• Untitled Document

    Fund Raising Season 2020-2021 is Now Open!

    Please visit our thread below to learn more about what you can do to support this website! Thanks so very much for your support of Ericson Yachts.org!

    Notice on 2020-2021 Fund Raising

Hard-top Bimini

ref_123

Member III
Hi Vikings,

does anyone have any experience with a hard-top bimini? In our area winds in the summer are typically high and a regular framed bimini with a canvas top gets a serious beating if opened during the sail... So I thought a hard-top may be an option.

So, again - any stories/opinions to share?

Thanks in advance,
Stan
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Dodger?

A hard top bimini is rare on a sailboat; I have never seen one. Perhaps you were thinking of a hard dodger. Those are common in the rainy NW and on boats spending much time at sea. A local boat builder even has a couple different styles of molds and sells these FRP dodgers to all and sundry.

We have several boats with hard dodgers at our YC, altho none are Ericsons.
I could post some pics if anyone is interested.

Based on watching a couple of our members make their own hard dodger from a custom mold, I would be willing to make one for our boat someday. Considering that the commercial ones on an SS set of bows are going for $2800. around here, I could afford to put in some serious time of my own!
:rolleyes:

More than even the average soft dodger, design and styling will be *the* key to whether this mod. will add or subtract to the looks on one's boat.

Loren in PDX
 

ref_123

Member III
Alice in Wonderland

"I say what I mean and I mean what I say..." No, Loren, I meant a hard-top bimini... Saw them on few boats, although I have to admit - all of them were expensive center-cockpit ones.

Hard dodger is a nice thing to have, but I thought about having a hard roof over the cockpit - one that withstands ANY reasonable wind pressure. Another good use for it would be to put solar panels there.

Thanks,
Stan
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Ah so. Read ya loud n clear.
FWIW a lot of the fabric bimini's I have seen were over a strong SS framework, and had multiple solar panels on top. I wonder if the concept could be for a FRP top (aka "wave stopper") over an SS frame? What with the taller side tubing involved, perhaps 1.25" od tubing would be appropriate to reduce racking... :confused:
And if the rear arch is in the right place you get a platform for the radar and various antennas as well.

Keep us informed.

Best,
Loren
 

wynkoop

Member III
I was captain of a Gulfstar 54 in charter service. It had a hard bimini. I think it was original as I got the boat right out of the yard. It was very nice when sunny and sailing, or when it was rainy.

I am trying to work up a hard dodger for Silver Maiden which I could attach other panels to to make an enclosed steering station for winter operation.
 

wynkoop

Member III
This link has an "interesting" hard top on an e-27. You have to scroll down for it.

 

Sailingfun

Member II
I almost finished installing a hardtop on my Ericson 27.
I got one from hard to top. Good guys but took months to get it due to covid.
The bimini is very well constructed, sturdy, with aluminum around the hardtop and 1" pipes for the support.
Also, I got the option to install canvas in the future.
Will put few pictures after I finished this friday.
 

gadangit

Member III
We have a largish canvas dodger covering the companionway and two large solar panels serving as a bimini over the rest of the cockpit.
 

paul culver

Member III
I attempted a hard dodger with FRP panel on my boat but failed miserably. The SS was incredibly resistant to drilling, even with cobalt bits at a variety of speeds. I think I would need better tooling and a clamp-on drill guide if I attempted this again. Or attach with U-bolts instead, but a bit less visually appealing.

Paul
 

Sailingfun

Member II
I think the best method for DIY a hardtop is to use the plywood/stitch method. I saw some almost professional works on hard dodgers and bimini.
I was thinking use this method and even took a few measurements and make a few demos before calling the professionals.
Whit a lot of other projects to handle, this could be another brick on the wall in order to sail this boat.
I do not regret the result.
 

steven

Member III
I keep thinking a T-top as seen on powerboats and runabouts.
Four vertical ss poles supporting a horizontal frame, with canvas tightly laced to a frame,
Would seem much sturdier and more versatile than a Bimini.

Why don't I see them on sailboats ?

--Steve
 

Sailingfun

Member II
Definitely, you do not need an off-the-shelf product but if you ask me, the kit from sailrite is highly recommendable.
In my case, I got the rigid top from hardtotop on Florida and a metal shop did the two hops. The rest come from amazon.
I will finish mine tomorrow and take a few pictures over the weekend.
 

wynkoop

Member III
My dodger is trashed. Canvas has been gone for years. At the moment it just sits folded down on top of the hatch. After looking at some of the stuff in this thread I think I am going to start a hard dodger/bimini project by using UV stable coroplast attached to my frame. If that works out I will work out a frame for the bimini section and try coroplast there as well.

The dodger will take some cutting and fitting, but I think it can be done. A bimini of UV stable coroplast seems dead easy. Some bows of something that can stand the salt water environment (SS or PVC Pipe) and just attach the coroplast.
 

wynkoop

Member III
I love it! Today I raised my dodger frame with the tatters of the dodger to figure out how I was going to proceed. Looking at this I think I will take a different course. A bimini over the aft part of the cabin and hatch and the front of the cockpit with some side curtains looks like a superior solution to the idea of the dodger with the bimini behind and attached.

I see how the addition of side and front curtains would give a nice cozy area during inclement weather.
 
Top