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf bimini 2.pdf (134.0 KB, 109 views)
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Old 28-09-2011, 06:28   #43
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
We put a solar bimini up a couple years ago, and love it. It took some getting used to, having a restricted vision of the main, but I've grown to love it. On our boat, the skin cancer thing is a huge consideration.
If only we could figure out how to rig rain gutters on the bimini!
Bash:
I put in a piece of plexiglass in between the two 12 volt solar panels I mounted on the dodger frame so I can keep an eye on the sail as I hoist it from the cockpit and whenever I need to take a look at it. Really helps a lot. You can catch a some shots of it here in this video:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: HAPPY AT THE HELM!
Though I still had some of the protective film on at the time but, you can get the idea. The solar bimini just survived the winds of Hurricane Irene this summer and also a brush with Hurricane Earl last year so I consider it tested. I doubt Sunbrella fabric would have done as well.
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Old 29-09-2011, 11:02   #44
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

I like the idea of a plexiglass insert. We had originally thought of putting a window in the fly panel but as we get further into this project we realize how difficult that may be. It seems that make a fly in the middle has many challenges mostly due to the fact that you must fit and tighten with only zippers whereas with a one piece bimini you can tighten the whole thing up with the tubing. In the end having a fly in the middle that can be removed when sailing should be worth the extra effort. This in addition to the fact that we have a mizzen mast that we must go around makes this a pretty challenging project. fun fun fun
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Old 29-09-2011, 12:20   #45
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Re: Cockpit Enclosure

One thought about plexiglass is that it scratches very easily, you have to clean it with a soft cloth and special cleansers. Birds are going to **** on it. That said I've found it tough to get the stains out of sunbrella but at least I'm not trying to look through it.
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