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Old 20-01-2014, 20:41   #1
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Extending Life of Bimini?

Did some searching and didn't find anything on this topic so thought I would post. We are redoing many things on our boat and, like most, are having to pick and choose what order to do things

Our current bimini is showing signs of wear and has 2 small (1 inch-ish) slashes in it. It doesn't leak (other than the 2 slits) so we are thinking to just patch those 2 slits for now and try to hold off getting another one another year. Is there anything we can coat it with to help maybe stretch it another year or so? It is Sunbrella fabric that is definitely showing its age but no really big tears, thin spots or tatters so we would like to hold off if we can.

Thoughts?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 20-01-2014, 20:50   #2
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

303 Fabric Guard will extend the life of outdoor fabrics by blocking UV light.
303 Fabric Guard -MFG#30616

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Old 20-01-2014, 21:17   #3
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
303 Fabric Guard will extend the life of outdoor fabrics by blocking UV light.
303 Fabric Guard -MFG#30616

And that is what Sunbrella recommends.

And I tested a group and 303 was best, by a good margin.

I think Practical Sailor published a review a few months ago.
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Old 20-01-2014, 21:23   #4
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

If you go to a local canvas shop they will more than likely have off-cuts of the same color sunbrella as well as bits of the black pvc reinforcement. I noticed my older dodger and bimini wearing along where they lay against the SS tubing. Was able to get exactly what I needed for free from some nice people there (but still reimbursed them out of principle).
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Old 20-01-2014, 22:00   #5
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

If you want to keep it waterproof make sure you clean it well. Do not get too aggressive but make sure it has been washed and left to dry before you spray on the 303
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Old 20-01-2014, 23:04   #6
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

am using scotchguard outdoor to improve the water repellant properties of my old sunbrella bimini, dodger and lazy bag. 303 is not available at my local store, but i would give it a try if i could. scotchguard is quite expensive.
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Old 21-01-2014, 01:20   #7
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

our bimini ia 10 years old and been all over the carib and now the med --

about 4-5 years ago it started to leak and started using the 303 but in the end it was a never ending job -- then another cruiser turned us on to elasticmatic paint --

it is really roofing paint and elastic -- we painted our bimini white and boy did it make a difference in the heat in the cockpit - and it is totally waterproof - like i said 10 years now and still going strong --
of course we are not concerned as much about the "prettyness" of the bimini and more concerned about it's functionality and keeping us dry and sun off -

we got a gallon at home depot and it took a gallon
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Old 21-01-2014, 01:23   #8
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

This is what you need when you get around to replacing the bimini... Search Shelter-Rite. It is the stuff they use on the side of trucks.

I had my Sunbrella covered bimini recovered in Shelter-Rite 6 years and a circumnavigation ago. It looks better after 6 years than the Sunbrella did after 6 months! Another advantage is it is only half the price!! Mine is the beige which is cooler (in temperature) than blue and easier on the eyes than white.
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Old 21-01-2014, 10:49   #9
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

Thanks everyone!!! Such great idea and info. I really appreciate the help.
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Old 21-01-2014, 11:45   #10
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

We've used this stuff for years for waterproofing old Sunbrella.

Outdoor Campdry Heavy Duty Water Repellent :: KIWI care products
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:00   #11
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

The 303 Fabric Guard and other protective products should be used from when the awning is new, not when it is worn and leaking, at which time it's too late as the UV damage is already done and can't be un-done with these products.
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:03   #12
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

You may want to upgrade to a hard bimini next year.

You can buy a sheet of 1/2 Azek and just screw it to your current SS bimini frame.
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Old 21-01-2014, 19:42   #13
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

The canvas water-proof sprays are expensive. Years ago I learned from an old salt a cheap and effective alternative — cement sealer. You can buy it at hardware stores. It goes on easily with a brush and dries naturally. I use it about twice a year and my bimini never seems to age.
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Old 22-01-2014, 04:29   #14
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

This patch kit will repair Sunbrella.

Another option is to use Elmer's glue to bond a fabric patch over the existing Sunbrella tear. I had VERY good results w/ that repair method.
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Old 22-01-2014, 05:21   #15
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Re: Extending Life of Bimini?

Be warned; many water proofing products can ruin vinyl windows, either at the time of application or with run-off over time. In fact several "canvas treatments" have been tested to destroy vinyl in a single application.

I would pain a 1" square of vinyl in a corner before I got started. PS did some testing, but did not include all of these suggestions. What ever you use, cover the glass and clean it with vinyl cleaner when finished.
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