Create Bimini Side Walls? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-15-2014   #1
EZ
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Create Bimini Side Walls?

I am looking at building/sewing some sort of walls to add to my bimini to create a "tent" for storm shelter and sleeping on the boat. I dont think it would be really bomber for a windy storm or some such thing, but maybe it would suffice for light storms. A search did not turn up much. Does anybody have any thoughts, experiences, photos they could share?

Seems like you could fairly easily sew up some big panels out of silnylon and either overlap them or add a long zipper for a door(s). Maybe add some tie outs on the bottom and sides to allow some tension to be applied. Not sure how best to attach it to the under side of the bimini top.

Also, I was thinking you could rig up some sort of shower head attached to the bimini frame under the top and use a garden sprayer tank and pump to pressurize it. The fabric walls would provide some privacy for this. Not sure you could get enough flow out of this setup, though.

Any thoughts?

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Old 08-15-2014   #2
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RFV, CO
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I saw a boat that had 40 mil (gauge) clear vinyl "tent" that attached to his bimini top. I took a curious look at it. He had 4 panels attached via velcro. The pannels had loop side sewn on one side and hook sewn on the other side and the bimini had hook along an edge and a flap with a strip of loop so that the panel was like bologna in a sandwich. The flap could also attach itself back to the hook side on the bimini when the "tent" was not in use. The side attachment points were the same. He had a reinforced circle cut out for the oars with a couple flaps of vinyl that hung down to cover the oars when they were "through the hole" . He said that it was pretty bomb proof and he could row it in a downpour, but was harder in the wind. The idea was to sleep on the boat and he went a little overboard. The rest of the outfitting was dialed as well.
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Old 08-18-2014   #3
 
Richland, Washington
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When I was on the Colorado in April we had several seriously windy days, and on one particularly windy layover day I just wanted to get out of the sand and wind. I put my Kelty tarp over my bimini and attached it all over with straps, including straps diagonally inside to stabilize the bimini top because I was worried that the gusts would break the pivot attachment points. It held up to some super hard gusts, maybe 50-60mph. It was so nice to be out of the wind that I decided I really want to make side walls also (I sleep on my cat), so I've already put a lot of thought into it. I've decided to use panels with Velcro but I haven't sewn them yet. I don't ever plan on rowing with side panels up so I wouldn't have openings for oars. I want the panels long enough that I can get to anything on my boat without moving or adjusting anything so I'll have them extend to the cat tips.

For a shower I've gone to using a small well pump and a motorcycle battery. My first shower setup was just a little battery operated Zodi camping shower, which was fine, but I didn't like it because I was limited in how far away I could place the battery pack from the pump, the batteries weren't rechargeable, and the head pressure on the pump was not very good and limited how high up you could effectively place the tiny shower head especially as the batteries started to run out of juice.

For my new shower I found most of the parts on Amazon, here's the well pump: Amazon.com : Rule iL200P Marine 200 GPH Inline Submersible Pump (12-Volt) : Boating Bilge Pumps : Sports & Outdoors
I made all of my connections quick-connect like this:
Amazon.com: Allstar Performance ALL76232 Universal Two Wire Connector with 12" Loop: Automotive

I made a shower pole out of pvc pipe that I connect to an NRS knuckle on my frame, and fashioned a shower head holder out of some misc parts. You could throw a tarp over the bimini for privacy but I've found that for most river trips privacy just isn't something anyone cares about that much. I had designed an entire enclosure out of pvc pipe for my Colorado trip last year but 1) it was a pain to set up and 2) almost nobody used it, so I've abandoned that idea, especially now that I have the bimini top this year. You could always throw a tarp over the bimini for privacy, or use your towel to block part of the view. Once I make my side panels I could use that as well.

I mounted a 20 watt solar panel to one of my dryboxes, mounted the charge controller inside the box, and ran the wiring from the solar panel into the drybox where I store 2 sealed motorcycle batteries. I can run the river with a battery charging, and another charging up phones or camera batteries or whatever.

I'd be interested in what you come up with for your side panels. Your post reminds me that I need to get to work on mine!
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Old 08-18-2014   #4
 
Eagle, Colorado
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I keep a tarp and plastic spring clamps in my rig for a 1001 uses. One is to clamp a tarp around the bimini. Works great for privacy and shade. Would probably break apart in serious wind and rain though.

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Old 08-18-2014   #5
 
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Oregon City, Oregon
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Why not just strap pontoons to a travel trailer? Not only will you be protected from the weather, but you'll have a bathroom and kitchen.
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Old 08-18-2014   #6
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post
Why not just strap pontoons to a travel trailer? Not only will you be protected from the weather, but you'll have a bathroom and kitchen.

That's kinda the direction where many in this sport have gone in the last 10 years or so...


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Old 08-19-2014   #7
 
Richland, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post
Why not just strap pontoons to a travel trailer? Not only will you be protected from the weather, but you'll have a bathroom and kitchen.
Partially enclosing a Bimini top is no different than sleeping in a tent, are you opposed to sleeping in tents?
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Old 08-19-2014   #8
 
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Oregon City, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivergirl37 View Post
Partially enclosing a Bimini top is no different than sleeping in a tent, are you opposed to sleeping in tents?
Yes, in general. Last trip out, we used tents two nights out of eleven. Once because of rain, and once because of blowing sand.
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Old 08-19-2014   #9
 
Richland, Washington
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Great, sounds like we are in agreement then. On my 25 day trip last year I needed protection from the elements 2 nights, and on my 19 day trip this year I needed it 1 night. Odds are good on long trips like that you'll need protection at some point so there's really no need for snarky comments about how I choose to get out of the elements. You chose a tent, I want to stay on my boat, nothing wrong with either.
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Old 08-19-2014   #10
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post
Why not just strap pontoons to a travel trailer? Not only will you be protected from the weather, but you'll have a bathroom and kitchen.
I've wanted to do this for years, but alas the rig would be hard to drag in low water...

One of my favorite quotes on this site is from the raft porn thread as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by spider View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvedog View Post
Raft in the living room Sweet.
I'm trying to get my living room to fit on my boat.

I do like this discussion a lot, I've been thinking along these lines as well and may delve into one of these ideas down the road... My first thoughts relate to these handy devices: Terricraft Creations Bimini Clip 7/8" Assorted Colors ...which, I'll just make out of appropriately sized pvc pipe, cut down one side. I can simply hang a tarp, towel, etc. for added shade, rain protection. Haven't thought about it as an overnight deal and I don't think my idea would be sturdy enough for rough weather but would be fast, cheap and simple. Thanks for all the ideas, can't wait to see where this leads!
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