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Hello, I'm going to be renting and rowing an 18 foot raft from a popular outfitting company at the end of April on the Grand Canyon. Do any of you have recent experience with the big rafts outfitted with a bimini? I don't know if I want to go with the bimini or with the dual umbrella setup. Thanks in advance.
 

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Too windy

I was there in June last year and most days were too windy for the umbrella but the folks with Bimini worked well other not seeing the views as well. Have fun!
 

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bimini

Had my 18' Leopard with the river sombrero. Mid-July shade was great. Hardly put on much sunblock. There were hours some days where it was too windy. Other days, it pulled me along for an hour or two. Best feature is, I always sleep on my boat, and the few nights in rained I just pulled it up and used a thin mylar sheet over my feet to get full coverage. A little tarp to cover one side would help in a down-pour. If the view is great, pop it down. Frankly, after thousands of miles of canyons, I tend to look at the water or around me rather than up very much. Firmly stowed it in major rapids. The only downside I've discovered is biting flies like to ride on it on occasion. As for the fabled Canyon Heat, I'm from Utah and it was vaguely hotter than Here, but if you keep a wet towel handy, it's cool. I realize 115 is hot, but if you work up to it by spending some time getting used to it before your trip, it's cool. One woman on our trip got panicky hot once or twice, but she drove there straight from the mountains.
 

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I used a bimini on a 16' raft last July. I had it up a lot in the beginning, but then realized I was missing out on the awesome view of the canyon. I spent most of the last 10 days with the bimini down while on the river.
As others said, it can be very good for shelter from sun or rain. When wind is right they are fine and I find them to be very durable for most winds.
If I had it to do again in the heat of summer, I would probably use the bimini, but I would keep it down more often than not. For an April trip I would probably go with the umbrella. Wear sunscreen, put on the hat, and enjoy that AMAZING view.
 

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We launched on April 30 last year with just the umbrella-used it a half day on the whole trip for sun. The Bimini idea sounds great for sleeping but I would've been nervous because we did have some seriously windy nights.
 

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Hello, I'm going to be renting and rowing an 18 foot raft from a popular outfitting company at the end of April on the Grand Canyon. Do any of you have recent experience with the big rafts outfitted with a bimini? I don't know if I want to go with the bimini or with the dual umbrella setup. Thanks in advance.

Not sure who you are renting from but Brady's Bimini setup rocks.


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I agree with some of the other posts- I'm putting in May 1 and will definitely bring my Bimini- I've done summer and winter trips- biminis nice down at times, and great up at times- nothing like it to get a break from the sun. Also can be really nice at camp to get a break from sun on the water, to keep cooler shaded, to decrease wear and tear of the sun beating at your boat.


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Biminis are designed to be up when a power boat is moving right along so it takes a lot of wind to damage one. One nice thing about a having one up in camp or on the river for that matter is shade for the cooler. I never go without one, but it does spend most of its time down not in use.
 

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I used my Bimini quite a bit this Jan/Feb. last June it was absolutely essential gear.
Sleep on the raft, stable in moderate wind, stows in less than a minute.
Possibly the only downside is that shipping oars requires a bit more effort, the stanchions can restrict simply propping your blades on your spares.
Oh, and a handy place for solar chargers and sun showers.


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