Winter arrived a bit early in Portland and I didn’t finish the enclosure. In fact, the last rolls of vinyl windscreen just arrived a day ago.
Oh, well! Perhaps it will warm up enough soon to make patterning outside a more enjoyable venture.
The dodger almost beat me. In between ducking raindrops, I commandeered the whole galley to lay out pieces and set up the sailrite machine. I roped everyone onboard into helping hold pattern pieces and cut vinyl windshield sections. I fretted over the wet weather and the earlier sunsets. But, we prevailed and showed that dodger who is boss!
Poor Andy got the fun of taking out the old posts from the deck and installing the new keder rail. Butyl tape and 5200 are so much fun to play with, right?! As an aside, who puts 3/4 inch posts into a deck – especially where there will be mainsail folding action? We’ve lost count of how many foot injury and broken post accidents have happened over the years. One of our big changes in the new dodger was installing a keder rail track.
After the keder rail fun, the hardest part was keeping the pattern on the windscreen for protection while I was sewing. That stuff scratches quite easily! The port side went up quite nicely, and I got a bit cocky. Ms. Starboard wasn’t going to play as nicely. She decided to warble and not follow the pattern that Peyton and I so carefully created. So, I seam ripped and tightened, waited a few days for the rain to subside, and then seam ripped some more. The final tightening seems to have done the trick and finally the starboard side looks pretty good. Good enough for Tango anyway. If you get up close, you can see some less than professional bobbles, but I’m happy!
Next up – the full enclosure. I feel much more prepared to tackle this bit, as the sections are more or less flat rectangles that will just zip together.
Here is the probably the final bimini post – as the next canvas posts will be all about the dodger (second gulp). Excited and nervous to work with vinyl window material. Looking forward to changing a few annoying things there too! I reserve the right to bore you all with more bimini details though. The original bimini had some vinyl fabric strips over the spans to prevent chafing and wear. I can’t decide if this is good design or overkill since everything else wore out first. Since this fabric has a fully waterproof PVC backing, any sewing introduces holes, so there’s that…
The annoying thing I decided to change in the bimini was the shape of the helm hatch. The old hatch was an arch shape, with two zippers that met in the middle of the arch. Time and weathering really affected the arch and the zipper workability. I decided to throw it out and go with straight lines. While this may not be the most elegant design, I know it will fully zip every time. I don’t think it looks too bad either – what do you all think? We also added a velcro strip to hold the hatch open when we are sailing – something we are thrilled about! The old design required some bungees that were known to pop off and snap a helmsman in the head. Guess that’s one way to stay awake!
I think I have become Sailrite’s new best customer…
Today our marina parking lot flooded…blame is still to be decided. Construction proceeded to follow city marked lines and broke through the water main.
With about a 10-minute warning we moved our car before it drown. Robin had to wade through knee deep water to rescue our poor car! Amazing how quickly that parking lot filled up…
Okay, so a bimini isn’t REALLY alive, but shouting this out feels right! Not fully finished, but done enough to put up for the first rains of fall. It’s got a bit of a sag on the starboard side, but that’s intentional as there’s more sewing on that side needed. Next step will be to cut in the hatch opening for helm, add the zippers to the front for the new dodger (gulp), and the zipper pockets for the center panel.
For Robin’s first canvas project, I am using the old and VERY worn out canvas to piece together a new one. I could have made all new templates, but this design works well. Andy spent a week ripping all the seams apart for me – very fiddly work – since the old canvas was so worn it would rip before the threads.
Now, having bought some fully waterproof new canvas, it’s time to lay it all out in our storage unit. How to maximize the new fabric and make it all fit…quite a jigsaw puzzle.
Last week I got a new toy…a super fancy Sailrite sewing machine! I’ve almost purchased this about ten times, and always got scared away by the price. BUT, knowing the cost of a professionally made bimini/enclosure, I know it will be worth it.
So, I finally bit the sewing lure and did it. This machine is so beautiful, and I love the rock and roll case (just ignore the dirty carpet). Only issue is that at 80 pounds, it’s not the lightest thing to move around.
Next post…tackling a bimini replacement!