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Old 06-19-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Removing Fly Bridge Enclosure

It was a "nice to have" on my list of wants when boat shopping, but now I kind of don't like it...not enough of the windows open up in the summer so it is stifling up there and it seems to do a great job of promoting mildew growth on my seats

On the other hand, the boat has always had an enclosure up and that's probably the reason that everything is still solid up there after all these years.

I want to pull down the side curtains and the leave the bimini frame up. I should probably rebed the helm seat pedestal and the lounge seats. Will the instrument panel survive being exposed like that? How do I store the curtains? Should I do anything else up there? Custom cover?

Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:57 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. CB. I don't think the instruments like being out. We have a separate cover over the upper helm. Goes full width covering instruments and controls. Held on by snaps aft of and at the base of the windscreen. As a result, everything EXCEPT the windscreen is protected. If I had to do it again, I'd re-design so the screen was protected as well.


Our curtains are toast BUT if I had to store them, it would be flat, separated by cloth (towels) and stored under a mattress.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:27 PM   #3
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We remove and store our aft panels during Summer, usually starting in late May and I don't usually start putting them back on until early October.

I've had some success rolling our panels in groups, within single bedsheets from the dollar store. Rinse/wash/rinse the clears first, then clean with Imar #301 (in our case) before storage... and then polish with Imar #302 before remounting in the Fall. Then stack, roll, and blue tape the rolls so they hold shape.

The front panels (some of which are rigid anyway) stay on, and we have a hardtop, so mostly the helm is sheltered... but we also have a fitted Sunbrella cover that snaps down over the helm itself and keeps rain water off the instruments. (Some of the instruments themselves also have plastic covers, but I don't have those for everything...)

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Old 06-19-2018, 04:29 PM   #4
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I didnít like the totally enclosed flybridge either. So, I removed the sides (stored under bed), and replaced the vinyl behind the radar arch with zippered Sunbrella. I have a separate, snap down cover for the helm. I left the front panels, and replaced the vinyl with makrolon. Love it all, but Iím thinking of adding zip in Sunbrella for the sides (like the back).
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:35 PM   #5
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I donít have a fly bridge enclosure, I just have a Bimini. If the weather is perfect (ie not too hot, cold, wet, or windy) we use the fly bridge. The other 360 days we use the pilothouse. I have a sunbrella cover that snaps over the bridge controls and instruments and other covers that go over the seats. After 8 years, they are in desperate need of replacing.

I would not want the added windage of an oxygen tent up on the flybridge.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:38 PM   #6
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My wife and I just replaced all of our vinyl on our fly bridge enclosure this past winter. In the summer it is so nice to have it open, but wanted to avoid scratching up the windows. We thought about the roll it up between sheets method, but then decided to get clearstow bags made. Its really a nice system and prevents scratching your vinyl. Clearstow.com is their website if you are interested.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:46 PM   #7
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Just redid the bridge. Strata Glass forward, used poly screening material on sides. No sunbrella but Samoid. UV resistant but slick, stays clean. All zippers and backings covered with Samoid overlay so no sun exposer. The zipper backings are the first to go. Can see just fine through the poly screening. Rain resistant, have to rain sideways to get through, very UV resistant, almost UV Proof. Let’s air in. Left back open.
The less Eisen Glass or Strata Glass the better is my experience.

I am very happy with the new bridge enclosure.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:51 PM   #8
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On our flybridge, just a bimini. Keeps it open and breezy. Since boat has dual helm, this is ideal, can pilot boat in any weather comfortably. I cant imagine a hot summers day sitting in an enclosed flybridge sweltering and stuffy, or pouring rain with howling wind.
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Old 06-19-2018, 05:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
I donít have a fly bridge enclosure, I just have a Bimini. If the weather is perfect (ie not too hot, cold, wet, or windy) we use the fly bridge. The other 360 days we use the pilothouse. I have a sunbrella cover that snaps over the bridge controls and instruments and other covers that go over the seats. After 8 years, they are in desperate need of replacing.

I would not want the added windage of an oxygen tent up on the flybridge.
Forgot to mention the windage difference -itís huge. My vinyl aft of the radar arch only rolled up in the middle, the rest was fixed, and it pulled the boat around like a spinnaker.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:33 PM   #10
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I would go the custom cover route. I would not leave the flybridge uncovered - it will age everything up there fast. Mine covers the windscreen and all the seats.

