Putting a little shade on a back deck

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by missinginaction, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    A project for spring is installing a bimini top over the aft deck on my 1973 Silverton Sportster. I restored this old girl back a few years ago.

    You can see from the photo below (which was taken in 2014, and yes I painted the cockpit sole...) the layout. From the back wall of the cabin right down the inside of the side deck to the transom measures exactly 8 feet. An 8 1/2 foot wide top (103 inches) will land right on the side decks forward of the cleats. Going with a 60" high top will give me an overall height of 82". This is just about even with the height of the top of the flybridge railing.

    I want the shade back there, but I also have to get up the ladder to the flybridge. So I've been playing around with some graph paper and a tape measure. I'm trying to figure out the best design that will get me the shade I 'd like and allow easy access to the flybridge.

    At first I considered a 6' bimini. This will work, but there won't be quite as much shade as I'd like. An 8' top is just too large. So, how about a 7' top?

    After doing some measuring I found that I could mount a 7' top slightly forward of the rear cleats. If I use 24"long aluminum slides, Westland Bimini Top, Slide Track Assemblies http://www.go2marine.com/product/113235F/westland-bimini-top-slide-track-assemblies.html, the top could be used in two different positions. In the rear position I'd have enough room to climb the ladder to the flybridge, but the top would extend about 20" beyond the transom. In the forward position the ladder would be blocked but the top would extend a few inches forward of the rear edge of the cabin top. The forward position would be nice when docked or in the rain as it would act as an awning of sorts for the cabin.

    I'm wondering if anyone has done anything similar and whether these slide tracks are durable.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts, MIA 095.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  2. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

  3. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    When I first looked at those shades I didn't like them. But.......I kept looking and exploring the photos. One big issue with a bimini back there is the bows. With a bimini, you've got a lot of hardware. Makes getting in and out of the boat an issue when docked. Not insurmountable but more of a challenge. The ttopcovers might be an option. Looks like all I'd need to do is install a couple of rod holders and attach it to the flybridge railings. I'll have to call them and ask.

    Thanks a lot for your suggestion. It's what I love about the forums here.

    MIA
     
  4. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    Yeah if you don't have to run with it up, this concept might work. You might even be able to work it so it reels in like a normal awning when not in use. The bimini tubes always get in the way!!!
     
  5. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I took a long hard look at those topcovers and they certainly would work as a sunshade. The problem I have is I'd like a little shelter from rain and I do want the top up while I'm running, even though I do run at low speeds. I don't need an enclosure back there but a good size bimini would make the back deck more user friendly in anything but wind driven rain. So, I'm back to the bimini again and may have to put up with the hardware issue. Boats are indeed a compromise. Thanks again Jorge for the suggestion.
     
  6. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    Yep ain't that the truth )) Good Luck!
     

  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Given the height over the cockpit sole, the logical choice is a Bimini from the fly bridge rail and a couple of hoops. This would fold up flat against the back of the cabin, would permit climbing the ladder, ducking a bit as you go up with the Bimini folded and if a flap was employed, you can go up or down with it deployed. The first hoop would land at or near the ends of the cabin side diagonal extensions and the second one would be on the first, so it can be tensioned with a couple of straps to the transom. I'd bend up some 3/4" electrical conduit, to get the shapes right initially, then move onto the good stuff.

    Materials wise, you don't need much; 2, swivel bases, 2 straps and hold downs and 2 clamp on bow assemblies, so the second bow can mount on the first. Conversely, you could arrange some sort of semi fixed dodger. Maybe a bi-fold rectangle of tubing, hinged aft of the ladder a bit, with a flap in the forward section for access to the fly bridge. The tubing rectangle is covered with SunBrella and has an athwart seam, so the back half can be folded over the front half. The nice thing about this is you can drop shades and screens from the perimeter, snapping these around the cockpit. Stanchions or bases that receive a length of tubing would need to be fitted, at least two per roof section and these would need to be stored when not in use.
     
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