Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

·
I'm right 50% of the time
Joined
·
899 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
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.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
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...


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
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:

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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,036 Posts
Hi,

For years, I've used regular clothes pins to hang towels as sun shades, drying clothes, and other things from the fabric edges of my bimini.

I've also sat out more than one squall on the Grand with a 12x12 tarp draped over the bimini and tied down to my chicken lines. A couple of times, I slept that way through downpours for an entire night. Not fancy, but functional.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Those clips are pretty cool, Elk! And I like the idea of making those yourself.

I'm okay with simple, like using a tarp, but I don't think it would be super hard to design and sew a custom wrap that could survive some of the more wicked weather. I had a lot of time to think about it that day this year...sitting under my bimini with my makeshift tarp enclosure flapping in the wind... DIY is part of the fun for me. Almost as much fun as the big rapids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
So, if you want to get more complicated/reliable/tough look into the tops power boaters have built. they're out in all types of weather and their systems hold up to just about any weather you're likely to encounter (they're typically engineered to be used at speed ~20-30+ mph). Old versions used snaps to fasten the drop panels, new ones usually use zippers, but I have seen Velcro used as well. These are usually built to suit either at the factory or by marine upholstery type folks and can run several grand but you should at minimum come up with some ideas searching for Bimini, drop curtain, side curtain, etc, etc.

Just to pre-empt the safety coordinators out there; you'll of course not want to deploy such a setup prior to running Lava and in general be weary of entrapment hazards if you would so choose to deploy the rig or portions of it while underway.

edit - oops, ment to add a link:http://ontariofishingcommunity.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=34490, just a basic drop curtain setup on a windshield less boat (something similar to most rafts in basic form). Search on from there if interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
Those clips are pretty cool, Elk! And I like the idea of making those yourself.

I'm okay with simple, like using a tarp, but I don't think it would be super hard to design and sew a custom wrap that could survive some of the more wicked weather. I had a lot of time to think about it that day this year...sitting under my bimini with my makeshift tarp enclosure flapping in the wind... DIY is part of the fun for me. Almost as much fun as the big rapids.
Thanks, stumbled on those when researching bimini's and like them so I book marked em'

In theory I too am OK with simple, but my projects rarely end up simple...I prefer DIY really, I like figuring it out and making it perfect for my application. Once perfected I switch to the term "custom" :)

I've only recently began thinking about sleeping on the boat, as normally it's my wife and I, two kids and two dogs and a 15' boat - not really an option. But as I someday hope to draw permits, or get invites to some of the bigger rivers to "test them out for family friendliness", it has began to creep into my noggin' as something that would be quite enjoyable. Hell who knows, when the kids are bigger maybe we can kick them and the dogs on shore and retire to the penthouse for a cool nights sleep...

Anyways, keep us posted with designs and ideas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
So, if you want to get more complicated/reliable/tough look into the tops power boaters have built. they're out in all types of weather and their systems hold up to just about any weather you're likely to encounter (they're typically engineered to be used at speed ~20-30+ mph). Old versions used snaps to fasten the drop panels, new ones usually use zippers, but I have seen Velcro used as well. These are usually built to suit either at the factory or by marine upholstery type folks and can run several grand but you should at minimum come up with some ideas searching for Bimini, drop curtain, side curtain, etc, etc.
They will sometimes be referred to as a "camper back". As I am not handy with a sewing machine, I had mine made by Paul's Canvas in Denver. He used YKK zippers to attach to the existing top. I wanted mine to be bug, wind, and rain proof so it included no-see-em bug mesh and zip-up rip-stop nylon rainflys for the windows. It didn't take a lot of materials but was very labor intensive. IIRC it set me back about $2500.

For my whitewater motor rig I do as Rich does.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Elk, you and I think a lot alike. DIY, custom, call it what you will, it's all messing about in boats, and perfectly dialing it all in.

Totally agree on safety. And when it's down it should be strapped down. I don't foresee ever running a river with the sides up, it's strictly for sleeping/shelter...soggy sleeping bags suck. I had been wanting to sleep on my boat for quite a while and this year I was able to get my 18' cat set up for it. I've got 25 days sleeping on my boat since April, I absolutely loved it. (Well, except for one very soggy night.)

Thanks for everyone's pictures, I'm not the OP but I'm very interested in people's thoughts on this. I'd been talking about exactly this subject with Hyside64 earlier this year. :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Great ideas. I also enjoy sleeping on my raft or cat. It was the coolest place to sleep on our July Grand trip. I also like knowing where my boat is at when bad weather comes up. The bimini side wall idea just makes bad weather better and takes up very little room or weight if done right.
I've boated with Rivergirl37 and she has a great setup on her cat. I definitely have bimini envy. She even has night lights to hang inside the bimini that keep the party going.
Interested in what everyone comes up with on this subject. Post pictures.

120717_473.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
thanks rivergirl, I'll definitely take that as a compliment, but you might be wary of comparing your thoughts with mine more often: You never know what black hole you'll find yourself in :twisted:...

I got into this site based on the DIY type discussions on frames, tarps, stoves etc. I thought, "I finally found a place I can participate". I really dislike the "go buy a "wingding widget"; problem solved type answer...

My own problem is I like to figure it all out, but then once I get it dialed for me I loose interest. I never perfect it. I always have that intention once I get it the way I want it to build one more "presentation quality" version, but never do. I Just like figuring it out I guess.

My first plan is to make a little tarp like extension for my bimini that goes down the back to the gear pile, My rowers position is right at the back edge of the bimini, so when its raining with a downriver wind I get all wet.... wait a minute that never happens, it always blows up river... anyways that's where I intend to use those PVC clips.

I'm likely next to find a way to suspend a tarp either inside or outside the bimini for sleeping arrangement, but I haven't gotten that into this idea yet. Yukon77 is working on something similar and I'm hoping for pictures from his stuff some day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
If I can come up with a good solution for making a giant cot, ill probably just use a kelty noah 16 draped over my bimini

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
If I can come up with a good solution for making a giant cot, ill probably just use a kelty noah 16 draped over my bimini

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
A simple air bed right on the frame. put a taught cam strap across the bigger bays if the frame rails alone are not enough support.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top