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Bimini with enclosure

John MacDougall, Annie Laurie, #26

I know some of you sail in areas where you want the warmth from the sun....and/or do not need much in the way of green-water protection......and I know that some live / sail in areas where you do not need to consider removing the added windage from a dodger / bimini, from hurricanes, etc.......

But, hopefully this message, and photos, will give all of you some good info.....

Although getting new dodger and bimini sunbrella, isn't exactly something special.......in this case there are a few things that might be of interest to many of you....

1) Change of color........
2) Allowing my old (9.5 year old) side and aft curtains / complete cockpit enclosure to be used with the new dodger and bimini....
3) Longevity improvements........

1) My original dodger and bimini was light grey, matching the factory non-skid deck......but since my hull is blue Awl-Grip ("Ted Hood Blue") with red boot stripe and cove stripe.......and I went with new red sail covers last year......I thought red was the way to go with the dodger and bimini..... And, it looks great.....

2) My original (almost 10-year old) cockpit enclosure / side and aft curtains look almost new, since they had little use......and I wanted to be able to use them in the future......

The important point here is: I made a change that allows these curtains to be zipped in easily, and they fit INSIDE the bimini frame (stainless bows and supports of the bimini), and still attach easily to the toe rail on the bottom.....(although for the photos, I did not really attach them to the toe rail......it was very hot and humid, so I just tried a few clips to the toe rail and that was it......)

This allows for an easy time zipping the curtains in, single-handedly.....and then fastening the bottoms to the toe rails......It's sort of hard to describe the simplicity of this set-up.....which is why I've got lots of pictures to share!!!!

This is different from the typical arrangement, having the side curtains zip to the bimini and fit OUTSIDE of the bimini frame (bows / supports), just the same way the bimini canvas itself fits....... this typical arrangement makes it a pain in the a** to put the curtains up, if the weather turns nasty in a hurry, since you're trying to put the curtain OUTSIDE the frame and typically inside the lifelines, while zipping it to the bimini itself.......and then you've got to fasten the bottom, pulling it tight against the frame / supports......

3) I further realize that the zippers, even the industry standard "UV inhibitor injected" variety of the YKK zipper, has a finite lifespan in South Florida and the tropics, etc......so I added some Velcro secured flaps over the exposed zippers on the dodger / bimini / connecting panel......and wide overlaps over the zippers attaching the removable dodger side panels (these removable dodger side panels allow more ventilation but still allow sun protection and forward sea-spray protection...)

The "problems" of getting all of this done are not too bad......and I'll give some more details later.

I hope this helps some of you out.

(Click on picture for full size)

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