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Old 06-19-2018, 08:48 PM   #11
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I just run with a bimini. The helm is a console with seating ahead and helm chairs behind. The helm instruments have a snapped sunbrella cover. The radar/plotter (Garmin) is contained in a Navpod with a very good snap-on plastic cover. When the canvass guy was making the helm cover, he also made a sunbrella "sack" with a drawstring at the bottom to fit over the Navpod. Works great. The covers have stayed put in 70 mph wind, so they're pretty secure.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
I donít have a fly bridge enclosure, I just have a Bimini. If the weather is perfect (ie not too hot, cold, wet, or windy) we use the fly bridge. The other 360 days we use the pilothouse. ...
Similarly, we have little need for a fly bridge.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:15 PM   #13
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No O2 tent on mine. I have a custom Tonneau cover, was put on in '90 or so. I replaced it a few years ago, when it got so you could spit through it. The new one (sunbrella) still holds puddles and the stuff below the puddles stays dry. My boat is also in a shelter 6 months since about '99. I wouldn't expect the instruments to tolerate being left out.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
I would not want the added windage of an oxygen tent up on the flybridge.
Doubt you'd notice it, given your boat's size/weight/shape. In extreme conditions, you can open/roll up "smilies" in side curtains if necessary...


Quote:
Originally Posted by helm View Post
Its really a nice system and prevents scratching your vinyl. Clearstow.com is their website if you are interested.
Looks nice enough. I wonder what advantage, if any, 100% polyester would offer over 100% cotton.


Quote:
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Forgot to mention the windage difference -itís huge. My vinyl aft of the radar arch only rolled up in the middle, the rest was fixed, and it pulled the boat around like a spinnaker.
I wonder if that's a function of where your aft enclosure is -- way behind fore-and-aft centerline? -- relative to the rest of your boat?

Ours is only slightly closer to our bow, so cross wind effects are generally centered on the boat. I've only had to open our side panels for docking a few times, over the years...

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Old 06-20-2018, 08:18 AM   #15
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Most of my flybridge lexan windows open so we avoid the hot house effect. Wouldent want to be without it even in FL summers.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
No O2 tent on mine. I have a custom Tonneau cover, was put on in '90 or so. I replaced it a few years ago, when it got so you could spit through it. The new one (sunbrella) still holds puddles and the stuff below the puddles stays dry. My boat is also in a shelter 6 months since about '99. I wouldn't expect the instruments to tolerate being left out.
To avoid puddles, I use a pole under the cover positioned in the middle. See picture below.

No oxygen tent for me either or both my helm stations will be enclosed. But on one of my previous boats that only had a flybridge helm station, it was a must. It allowed us to go boating when it was less than 75 degrees. It's great to have the option of driving inside or outside. An open flybridge is also very useful when not underway as the view up there is hard to beat.

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Old 06-20-2018, 03:33 PM   #17
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If a cover is large enough to benefit from a support pole these vents work very well.
Hold the support pole firmy to prevent falling over in winds and they allow venting to minimize mildew. You can get adjustable poles or make your own.

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Old 06-22-2018, 04:30 PM   #18
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I appreciate the reply's and insight! I like the idea of taking them down for the nice part of the season and covering at least the console then putting them back up for winter. I've got a request to the canvas maker who did my window covers to see what they have to say
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
I donít have a fly bridge enclosure, I just have a Bimini. If the weather is perfect (ie not too hot, cold, wet, or windy) we use the fly bridge. The other 360 days we use the pilothouse. I have a sunbrella cover that snaps over the bridge controls and instruments and other covers that go over the seats. After 8 years, they are in desperate need of replacing.

I would not want the added windage of an oxygen tent up on the flybridge.

Amen and Amen. Here in south Texas,anything that blocks the breeze except in mid February has to go away. Besides I dont like the looks of the things. Even been thinking about removing the flying bridge altogether.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. CB. I don't think the instruments like being out. We have a separate cover over the upper helm. Goes full width covering instruments and controls. Held on by snaps aft of and at the base of the windscreen. As a result, everything EXCEPT the windscreen is protected. If I had to do it again, I'd re-design so the screen was protected as well.....
You mean something like this RT..?
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