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Old 26-05-2020, 01:02   #1
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400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Some inspiration to counter Corona boredome during lockdown. (Never waste a good crisis)

Ordered all material for the Dodger from HP-Textiles in Germany, they ship in all EU countries, the plywood I bought locally.


It starts with a big sheet of 4mm plywood, cut in stripes.

- A bench to bend pair of the stripes into the shape of the dodger...

- fixing the stripes to the SS frame to create the shape with rope, staples, tape...

- covering it with plastic to make it non-sticky

- putting it on to check and fix the edge shape.

- cutting, sticking and shaping the core material (3D core)

- laminating carbon fibre and peel canvas, adding plastic cover and some weight to keep it in shape while curing

- removing the mold and laminating the downside of the shell with carbon fibre and peel cloth

- cutting edges and corners into shape, removing of 1/2 inch of the core around the shape with a screw driver and filling the gap with thickened epoxy to make the edge sturdy.

- gluing more core material for the rim shape, adding plywood core on the rim for later fastening the keder rails and laminating over it with carbon fibre and epoxy.

- fairing and sanding, adding epoxy primer

- sanding and applying epoxy fine primer, sanding

- painting with 2 layers 2k PU International Perfection

- bending the rails for the canvas in the vice from the beginning, drilling, gluing, screwing the rails in

- mariage of the shell with the frame, fixing with clamps, gluing it on to the frame with Tikal marine grade construction glue (like Sikaflex, but easier to work with and can be painted over)

- sewing jobs to make the keder rail zippers, adapting the enclosure to the new hardtop (ongoing)

- making a removable rigid windshield window with canvas frame (in planning) Click image for larger version

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Old 26-05-2020, 01:14   #2
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Thumbs up Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNewBee View Post
Some inspiration to counter Corona boredome during lockdown. (Never waste a good crisis)

Ordered all material for the Dodger from HP-Textiles in Germany, they ship in all EU countries, the plywood I bought locally.


It starts with a big sheet of 4mm plywood, cut in stripes.

- A bench to bend pair of the stripes into the shape of the dodger...

- fixing the stripes to the SS frame to create the shape with rope, staples, tape...

- covering it with plastic to make it non-sticky

- putting it on to check and fix the edge shape.

- cutting, sticking and shaping the core material (3D core)

- laminating carbon fibre and peel canvas, adding plastic cover and some weight to keep it in shape while curing

- removing the mold and laminating the downside of the shell with carbon fibre and peel cloth

- cutting edges and corners into shape, removing of 1/2 inch of the core around the shape with a screw driver and filling the gap with thickened epoxy to make the edge sturdy.

- gluing more core material for the rim shape, adding plywood core on the rim for later fastening the keder rails and laminating over it with carbon fibre and epoxy.

- fairing and sanding, adding epoxy primer

- sanding and applying epoxy fine primer, sanding

- painting with 2 layers 2k PU International Perfection

- bending the rails for the canvas in the vice from the beginning, drilling, gluing, screwing the rails in

- mariage of the shell with the frame, fixing with clamps, gluing it on to the frame with Tikal marine grade construction glue (like Sikaflex, but easier to work with and can be painted over)

- sewing jobs to make the keder rail zippers, adapting the enclosure to the new hardtop (ongoing)

- making a removable rigid windshield window with canvas frame (in planning) Attachment 215824Attachment 215825Attachment 215826Attachment 215827Attachment 215828Attachment 215829Attachment 215830Attachment 215831Attachment 215832Attachment 215833Attachment 215834
Good to see others that are not using this crisis as an excuse to be lazy :P
I'm keeping busy with work here too.
Good job
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Old 26-05-2020, 01:48   #3
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

That would be impressive work if done in a workshop but on a pontoon - respect!
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Old 26-05-2020, 01:52   #4
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

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Originally Posted by Sos View Post
That would be impressive work if done in a workshop but on a pontoon - respect!
Yea, that's the real art of doing work while cruising imo, making the most of your space and equipment. I'm at anchor, so I don't even have the pontoon, but I have a way to rig a good work bench in the cockpit, and the coachroof is good for other work.
My berth doubles as my sewing table.
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Old 26-05-2020, 12:14   #5
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

As always Newbee, first rate work. You never fail to impress. Thanks for the write up with pics. How many hours and cost of materials you got into it?
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Old 26-05-2020, 12:34   #6
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

There is a huge market for hard biminis for a company that could custom make them at a reasonable cost. Many people would be happy to kiss sunbrella goodbye.
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Old 26-05-2020, 14:23   #7
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Material cost was round about 800EUR... 850EUR for the bimini top, can't tell it exactly, because I ordered more stuff for some other projects too and also some zippers, canvas, keder and stuff for adapting the existing enclosure to the new hardtop.

