Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To Bimini or Not To Bimini?

Living here in San Francisco, where it is cold all summer and foggy as much as it's not, it's hard to forecast our needs for shade when we take our Islander 36 "Hurulu" south this fall.

We are debating on whether to get a custom Bimini made for the boat. This is a canvas and stainless steel tubing device (pronounced "BIH-mun-nee") that basically offers shade over the helm.

Seems simple, right?

Well, it never is with boats. The bimini must stand up to intense UV radiation without deteriorating. Thus, we get into the world of specialized canvas yardage, such as that from Sunbrella.

Next, it needs to be able to stand up to 20+ knot winds but able to be taken down when the wind keeps rising past that. It also needs to avoid interfering with all the gear on board, such as winches, the radar tower, the outboard mount, etc.

Add all these factors together, and it means that what would normally be a simple canvas awning on land is now a multiple boat-unit, super-engineered, high tech device.

On second thought, how many tubes of SPF 50 sunscreen could we stuff into the bilge?

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