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Old 04-28-2019, 06:13 AM   #1
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Bimini with Isenglas

My Bimini with Isenglas is pretty well shot. The glass is brittle and cracks easily.

I'm thinking of getting rid of the glass and just having it open. How many of you Mainship owners have their upper helm open? Does it cause any problems?
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:38 AM   #2
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It will depend on your habits and preferences in your climate more than what others do in different climate.
How often do you operate from bridge with some side curtains in place?
Do you have a lower helm?
How often do you use it? Are you comfortable running from lower?
If you leave only the bimini you will likely want one or more bridge covers to protect the helm and seating from Wx.
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:49 AM   #3
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Don’t have a Mainship, but I had vinyl all around my flybridge and hated it. My first solution was to just remove the sides and replace the back enclosure with full-zippered Sunbrella. I loved that, but the Admiral hated everything on the flybridge getting wet every time it rained. So I had my canvas lady just replace the vinyl in the side panels with Sunbrella. It rolls up in a snap, can be left rolled up without taking a set, and doesn’t need cleaning every 5 minutes like vinyl. The only thing I screwed up was leaving the “rib” in the old frame where it bends over the rail. I should have had her remove that and make the smilie all the way to the bottom of the panel.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:34 AM   #4
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Vinyl helps keep you and your helm dry. I did my own canvas work as some others have done. Vinyl is inexpensive, lasts for years. Check out Sailrite's many videos showing installation, repairs at both Sailrite and Youtube. But a heavy duty/walking foot machine for the sewing is recommended.

Another suggestion........when I purchased my boat some years ago, my vinyl was as you described. I patched the entire stuff using clear packing tape. Not quite like vinyl although it held up until I replaced the vinyl a couple of years later.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:06 AM   #5
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My oxygen tent is in the same shape. I think we are going to keep the front and both front quarters clear and Sunbrella the rest. That way we can run buttoned up and still see to the front and the sides somewhat. Like others said the Sunbrella will be easier to roll up and we spend most of our time running with them rolled up.

FWIW the boat had a vinyl cover that was made to fit the instrument panel when the full enclosure was made. From the receipt the maker thru it in free.. Nice touch !!
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:54 AM   #6
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I used lexan semi rigid panels. They last longer and are clearer than vinyl. You fold them up instead of rolling. They can even be curved at corners to avoid frames.

Check your PM
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
I used lexan semi rigid panels. They last longer and are clearer than vinyl. You fold them up instead of rolling. They can even be curved at corners to avoid frames.

Check your PM
We also used Makrolon wherever we could swing panels up - flybridge front, aft deck sides. Unfortunately, not possible everywhere. 100% improvement over roll up vinyl.
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
I used lexan semi rigid panels. They last longer and are clearer than vinyl. You fold them up instead of rolling. They can even be curved at corners to avoid frames.
I did the very same thing (Lexan .060 thick) a few months ago and love it! Super clear but I don't have any idea how long it will last.

(A fellow TFer, Sunchaser, councilled me on the Lexan.)
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:59 PM   #9
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New England yes to side curtains with green house curtains, SW Florida let the breeze in. I use Sunbrella seat helm cover under the Bimini
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