I have done it during the lockdown, in total about maybe 5...6 weeks with interruptions due to strong winds and other work on the boat. I have not worked full time on the project, just an hour per day or so, you know, you glue a bended ply stripe, it has to cure over night, then you do the next one... Every epoxy layer, fairing, primer, painting needs over night to cure before you can do the next step... Due to Corona, deliveries took much longer, so I had to wait for some stuff to arrive before I could continue.

Last year I asked Lagoon, what it would cost to order only the one canvas part on the bimini (roof and rear window, ours was degrading from UV, the seams get loose and the canvas started to disintegrate) and I got a quote for 1.200 EUR. So I was a little "unhappy" with the offer: for 1 sqare meter Sunbrella, 4 YKK zippers and 2 windows - material costs maybe 100EUR retail price - and some straight seams. It looked ridiculous to me.

I was thinking, I can sew this myself in one or two days, no big deal. But then I decided to go one step further. Lagoon offeres also a hardtop for the L42 for 12.000 EUR as an option, so my estimation was: divide the price by ten to get to the material cost, order the stuff and DIY. That was pretty much it. It is also fun to do something creative.

I also wanted to make a mold for the helm bench, and build a custom seat with a high, ergonomic backrest: I have the material already on board, but this will happen maybe during Corona 2.0 or in a nice place at anchor when I get bored again.

We are preparing now to leave the marina and set sails next week, so no more non-essential projects at the moment, the to-do list is still long, before we can untie the lines. And honestly, I had enough dust from sanding and fairing for this season.
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Old 26-05-2020, 16:05   #8
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Nicely done! I opted to buy my hardtop Bimini and dodger 5 years ago for my Irwin 38. The material was molded polystyrene.
Sadly the gentleman who did the work died shortly after my project. WaveStopper was the name and I heard there might be some imitators in the wings.
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Old 26-05-2020, 17:45   #9
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Love your work, and done on board. Thank you for the post.
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Old 26-05-2020, 19:02   #10
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Nothing so grand but I made a hardtop last month for around $500.
2 x sheets of 4x8 shower wall sheets from Home Depot, laid out on the garage floor and 2 x layers of 1.5oz glass laid on top. Fixed to the existing bimini frame with pipe clamps. If I were to do it again, I'd make it a bit wider but so far so good and it's light enough to be good with the existing frame - I think.
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Old 26-05-2020, 19:26   #11
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

2 m x 2.4 m soft bimini inspired by new Lagoon 42 - DIY. Larger than original.

We also tried to go via lagoon for original but shipping costs to Sydney were prohibitive.

I am planning on extra removable seat next to the helm, hanging off two winches in front and bimini stud at the back. Just too lazy to start.
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Old 28-05-2020, 07:07   #12
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Quote:
Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
2 m x 2.4 m soft bimini inspired by new Lagoon 42 - DIY. Larger than original.

We also tried to go via lagoon for original but shipping costs to Sydney were prohibitive.

I am planning on extra removable seat next to the helm, hanging off two winches in front and bimini stud at the back. Just too lazy to start.
Nice bimini.

The helm seat are terrible at Lagoon. I'm still searching for a nice and comfy alternative. But maybe I'll make my own from carbon fibre using the original ss frame.


Adapting the enclosure at the moment, nice to have a Sailrite on board.
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Old 28-05-2020, 15:50   #13
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

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Originally Posted by CatNewBee View Post
Nice bimini.

The helm seat are terrible at Lagoon. I'm still searching for a nice and comfy alternative. But maybe I'll make my own from carbon fibre using the original ss frame.


Adapting the enclosure at the moment, nice to have a Sailrite on board.
i agree with you. Seat is not comfortable for 2. I will make prototype of that temporary seat and post pic. Tried out position couple times and it is really great place to be during passage. So we both can be up there one on seat and other on temp seat - in full comfort. Now it a bit tight.
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Old 29-05-2020, 15:59   #14
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

Mission completed... Click image for larger version

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...
and some more canvas work like sun shades for the windows and the cockpit, new lazybag and dinghi chaps...
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Old 29-05-2020, 16:33   #15
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Re: 400S2 DIY hard top bimini step by step

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Mission completed... Attachment 216149Attachment 216150
...
and some more canvas work like sun shades for the windows and the cockpit, new lazybag and dinghi chaps...
that looks really good and in off-road style! Mine is already showing signs of aging after 2.5 years. Luckily we made 2 so spare is ready.

Your waterline is lower than mine for around 5-10 cm that translates 1 to 2 T extra stuff on yours. Wonder how much this impacts performance. Probably you feel it a bit in light winds... We take all speed we can get on multiday passages to minimize exposure. Daysails, really does not matter.
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