Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sail & Boat Related

Bambi's Bimini

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Bambi and her husband upgraded sailboats late last season and decided over the winter to invest in a new bimini so that it would match with their dodger and sail covers. Using the existing bimini as a pattern, we ordered material, seamed it together and learned to sew zippers in place.

Writing this article and looking back, it's amazing how something that looks so simple turns out to be way more complicated than it needs to be! To share a one example, just for fun, you might think it's be a straight forward process to use the original as a pattern - WRONG! Here's why, first, if you look carefully at the picture above and zoom in tightly to the starboard aft corner (that's the back right corner closest to the camera) you might be able to make out wrinkle lines - there are four pleats on each corner, which I carefully replicated. Upon further investigation it appears pleats aren't necessary if the material is cut correctly in the first place. With that said, there is a rather complex set of instructions to be followed, fortunately they are easy to find on the Internet if you know where to look - like this Building a Bimini video from Sailrite on building a bimini for boats for example. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 and regrettably I made the foolish mistake of working from the original - without first seeing it installed on the frame. Alas, yet another learning opportunity!

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Boat Grill Cover

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Ever notice how manufacturers make bags just large enough to cover the item they produced? And when I say "just large enough" I'm talking about just barely fitting as in you have to wrestle it on and wrestle it again to get the cover off. Have you been there? If so, you'll totally understand how this can be so frustrating, why can't the manufacturers charge a little more and create covers that slip on and off!!! The trivial amount would be well worth it! But I begin yet another rant...

This project is the case of a boat grill cover that was really tight when you tried pulling it on or taking it off the grill, of course it had seen a few summers of full sun and had not only faded but was beginning to look rather tired.

The process in replacing this cover was to first make a pattern, one we could keep in the event someone else would like the same cover, then cut out the pattern in Sunbrella (or similar fabric), insert grommets, sew along the perimeter, turn and sew the hem, and pull the drawstring through. Pictured below are a few of the steps.

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