The Bimini

I saw Serenity’s bimini in Port Townsend and knew instantly I wanted one.  Well, here it is.  This represents hours of design work and multiple discussions with numerous canvas tailors.  DSC00442I decided my first night under the bimini should not be at sea, but rather in my driveway.  This keeps things safe as I begin to learn about this new enclosure.  I even used the pee bucket.  My neighbors have serious concerns about my relationship with my wife.  DSC00475Bimini in the open configuration.  Notice the absence of straps to tension the bimini.  With the addition of the horizontal bar and the short vertical bar, we don’t need tensioning straps.  By going strapless, the boat becomes easier to board and it improves access to the outboard motor.   DSC00457Fully enclosed configuration ready for a right good storm.DSC00464Both side panels have velcro windows for ventilation.  DSC00465 The windows roll back and secure with a velcro strap.DSC00466Both windows on each side roll out of the way for mosquito free hot weather camping.  What appears to be puckering in the fabric along the side of the boat is actually the support poles and mounting hardware along each side.  The hardware fastens to the top outside edge of the oak strip at the top of the coaming.DSC00463The front window offers great star gazing at night.DSC00462DSC00460 The back panel has 2 large windows and 2 small cutouts near the bottom for the traveler to cross the transom.  DSC00459DSC00471 Each panel zips off from the top and surrounding panels,DSC00470 and snaps along the bottom edge.DSC00468 DSC00467At the beginning of each zipper lies a snap to prevent the zipper from opening.DSC00453 A Mr. Buddy heater kept me toasty warm on its lowest setting.  I also tested a UCO candle lantern but this seemed to provide not enough heat.  There is plenty of ventilation provided by the handholds I cut into the veranda sides and the traveler slots cut into the back panel.  DSC00452 Interior shot looking aft.  There’s a surprising amount of room in here.  DSC00447The height of the bimini allows upright sitting to read “Into Thin Air, by John Krakauer.

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The entire bimini (minus the side panels) folds aft and lays atop the transom covered with a boot.  If this proves to interfere with my mainsheet, I will have my tailor make a boot that covers both sides as well as the back portion.

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Summary:

I plan to sea trial the enclosure this weekend on a local lake.  I’m happy with how things turned out and the apparent function the bimini offers.  It’s what we designed.

I chose Top Gun for the material.   Waterproof, but a little stiff in cold weather.  By running the support poles on the aft side of the oarlocks, full access for rowing is provided by removing the side panels or simple unsnapping the bottom edge of each side panel where the oars exit the sides.  I can motor, row or camp fully or partially enclosed.  I do not plan to sail with the top up at this time.  Maybe if I do the Texas 200 I figure out a way to accommodate the sailing lines.  It wouldn’t take much…just not sure I’m comfortable sailing with the top up.

Full report coming next week after my overnighter

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