Sunday, August 9, 2015


It's supposed to rain the next two days, so it seemed like a good idea to get the patterning done for the bimini re-skin project so we'd have something to do while we couldn't work outside. After finishing a very good cup of coffee (some things simply must come first),  I dug out the Dura-Skrim patterning plastic that's been occupying the aft berth for the last year, and rounded up the Sharpie, double-faced tape, scissors, measuring tape and hand tools. It was a bit hot to be working out in the sun all day, but we needed a windless day to work so the plastic would stay put. And sorry, I somehow forgot to take any pictures today so you'll just have to wait for the finished project.

The simple frame before the solar panel mounts

Making a bimini is very little about the sewing and very much about the preparation. You can't take enough time with this step. You place some strapping tape along the edges of your bimini bows where the finished fabric will lay. You place double-faced tape on the strapping tape. You lay out your plastic on the double-faced tape and stretch and pull and rearrange until you have a good, wrinkle-free facsimile of the finished bimini. Then you grab your Sharpie and begin to make copious notes about placements of zippers, zipper pockets, facings, tails, and backstay access. After you think you're all done, you walk away. You go pick up your favorite book or video game and think of something completely different for awhile so that when you come back an hour later, the thing you missed will slap you in the face. Or, if you're lucky like me, you have a really terrific work partner.

The solar panel mounts we have to work around with the fabric. We want the skin to be easily removable.

Tim and I have known each other for over 43 years now and we've worked on more projects together than I could possibly count. We had jobs in the same company for 5 years where we worked together all day. He taught me how to fly. We did a major landscaping project in the back yard of our condo. We rock climbed together, each of us on the other's belay. Sure we've had our terse moments, though they are rare. Most of the time it's an intricately choreographed dance, a complex interplay and fascinating to watch, even though I am a participant.

While our thinking processes in regards to work projects are quite similar (think orderly and OCD and you'll get it), we each bring something different to the table. When we start a project we take little steps toward our goal and there's a lot of, "What if we.." and "Could I make a suggestion?", and "Do you think we should try to..." being bandied about. We sit and talk about the possibilities a great bit before the first tool is picked up.

In light of the complexity of the bimini project (due to the solar panel frames), we weren't exactly sure what the final design of the skin would be. We agreed on a starting point and, as we proceeded, the methods and procedures adapted to better solutions. We got to where we thought it was pretty right, drank a beer, talked to some neighbors, read awhile, sat under the plastic bimini, and then discovered some better ways to handle the attach points. After some changes the pattern came down, the tape was removed, and we're ready to start the cutting.

Tomorrow it's off to the Sailrite machine, but the real work was done today.

1 comment:

Robert Salnick said...

Doing the exact same project right now...