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Old 24-02-2017, 07:25   #1
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Catamaran Canopy Question

I try to look through the posts before I ask questions, but I haven't seen this mentioned.

I don't retire for about another 8 years, but we have been looking at catamarans, trying to learn what we can ahead of time. This probably goes without saying but feel free to correct my terminology (wise ass remarks welcome ).

I've seen some cats with a canvas type "canopy" and others with a fixed, rigid canopy. For lack of a better way to say this, which is better?
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Old 24-02-2017, 07:35   #2
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

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Originally Posted by m2244 View Post
I try to look through the posts before I ask questions, but I haven't seen this mentioned.

I don't retire for about another 8 years, but we have been looking at catamarans, trying to learn what we can ahead of time. This probably goes without saying but feel free to correct my terminology (wise ass remarks welcome ).

I've seen some cats with a canvas type "canopy" and others with a fixed, rigid canopy. For lack of a better way to say this, which is better?
Hard top.

You can walk on it to stow sails and it is a great place for solar panels on a cat. Much nicer in foul weather, and better sun insulation (a dark dodger radiates heat). They have become virtually standard for these reasons.
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Old 24-02-2017, 07:38   #3
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

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Hard top.

Much nicer in foul weather, and better sun insulation (a dark dodger radiates heat).
I had an old '84 CJ7 back in the day, with a soft top. You almost had to wear ear plugs it was so loud, and in the winter you'd freeze your ass off. So, makes sense. Thanks
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Old 24-02-2017, 08:04   #4
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Catamaran Bimini

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I've seen some cats with a canvas type "canopy" and others with a fixed, rigid canopy. For lack of a better way to say this, which is better?
Hard Bimini's are the best, but are heavier.

Sunbrella (good) or Stamoid (best) material is lightweight and tends to flop in heavy wind.

Sunbrella or Stamoid should always be sewn with Tenara thread which will outlast the canvas material. Regular thread only lasts a few years.

On our FP Helia 44 Evo catamaran we have a Bimini Hard top over all of the cockpit and a Sunbrella Bimini over the Helm.
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Old 24-02-2017, 16:40   #5
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Re: Catamaran Bimini

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Hard Bimini's are the best, but are heavier.

Sunbrella (good) or Stamoid (best) material is lightweight and tends to flop in heavy wind.

Sunbrella or Stamoid should always be sewn with Tenara thread which will outlast the canvas material. Regular thread only lasts a few years.

On our FP Helia 44 Evo catamaran we have a Bimini Hard top over all of the cockpit and a Sunbrella Bimini over the Helm.
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Both hard and canvas have advantages.

My Seawind has a hard top I can walk on to deal with the stackpack and lazy jacks and a canvas extension over the aft section of the cockpit/steering stations. There are a couple of flaps over both steering stations that can be rolled up to allow easy viewing of the main sail/tell tales. Aft of that the canvas is split into two sections port/starboard so the main sheet can be easily adjusted on the traveler and still allow half of the cockpit to be in the shade on a long passage. I have made a strip to connect the two halves with a thru hull at the end to allow easy collection of rain water.
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Old 27-02-2017, 12:47   #6
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

I have a lightweight canopy and dodger made of poly-carbonate and anodized aluminum that has served me really well. It was comparable to the price of canvas. It has clear panels for site and holds up to high winds and has solar panels.

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Old 27-02-2017, 18:09   #7
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

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I have a lightweight canopy and dodger made of poly-carbonate and anodized aluminum that has served me really well. It was comparable to the price of canvas. It has clear panels for site and holds up to high winds and has solar panels.
Waatertime
pictures would be much appreciated - particularly the joints on the aluminum framing. Oh, how many years since installation?
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:06   #8
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

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pictures would be much appreciated - particularly the joints on the aluminum framing. Oh, how many years since installation?
Hello Uponstands
I have had mine on for 3 years. You can find all the info at hardtop.com. When you get there check out Chuck and Sue's blog they have extensive layout installation. Let me know if I can be of further help.

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Old 01-03-2017, 16:35   #9
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

thanks for the reply
hardtop.com is now inactive??
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:51   #10
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

The site is hardtotop.com you left out the word to
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Old 03-03-2017, 16:03   #11
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

thanks for the correct spelling.
definitely light weight but looks a tad too light for offshore work.
might go with solar panels to block the sunshine with polycarbonate sheet filling strips to block the rain.
since the solar panels preclude fold up I can eliminate the hinges and sliding mechanism and fab an all GRP structure with decent bracing built in.
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Old 04-03-2017, 00:08   #12
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Re: Catamaran Canopy Question

Keep in mind canvas needs periodic replacement (and maintenance) even if you use top of the line materials and workmanship. Depending on the size and complexity, that can run into the thousands.


A fiberglass top should last the life of the boat.


The only justification I can see for canvas is if you are racing and want the ability to reduce windage during races but not many big cruising cats are used for serious racing.
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