|Some of my sail bags for sale, on the dock beside our boat.|
During my lengthy bag-making sojourn in the Bahamas, I chatted with a passerby who told me that she had made a waterproof covering to fit over their existing bimini. I immediately nabbed Carl and propelled him along to visit the woman and her husband on their sailboat.
|The dodger in front of me; the bimini behind and above me.|
This creative woman had made their bimini, dodger, bridge, cockpit upholstery, cabin upholstery, throw pillows, curtains, fitted bedcovers, table covering, and more—everything was beautifully done. And the coup de grace, as far as I was concerned— a waterproof cover for the bimini, a virtual "raincoat." “I wanted to get another few years out of our old bimini, so I made this to protect it,” she explained.
|The canvas piece that connects the dodger with the bimini is the bridge.|
|The underside of the bimini. It's hard to see but there are lots of zippers in it.|
|I found a more comfortable pair of knee pads. These attach above the knee and below. No tight pinching where the knee bends.|
I ordered 25 Twist and Lock fasteners to attach the raincoat to the bimini beneath it. I’d never used that type of fastener before, but I had the right tools from Sailrite already so I figured it was time to learn.
|Stamoid lies beneath the old bimini. 4" added to each side of the piece.|
|This protruding piece encircles the split backstay|
I cut each piece 4” bigger along each outer edge to allow for a hem, and for a small overlap over the old bimini.
|Binding folded and sewn|
|Stamoid binding is applied around the perimeter of the "glass"|
|The backside of the fastener. The twist mechanism fits through.|
It didn’t take long to discover that I indeed did NOT understand how the Twist Lock fasteners were to be applied. I tried the lower half of the first two sets. So far so good. Then I broke the die. How was that even possible, I wanna know. Twenty two more sets of TwistLock fasteners to go after I had ruined the die. My knees were complaining loudly. The concrete was burning and digging into my legs. Salty sweat running into my eyes. I was miserable and more importantly, I could not see any way I was going to be able to finish this raincoat.
|I actually had a smile on my face by this time!|
The Down East folks encouraged me to come back any time I had questions about anything I was working on. This was akin to giving a child the keys to the candy store. Never having had anyone to ask questions of before, this was too great an opportunity to let pass by. I have been back to Down East several times since then. I have learned so many things from them. What an awesome place and awesome family! These nice folks handily rescued me from an emotional meltdown and a failed project.
|Our new bimini "raincoat" works great!|
|Down East Canvas. I cannot thank these nice folks enough for |
helping me with the evil Twist and Lock fasteners.