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Old 18-04-2017, 10:06   #1
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Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

I have a bubble top MK11 Columbia 39' 70's era.
I have been contemplating adding a hard top dodger, moving the car up on top, thus leaving little room for my Bimini cover slightly above the dodger due to boom, and below solar racks aft

So Question: How much sail catch will be noticed (short of calculating cloth difference, Will I notice the change much, if I raise my boom about 10-14 inches? Mast holes repairs etc,? It seems to me it would be about the same as a third of 1st reef. I'm not sure with wind if I would notice the difference. Without I have other sails.

More info; 57-3 ht., 6-3 keel, 37-7 l.o.w.

I understand the work involved, As I see it I will need a break from the sunshine. Going South this year. I am already dealing with some_ _ sun allergies, Doc tell's me.., So covering up seems a worthy improvement for this years project. Short of moving to the mountains, of coarse.

Will I see a noticeable difference dodger top and Bimini or wind to sail efficiency? speed? with all the not so normal winds we normally enjoy. I feel I have to make some sacrifice to stay in my current pursuit of happiness.
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Old 18-04-2017, 12:18   #2
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

I think upwind a dodger does not harm all that much, a bimini ... well, likely quite a bit.

Beam reaching - not a noticeable difference.

And downwind you GO FASTER!

So ... if you think you want a dodger and a bimini DO GET BOTH!

We have both. The bimini can be removed in heavy going. I would NOT go seriously sailing (offshore) in any boat that does not have them.

If you just lift the aft end of the boom - then you are not modifying anything on the mast, you are only having your sailmaker recut the main to that modern 'racy' look. No need to lift the whole boom up.

Go for it!

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Old 18-04-2017, 15:01   #3
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

Barnakiel, thanks for your response. I like the racy look thought, just didn't think of the simplicity lifting aft of boom, and refitting sail like that. I have never talked to one that has done such. Of coarse I sure didn't want some Dong Wang Junk Boat look. But, I have put little thought into boom placement, except raising it. Focusing on built ins, lights, gauges, fiberglass work, anchoring to deck etc., only the things for comfort and convenience. I'll be measuring and see, I may be able to leave Vang and traveler in same place as well, should have come here first, this changes everything. Sure good to have ability to bounce ideas' or in my case, some not so good ideas off more experienced cruisers. Thanks again. dtrue
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Old 18-04-2017, 15:33   #4
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

Here's a hard dodger and bimini on a 48' mono. Frankly I can't think of many nicer upgrades to a boat. Nearly all new catamarans have a hard bimini - why aren't there more monos with them?

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Old 19-04-2017, 04:43   #5
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

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Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post

Here's a hard dodger and bimini on a 48' mono. Frankly I can't think of many nicer upgrades to a boat. Nearly all new catamarans have a hard bimini - why aren't there more monos with them?
Maybe something about the difficulty to match a hard top with a smaller mono cockpit layout - perhaps getting in and out of the cockpit becomes a bit difficult. Another factor could be where the traveler is on monos - often in the cockpit. I have seen hard tops on many bigger mono yachts but never on a smaller one.

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Old 19-04-2017, 05:44   #6
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

We made a hard dodger and bimini on our boat to stay out of the sun and works really well.

Every boat is going to be different in the approach to make it functional and while still aesthetically matching the boat. If you still have the mid boom sheeting, you probably want to leave it on the cabin top vs. on the bimini top for 2 main reasons. Heavy re-enforcement of the bimini framing will be needed to handle the sheeting load on the track. (Think of an accidental jibe). You most likely lose more than 10-14 inches if you need to raise the bimini to stand under it comfortably. Also the extra allowance for the track and sheeting blocks on top of the bimini may increase the distance above the bimini. (In the previously attached pic., the sheeting is on the aft cabin top behind the bimini).

Another nice addition would be a boom crutch added/molded into the top if you need to secure your boom end.

Probably won't notice any difference in the sail efficiency, but will make it more difficult to "feel" the wind. In fact, it will make it swirl a bit and you will need to rely on the windex/wind gauges more. Also w/ the lack of feel, will need some properly placed hatches to view the sails.

Another consideration is what material you want the dodger windows made out of. We went with safety glass with opening panels in our dodger windshield. This allowed for the least distortion and we can also add rainx on the glass. The 2 large opening windows in our windshield allows for nice air flow thru the cockpit when at anchor.

The hard bimini does make you duck into the cockpit and makes it more difficult to get in/out when carrying things. Also need to remind guest not to stand up immediately after going over the coaming.

All in all we love our bimini and it keeps us cool/out of the sun. Ours is strong enough to walk on it and is a great place to put of solar panels.

Cheers,
Bill O.
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Old 19-04-2017, 09:28   #7
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

Go for it, We work and live aboard in the cold, today is the first day of summer- its been snowing all day! We could not image Sailing up here without a full canopy, but some boats do, but usually only in the summer, we work most of the year.

We liked our full canopy so much that this winter we changed the canvas and stainless tub roof for an alloy sheet with 6mm glass windows for a better look out, instead of pvc.

When we finally go somewhere hot we can remove the canvas sides, and add solar panels to the 2 flat sides of the roof.

It does add windage of course, but not feeling your hands, feet or face does not help your sailing either, but equally, 3mm aluminium does block all solar radiation as well.
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Old 19-04-2017, 12:07   #8
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

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... but equally, 3mm aluminium does block all solar radiation as well.
So you're saying a hard bimini would actually make the cockpit colder in an already cold environment?
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Old 19-04-2017, 15:00   #9
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

Hi, just to prove a bimini and hardtop work well on a smaller 36 foot boat. Unzipping the forward facing windows in the hardtop is very pleasant during light breezes.
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Old 20-04-2017, 23:41   #10
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

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So you're saying a hard bimini would actually make the cockpit colder in an already cold environment?

Alright, I'll bite. Being from Alaska, I can tell you that the radiation you get from the sun will not overcome the power of the wind pulling the heat out of you body until (insert subjective temperature) degrees. My threshold is about 65F on a bright sunny day when it's blowing 15kn.


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Old 26-04-2017, 09:14   #11
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

I have a contour 34 Trimaran with a poly-carbonate and anodized aluminum hard top for my bimini and dodger and they have served me well. Much color than canvas and you can add solar panels and visibility panels. Youi can look at my photo album on this site. Check them out hardtotop.com.
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Old 26-04-2017, 09:46   #12
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Re: Dodger and Bimini ..comfort VS performance

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Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post
So you're saying a hard bimini would actually make the cockpit colder in an already cold environment?
The heat island effect when fully enclosed is a no brainer in the higher latitudes.

We replaced the aging bimini and dodger on our Liberty 458. We liveaboard, currently in the PNW. Even in winter near freezing it's a comfortable space.

We used aerospace honeycomb panels to fashion the dodger with a 160" radius curve on top and with cut and fold stiffeners. It has an opening for the helmsperson to stand up straight when we want to sail by feeling the wind.

We're near finishing our solid windscreen. It's a compound curve to match the cockpit surround. I'm putting temporary polycarbonate screwed curved windows in for this summer. I'll custom build the curved stainless surrounds over winter.

We've left our boom where it is. You can't stand in the cockpit, except at the helm. This minimizes windage and avoids the castle turret look. Getting in and out is easy once you have perfected the gymnastic move.

Lots of work involved. Probably 300+ hours all up spread over 2 states while travelling extensively for work. I do all the composites, stainless fabrication and integration work.

We have 600W of solar on the arch and will add another 400W on the dodger. Much of this is shaded so not an ideal place for solar panels.
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