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…
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!