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curioustraveler



Joined: 26 Apr 2019
Posts: 143
City/Region: Annapolis
State or Province: MD
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:17 pm    Post subject: Homemade bimini Reply with quote

In an effort to not completely empty my savings account in new items for my new boat (purchase is official as of today), I'm trying to come up with a way to make my own bimini/shade for the cockpit. King Canvas is around $1300 for the bimini plus $350 for shipping.

Has anyone tried something like this? For the forward edge I can attach the front corners of a piece of canvas to the cabin top grab rails. For the aft end I can stick a PVC pipe in the rod holders on each side of the boat to support the canvas. I haven't tested it but since the rod holders are angled, a 6' or so length of pipe would angle back to somewhere over the lazarettes.

Before I put too much thought into this, does this seem plausible?

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This type of thing is done all of the time in FL. PVC is pretty flexible. Sometimes you can stiffen it up by using dowel inside of the PVC pipe.

I would put grommets in the outer edges and sew at least two turnovers seam in the front and back edge. The Sunbrella comes in 48" and 61" widths. Grommets do better if you put some stiffer material in the center of the area where you fold down the corners for the grommets. (In other words don't put a grommet thru a single ply of cloth--have at least 2, better 3.

You can use aluminum tubing for the poles also. It is fairly cheap.

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Bob Austin
Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
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MikeR



Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 461
City/Region: Mill Creek
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2016
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the quickest and cheapest options is the Taylor Made Sun Shade III which many C-Brats have used, including me for a couple of seasons before getting a full camperback. Main downside is that you can really only use it at anchor or at the dock, and should take it down if underway. But super easy to set up once you're at your destination and fits a 22' Cruiser perfectly. Run the 2 rear straps to the stern cleats and the forward 2 straps to the handrails on roof. I also added bungies to the grab rails on the back of the cabin.


Also available in a rainbow of colors to match your C-Dory.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/taylor-made--anchor-shade-iii-black--14985469?recordNum=5

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16' C-Dory Angler (1989)
10' C-Dory Row Boat (1995)
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tsturm



Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Posts: 988
City/Region: Soldotna
State or Province: AK
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: JMR TOO
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thataway wrote:
This type of thing is done all of the time in FL. PVC is pretty flexible. Sometimes you can stiffen it up by using dowel inside of the PVC pipe.

You can use aluminum tubing for the poles also. It is fairly cheap.


Alu. conduit sch, 40 & a conduit bender, or 90's a few couplers & fittings Thumbs Up
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Northern, Utah
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C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not just buy an off the shelf bimini top you can get them for $150-$200 just google bimini tops for boats.
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Jody Kidd
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curioustraveler



Joined: 26 Apr 2019
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City/Region: Annapolis
State or Province: MD
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jkidd, I'm was actually looking on Amazon while you posted that. Pretty tempting. For the price of buying the parts to rig up a temporary homemade solution I might be able to purchase a bimini off of amazon. Have you had any success with these? Even if I only get a couple of years out of it, I'd be happy.

The downside is if I install one of these, only to replace it later with a higher quality one, I'll have to remount hardware. I'm already paranoid of holes in my boat as it is.

I've used gorilla's double sided tapes to install security cameras around my house. I wonder if this would hold the bimini hardware for a year or two?
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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Vessel Name: Voyager
Photos: Voyager (JK)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin on Grace built his camperback out of one of them. It seems to have held up pretty good. You can find pictures in his album. I don't think double sided tape would last very long.
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 1264
City/Region: Northern, Utah
State or Province: UT
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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Photos: Voyager (JK)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's Kevin's
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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
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City/Region: Leesburg
State or Province: VA
C-Dory Year: 2008
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: SoBELLE
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 22 cruiser had a generic bimini on it. Atwood or similar, I can't read the label any more. The frame is 3-bow, SS, and the fabric lasted at least 6 years.

I got a replacement top that was supposed to work, but it does not fit that well. So I got some Sunbrella and associated stuff from Sailrite and my wife is going to use the original top to make a copy.

The frame is still in perfect condition.

