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Author Topic: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger  (Read 5738 times)

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foursailing

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Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« on: July 22, 2007, 06:33:07 PM »

Just had a Bimini installed by a local shop and I'm a little disappointed with the results.  Can anyone tell me the legnth of their Bimini - mine is about 5'6" from front edge to back and seems a little short.  There's a 6" gap between the front edge of the Bimini and the boom.

The real issue is the frame -  it's mounted on the top of the stern rail and it just looks awkward and believe it will compromise the entire stern rail.  The angles are all wrong.

I also had the same person replace the widows in the dodge with lexan - after listening to his sales pitch that lexan was the way to go.  Of course the dodger came back with vinyl instead of lexan.  Can anyone comment on using lexan over vinyl?

I guess the good news is the fabric work is really good quality.

Thanks - any help would be appreciated



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Bill Dwyer
#1446, 1999
RICOCHET, Keyport NJ

jmnpe

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 08:53:15 PM »

Bill,

Down here in the south ( Texas ) we want all the shade we can get. A typical C34 bimini here is about 10 feet long from front to back, which makes it extend from almost the back of the stern rail to about a foot past the front of the companionway. If we normally had dodgers here, the separate bimini would be a little shorter. It is made of 2 sets of bows that each include an additional fold-out shorter bow that fold out toward the middle of the cockpit area. They always are mounted on the top of the cockpit coaming and/or deck and definitely not to the stern rail: the bow geometry would be very poor and result in a very poorly supported bimini.


As for lexan windows in the dodger, I have been on a lot of offshore capable boats of all sizes along the Texas Gulf coast, and I have never seen lexan used for windows in any soft dodger. I have seen them used in hard dodgers, however. Lexan would be almost impossible to machine sew onto canvas/Sunbrella as it is very brittle. You might be able to hand stitch it if you drilled a series of "needle holes" along the edge for hand stitching, but this would also produce a whole set of other problems. Lexan in thicker panels is used for bullet-proof windows, so I doubt that it is a good candidate for any type of needle sewing.

John
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John Nixon
Otra Vez
1988 Hull # 728

Ron Hill

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 05:58:30 PM »

Bill : On your Lexan question.  I've never seen Lexan in anything else, but sheets - min. of 1/8" thick!
Yes it is very flexable, but I've found it much more susceptible to the UV of the sun than acrylic.  It turns cloudy all of the way thru - not just the surface.    :cry4`
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Ron, Apache #788

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 04:00:08 AM »

Two winters ago I replaced my dodger windows with StrataGlas.  Now on the second summer without any problems.  So far I have been very satisfied.  We are also in northern Vermont so the suns rays are not as strong as the south.
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Dave G.
"Footloose"
Hull# 608  1988 Tall Rig/Fin Keel
Malletts Bay, VT- Lake Champlain

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2007, 07:17:32 AM »

StataGlas is universally recognized at the best there is for flexible windows. Even along the Gulf coast, it will provide years of service with just reasonable maintenance.

John
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John Nixon
Otra Vez
1988 Hull # 728

Ken Juul

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 12:11:19 PM »

Lots of factors come into play.  The MKI set up may be a bit different than the MKII.  Position of the frames so they don't get in the way of the winches as well as height needed are a couple of them.  I prefer to have the forward opening a little larger so mine has a backward tilt.  But I think I can see better that way and it drains off the stern rather than forward toward the companionway.  On real nasty days I do install a connector between the dodger and bimini.  One drawback of having the bimini extend under the boom is possible interference.  It does not take long for the boom to rub a hole in the fabric.  I had to have the main recut to solve the interference problems, but it need repairs/restitch anyway.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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Chesapeake Bay
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tonywright

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2007, 03:44:03 PM »

This is the configuration of the bimini/dodger on our MKII. (The picture is from the Easter Seals regatta earlier this month).

This is the factory original design. As you will see, the frame is attached to the deck, and not to the top of the rail.
It is set well back of the end of the boom, which allows you to see the sail shape of the mainsail. I usually sail this way.

There is a connector which zips on to the bimini and connects with studs on top of the dodger to keep rain and sun out of the cockpit when moored or if desired to keep the weather out. Some have windows installed in the connector, in order to still see the mainsail, or to navigate while standing at the wheel.

Tony







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Tony Wright
#1657 2003 34 MKII  "Vagabond"
Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa, Canada

Joe Kern

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 10:22:38 AM »

Mine is the exact same design as Tony's.  I wonder if they were done by the same company they look so much alike.  I do have a window in the connecting peice but wish I had a small one in the bimini as I can't see the top of the mast from under the bimini. 

It is a great set up and offers a nice balance for the sun lovers and non-sun lovers.  Very solid and easily foldable and the canvas is easy to remove.

Joe
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Joe Kern
2005 Catalina 34MKII
Hull # 1717
Merritt Island, Fl

tommyt

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 11:16:32 AM »

Interesting that I have hull # 1679, between Tony and Joe, and my bimini attaches to the stern rail and not to the deck. Yours look like the model that is on the C36's that I have seen and prefer. Mine attaches only to the stern rail, CANNOT be folded up, and gets in the way of line handling at the stern. I can bungee the front of mine back to the back stays, but when I do that the upper lifeline gate cannot be opened. So, if do not want the bimini up I have to remove the canvas and bungee it to the backstay( which results in the above), or I have to remove 6 screws and take it off the boat.

PITA. Wish I had yours. Which I guess goes to the original post, which means you have my problems. Good Luck
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Tom Mallery, C34 #1697, 2004 MKII, Splash Dance

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 11:22:16 AM »

Oh, and to make it interesting before I changed them out, 4 of the screws were phillips, 2 were regular. Go figure.

My dodger is just the same as Tony and Joe's, and I do think that it is a great design. So, they got it half right on my boat.
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Tom Mallery, C34 #1697, 2004 MKII, Splash Dance

foursailing

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Re: Bimini Dimensions / lexan windows in dodger
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2007, 09:20:17 PM »

Thanks for all the pictures and responses!

 A couple adjustments were made on the Bimini and it is looking better but  I'll be making the final adjustment on the frame (I've pretty much lost my patience with the canvas guy).

The good news is the windows on the dodger were replaced with a polycarbonate / lexan material  and I must say they really look great.  They are crystal clear.  Here's the web site http://www.rainierwindows.com/
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Bill Dwyer
#1446, 1999
RICOCHET, Keyport NJ
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