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View Poll Results: When do you take your bimini down?
Never 17 23.61%
Only when the boat is laid up 18 25.00%
Very seldom, e.g. extreme weather 22 30.56%
More often 15 20.83%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 28-05-2020, 13:15   #31
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Thanks all, interesting range of replies.
We've always had a sprayhood (dodger) on our boats, and generally leave that up 90% of the time, but for sunny downwind passages we drop it for better airflow. Also useful to prevent a backdraft when you have a BBQ in the cockpit!

I think I will opt for a permanent/rigid bimini frame for ease of construction and sturdiness, but make the solar panels fairly quick to unbolt and stow away. Flexi panels are tempting due to the lower weight and easier stowage, but they are so much more expensive, and I've read too many accounts of them delaminating unless firmly bolted down to a hard surface.

One other concern I had was about access to the underside of the boom- at present I usually end up standing with a foot on the steering pedestal whilst packing the mainsail into its stackpack. That won't be an option once the bimini is in the way.
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Old 30-05-2020, 00:17   #32
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Originally Posted by SVHarmonie View Post
It seems a lot of people miss the point about why it is recommended to removed things like dodgers and biminis in a storm. It is not to save the canvas, it is to save the BOAT! In hurricane prep you strip off EVERYTHING that can be removed above deck to reduce the force of the wind on the boat. EVERYTHING. Even the things that are annoying to remove, they get removed.

When we prep for a major named storm, we remove ALL canvas, and fold down the frames. All sails are removed and stored below. External halyards are taken down. Booms are removed and either stored below or lashed on deck. Solar panels are removed. Nothing is left on deck. We do everything we possibly can in the time available to reduce her cross-sectional area presented to the wind. It's a day's hard work, but our boat is our home, and worth it.

Leaving any of these things up just give the wind more to push against. The more the wind pushes, the more risk to the boat. If you are tied up or anchored upwind from me, I'll happily help you do the same. If you refuse, I'll politely ask you to move.

It seems to me just prudent to do the same for winter storage. After all, who knows what storms will come by in the months the boat is on the hard?
For a serious blow / named storm, totally agree.
Also for winter - all yards should insist on this as leaving sails etc on risks the other boats there.
Same for going ashore - the old adage, 'leave your boat as if you are not coming back' is good advice. Not suggesting removing all canvas prior to a day excursion, but all hatches closed, all loose stuff stowed, all reefing lines well secured etc. Only takes 5 minutes, and if a squall comes through while one is ashore, it means there is no mad rush to get back to the boat.
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Old 30-05-2020, 01:30   #33
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

we have canvas over driver seat 2 x 2.4 m and then sides that total around 20m2.

We remove sides in anything above 35 aws and canvas over seat above 50 aws.

Either takes less than 5 min to do.

We also remove canvas when not needed to improve air circulation and view like for sunset drinks.

It is really important that this is simple process else life on board is not as fun.

we also have canvass for front area on net but has never been used. So, bit of waste.
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Old 30-05-2020, 14:35   #34
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Preparing for Irma we removed the canvas from our Bimini along with the 3 solar panels. The panels weren't that difficult to remove ( It took 2 of us). We left the structure in place. Everything would have been fine if the dock didn't come apart and we impacted the boat next to us which bent the Bimini frame. It took a come along to get the frame where I could get the canvas and solar panels back on. What I didn't remove was the steering wheel. It used to have a luxurious, beautiful cover that now feels like sandpaper. We were docked at Goodland, Fl where the eye hit.
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Old 30-05-2020, 14:37   #35
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

The dodger canvas was also removed.
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Old 30-05-2020, 19:48   #36
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Our bimini is rarely up. About the only time it's up is at anchor somewhere we'll be for a few days. Underway it is down so we can see the sails. It's down for provisioning runs making loading a LOT easier. Dodger is up except in prep for tropical storms or winter southwesters. Underway we sit under the dodger.