FWIW, you can get a bimini kit from Sailrite. It'll cost you around $400 depending on the size. Even if you don't buy their kit, they have a lot of videos on their site that will give you detailed step by step instructions on how to make your own bimini.
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curioustraveler



Joined: 26 Apr 2019
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I may give one of these prefabs a try just to save money for the first year or two. Probably use the money towards a slant back cover to keep the rain and junk out of the cockpit in her slip.

It's a bit hard to swallow $1700 for a bimini top from King.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another material, I have used which is almost bullet proof: Shelter- Rite from Sail Rite. (Was 61" width and $19 a yard). No sewing, you glue it with HH 66 glue (which works for any vinyl, including clear). I made a camper back using the existing Bimini for about $350, including the materials, and upgrading some of my tools to professional grade. It would be ideal for a slant back, but it does not breath, so a couple of vents (glued on) would be in order.

I have heavy duty sewing machines, but think the Shelter-Rite and glue is easier to work with and far cheaper. Make paper patterns first. Sailmaker's 2" pins are an aid at $16 for 364 pieces. But contact cement can also be used to make the patterns.

For fasteners, grommets are easiest to make (Be sure and get real brass), then "Dot" snaps (there are cheap tools, with much better sets @ 3 or $30), I love the "Common Sense" or "Twist lock", fasteners (turn the button). The punch costs about $70, but you can cut the pattern with a hot knife or Xacto blade for a few. A Cutting Mat ($20) is also very helpful with any canvas working. Also a set of various size hole punches. rounds out the kit. Gingher scissors are about $55, but will last a lifetime if only used on fabric, vs the cheaper Fiskers which are more than adequate.

If you use clear vinyl in the project, the product can range widely in price. For my water proof camper back I used an in-expensive "Plastipane" 20 mil at $6 a yard 54" wide. If I was making a permeant enclosure for a flying bridge I would use 30 to 40 mil in one of the more expensive flat pressed, rather than rolled vinyl materials.

Excellent Videos on all subjects on Sail Rite web site.
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srbaum



Joined: 30 Aug 2010
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City/Region: Portsmouth
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curious Traveler,
I have a bimini in my garage that is new, It has been there for 2 years collecting dust and was for a boat project that I did not move ahead on. The size is 70" wide, 55" high when open and 90" long. The frame is aluminum and the color is the same as your boat's trim. Additionally there is a cover for it.
Its yours if you want it and you can modify the length and height to suit. Shipping would be a bear, but maybe you can come and pick it up, if interested.
Send me an email address and I will send you photos.

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Steve Baum
Homeport of Portsmouth, VA
OSPREY (Ex Mister Sea) 2000 22 C-Dory 2010 - Sold 3/19
OSPREY (Ex ADITI) 2007 26 Cape Cruiser 2018
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Marco Flamingo



Joined: 09 Jul 2015
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C-Dory Year: 2004
C-Dory Model: 16 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Limpet
Photos: Limpet
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob:

Have you ever seen a zipper that is made to be used with HH 66? I'd like to replace some panels with vinyl, but they zip together.

Actually, I'd like to eliminate the zippers altogether. As much time as is usually spent struggling to get zippers to line up, it might be faster to come up with some kind of a grommet and bungee lacing system. Zippers tend to be the weak point on longevity. A lacing system might also allow more leeway in measurements.

Mark
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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City/Region: Pensacola
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C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
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Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

YKK makes some dry suit zippers which work with HH 66, but they are both expensive, and water tight...I believe that in the "water" series there are several zippers which are more the standard type.

Your concerns are exactly why I went with the turn tab, common sense fastener: I made a 3" overlap, but these are only on vertical surfaces. I might use that with velcro on horizontal surfaces, but I have not tried that.

For those who do not recognize the type: These are riveted, or screwed in place and then a matching plate is put in the opposing piece.

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Marco Flamingo



Joined: 09 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could see where the common sense fasteners every 8" would be about as fast as a zipper and likely to last longer. The right sized SS pop rivet and washer would make attaching the male part simple.

The only thing left for a mostly no-sew bimini would be a vinyl awning cord to fit my existing track. I can find it, but the description for the vinyl cord says to sew it on. I'd feel better with it sewn on. It could be attached with HH 66 and then taken to an upholstery shop for a quick straight line sew. https://www.sailrite.com/Awning-Rope-Vinyl-3-8

It's frustrating to come up with projects when I'm in lock down.

Mark
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