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Old 07-12-2010   #1
penguin's Avatar
Tahoe City, California
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 53
Wife seeks shade on boat - umbrella recommendation?

Hey all, an eight-day run down Deso confirmed that spousal relations would be improved by the addition of some shade on our boat. Most of our party had adapted bimini powerboat tops, but I really want to find something a bit more minimalistic that doesn't pose interference considerations with oars.

We used a cheapie Chinese umbrella but it was finally donated to the Greek wind gods.

Is it a hopeless endeavor to find a sturdy canvas umbrella that I could mount to my NRS frame? Got any tips for me or alternatives?

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Old 07-12-2010   #2
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Riverbuddy Umbrellas - Shade on the river for rafting and rafts this, but it ain't cheap. Bimini is a MUCH better alternative. I too just got off Deso and my wife thanked me for the bimini about 5 times each day. On our barge of 4 boats, the only two had biminis, and guess where EVERYONE was piled in?

If you adopt the bimini correctly and think through where you attach it, it will not interfear with the oars. Also, go as big as possible. I am thinking of trading my 8'x6' for 10'x8' now.


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Old 07-13-2010   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Posts: 2,727
Alex, do you mean 6x10? 8x10 sounds awesome to sit under, but hard to picture rigging it.

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Old 07-13-2010   #4
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
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Dave, a buddy of mine had a much wider bimini than me, when I get home, I will post a pic of it. He rigged it on top of his pins/clips so the oars would clear. It was about a foot and a half wider than my bimini. It's not quite 8' wide, but he said he bought it on ebay and the ebayer called it 8x10.
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Old 07-13-2010   #5
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I love my River Sombrero. I didn't have any issues with oar clearance, but I bought the long slider mounts so I could move the frame pretty far forward to keep the oars from bumping the poles.

However - Before I bought it, I did consider another option that might work:

Overton's > Taylor Made Pontoon Gazebo Shade Top - Boating & Marine > Bimini Tops T-Tops & Shades > Shades & Enclosures : Boat Bimini Tops, Pontoon Bimini Tops, Shades, T-Tops, & Hardware | Shop online

Just not sure how sturdy it would be- if it collapses on you, it would be a hassle to get it straight. Might need some modifications to keep it together in a stiff wind.
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Old 07-13-2010   #6
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 32
Another option for you : my homemade "bimini" - it's a true 8X10, and bombproof.
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Old 07-13-2010   #7
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
If you're just looking for a cheap and simple ghetto umbrella mount, you could get a T-fitting and a ~1.5 ft section of frame pipe, then install the fitting on one of the cross bars with the open end up, stick the pipe in it and insert the umbrella into the pipe. You may want to tap a hole into the pipe the umbrella goes into so you can secure the umb. It doesn't do very well in the wind (think Mary Poppins) so you'll have to close the umbrella when the breeze starts to blow hard; otherwise works fine. The disadvantage of this setup is that you'll want to rotate the T-fitting so the open end is down to keep from cutting someone's foot on it when the pipe holding the umbrella is stowed during cooler season boating (this is a disadvantage of more sophisticated umbrella mounts too - an open fitting or piece of pipe on your frame). Also, over time the set screw may eventually drill its way through the pipe with repeated tightening if its in the the same place on the frame cross bar.

I went with a fancy umbrella mount when I set my frame up years ago and regret it - I don't care for having an open piece of pipe on the frame that I have to wrap with foam padding and duct tape when I'm not using it.

All that said, if you want something really sweet, contact Jeff at River Sombrero - he'll set you up in style.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-13-2010   #8
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Niwot, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
I'm thinking of trying to rig a sport-brella for shade. It's relatively cheap and it has places to tie down that should minimize it turning inside out. I could also re-purpose it on the beach.
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Old 07-13-2010   #9
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
Alex, when did you get off Deso? Saw a boat that looked just like yours with a bimini last week pass us below Wire Fence where we were camped. Didn't get a chance to holler out.

One of our boats last week had an Anchor Shade which is pretty decent. like a big square umbrella with straps on the corners for better wind. I'm still using cheapo umbrella though. Like Andy said, took a lo-pro and mounted it to my foot bracket, 18" section of pipe with a couple pins, cut the umbrella post to height and reinforced the tubes with a long dowel. works fairly well until the wind gets too strong and only leaves the lo-pro nub by my feet when I take it down.
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Old 07-13-2010   #10
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Osprey, we past by Wire Fence on Saturday around 11:30 AM. One of my guys pulled over and talked to the group below Wire Fence. As I understand, he was kind of a d*ck to the group, I apologize if it was you.

We didn't scout Wire Fence or Three Fords, Three Fords was fun. I was in my green Maravia with a green bimini and a red flag in the stern. Can't miss the Russian flag on any river


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