With the Sailrite acting right once again, yesterday dawned as the day to finally put the bimini build to rest. Two tasks remained. One was to add binding at the zippers. The second involved adding four Velcro sleeves to help hold the cover in place at both sides of the two inner frame bows. The zipper pockets holding the Bimini top to those loops, as originally designed, stopped at the edge of the solar panel mounts. This left some exposed tubing that was unsightly. The design also allowed the edge of the bimini to fluff in the wind.
Replacing the bimini cover was a project sparked by adding the third panel. The short zipper pockets were chosen because mounts to the support rails for the solar panels were in the way of a normal design. The old cover simply wouldn't work anymore, meaning we were designing a new one "on the fly", one of some complex geometry to work around the mounts. There was always some question as to the short pockets working out, but there was no way to tell without giving them a try. The project was a bit like assembling a puzzle: try it, change it, finish it.
|Bound edges of the zippers|
|Backstay access zipper and drawstring cone from the top.|
|The finished project. Oh, and Brian and Mizzy's Hylas 46 is anchored in the background. They're here for a visit.|
|Solar panel mount bars at the forward edge of the cockpit.|
|Leather chafe guards for the supports.|
|Our newly added center support bars to help support the forward weight of the solar panels.|
|We left the old solar panel wire installed because we intend to mount some sort of cockpit light there.|