I can't conceive of installing anything e.g. solar panels that lead to taking more than two or three minutes to get the bimini up or down.
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Old 30-05-2020, 20:41   #37
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Had our boat out on a lake last Summer. It was too windy for me to solo the sails, so I had sails down and Bimini up, but the Bimini was acting like a sail on its own, and it was making things interesting, so I lowered it, and instantly things were a lot easier. Other reasons to lower it would be if you want to see stars at night, and if you want to feel more like being out on the ocean, and less like sitting inside your car.
The comment about wanting to see the sails is also good, how can you see the tell-tails or wind vane through it?
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Old 30-05-2020, 21:57   #38
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

It depends on size of boat and sailing style. On a smaller boat, you want to be able to fold back the Bimini (better view of the sails, the stars, more open space) and fold forward the dodger (better access to winches, very useful if you are racing). I keep the Bimini up only when the sun is too strong, otherwise it is out of the way. The dodger I take down may be once a week for racing. I would not put solar panels on either structure. This is not what boats are designed for.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:32   #39
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Kelpie, before you make a final plan i suggest you investigate the system offered by Solbian. Semi-flexible panels which secure to the top of the bimini with a zip and velcro. I have a 144 watt panel but my bimini has a portion which can remain in place at the aft end and then the rest of it can be folded if nec. Latter is usually when the admiral wishes to top up her tan but otherwise the whole bimini remains in place for the shade. The folding bit folds back so that there is a zipped cover over it for the winter. the aft fixed bit is removed. I see you plan to come south so suggest you get in touch with Tecsew in the Solent if you are going to be in that area.
I knew another guy with a boat with the same name as yours but his is the classic 1903 gaff rigged cutter. Beautiful boat.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:07   #40
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Originally Posted by Marathon1150 View Post
We have two 140W solar panels mounted above a cockpit length canvas bimini. We do not take either down when not using the boat. The set up survived Hurricane Odile in Baja (La Paz) which was a Cat 3 and close to if not actually a direct hit on La Paz. Our dinghy broke loose but only suffered minor damage.

We do not take down the dodger either. It has two 80W panels mounted on it.

We may have been lucky and in a different storm the results may have been different.

realize this thread is a different question,if you like to respond on another thread will be fine.
Considering adding solar panels to my old bimini (canvas)from your pic seems your panels are rigid? do you have any close up on how you secure them?brackets?
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Old 05-06-2020, 15:24   #41
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

our 3 solar panels reside on a separate frame above the bimini. all canvas came down for Dorian last summer. There was no issue with the solar panels or frame in sustained winds of 65-75 knots with peak gusts to 100 kts. Hope this helps...
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Old 05-06-2020, 15:36   #42
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

On my current boat, my fowl wx gear / hot weather gear is my bimini lol

If I get another boat itíll have a hard bimini
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Old 06-06-2020, 14:31   #43
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Only extreme weather
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Old 06-06-2020, 14:47   #44
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

Our marina, Northwest Creek in New Bern, NC, requires that all sails, canvas dodgers, and anything else causing windage be removed for hurricanes. We have done so.

Our dock after Florence. You will want to do all that you can.

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Old 08-07-2020, 12:11   #45
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Re: Do you ever take your bimini down?

I would like protection from extreme sun a or bad weather.
But it should be able to be removed easy and still be sturdy..

I like this concept of a fixed arc with solar on it (Bestevaer 49 Zenith)
(Sorry I'm new how do I insert a picture that I have?)

I don't really like the looks as it is being quite square, but in this case function over from.
I am now designing this arc having three layers of solar panels that I can slide forward towards the pilot house to form a Bimini.

Just keeping the square form of above sample will create a quite hideous form. So I hope to be able to design it more curved with an ultimate goal of having a smooth curved shape by curved solar panels or other way..

I want it to be strong so I would like the poles to slide through or on a rail on the deck. Thats the next challenge, I don't want someting I could hit with possible bare feet or something I could trap a foot toe.
Aluminium rail with a solid block of teflon/nylon as glider would be long lasting and maintenance free.
If such a slider on deck gets to hard I'm thinking of an telescopic system all from the arc but I 'm afraid that would mean for the arc to become huge to be strong enough as it would be holding up the whole structure, up to some six meters long....

The second and third arc should be easy and fast moved in or out and fixed quickly and reliable. I thought of a way to make the transition between these arc's water tight, I even would like them to line up at the same hight by a mechanical leverage system, simple and maintenance free and to be activated by stepping on it and use your body weight.

I'm in doubt if I would need/want it to, when fully extended, connect to the pilot house, would make the structure bullet proof....

I think it's time to install a program to make technical drawings on my computer, any tips on that?
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