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Old 09-14-2013, 06:31 AM   #1
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Building of a new cockpit cover

Well among the many projects that I had for this year was to build a cockpit cover for Airswift. One brush with skin cancer is enough (hopefully) so I decided to make some shape. The canvas guys in this area are ridiculous so far as price but busy like crazy so even if you want to cop up the thousands of dollars they charge you will have to wait months to get something done. So, I decided to make it myself. Took some good measurements and started on the frame. Found some 1" stainless tubing on Kijiji for a dollar a foot which is regularly $5.50 anywhere else, made a special 3 hour trip to Buffalo NY to Harbour Freight to get a tubing bender/roller for $160, which is $460 in Canada, go figure. I wanted the bow of the roof to match my existing bridge and attach underneath it. I bought all the SS fittings from California, free shipping and only had to make a couple welds, thankfully I have a tig welder in my shop. I also bought an old Singer walking foot sewing machine off Kijiji from a retiring canvas maker and ordered some sunbrella material. So far I have the frame made and mounted and now my winter project while the boat is on the hard is making the canvas. The intent is to add side curtains at some point next year to extend the boating season and keep the bugs out in the summer. Here's are some pics I took with my cell phone hopefully they are not too grainy. Very easy and relatively inexpensive project so far. Sewing lessons this winter. Cheers
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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I like it . I really like that bender . Is it difficult to make a long arch with it? I need to make some more canvas for my boat . I've got a sailrite lz1 machines . I've done a little sewing. It's not easy . I guess it takes practice . If it's out of wood I can make it.Do you have more control with that bender than a conduit bender? Keep up the good work and send more pics .
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Great plan Bomba. We did something similar several years ago for Lotus, and it was the best thing we ever did. The avatar pic shows it quite well. Of course we had to pay to have it done, but I thought $3000 was not bad for frame and sunbrella. I am impressed with your doing it yourself tho. Wish I had that skill, and tools.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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I like it . I really like that bender . Is it difficult to make a long arch with it? I need to make some more canvas for my boat . I've got a sailrite lz1 machines . I've done a little sewing. It's not easy . I guess it takes practice . If it's out of wood I can make it.Do you have more control with that bender than a conduit bender? Keep up the good work and send more pics .
The long arches were incredibly easy to make with the bender. I laid out a pattern on the shop floor with width and bend height at the center point and then bent them a little at a time until they fit the pattern. Once I had one made and marked the bender screw the other 3 were simple. Had all done in less than an hour. Conduit benders generally don't work well with stainless tubing.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:54 AM   #5
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Great plan Bomba. We did something similar several years ago for Lotus, and it was the best thing we ever did. The avatar pic shows it quite well. Of course we had to pay to have it done, but I thought $3000 was not bad for frame and sunbrella. I am impressed with your doing it yourself tho. Wish I had that skill, and tools.
Looks good and yes $3000 is not bad. Likely be double that here. I think even including the bender, sewing machine and all materials I will in under $2000 and it's fun!! Also I will redo the bridge canvas and add an enclosure, next year. So much to do and so little time. lol.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
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Looks great, Allan. How nice to have those tools and the skills required.

I'm still looking for an effective temporary cockpit cover that stows easily for fishing yet deploys easily for shade. I might have found it in a variant of this cockpit shade on the Cruisers 45 Cantius.





Telescopic poles port and stbd of the FB sides with removable canvas and 2 cross-bars. It just might work.

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Old 09-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #7
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Looks good Allan. Bought a similar bender a few years ago at Harbor Freight because I refused to spend big bucks for a one off project with 2" square stock. Canabalized it to make this, worked great. I took the wheel off mine and power it with a Milwaukee right angle drill.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:35 AM   #8
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Looks great ,

al tho we took the easy way and simply purchased a 10x10 free standing yard shade for $59 at a box store and leave it up for the cruise , strike it in hurricane season.

With 8 or 9 years of use its still OK looking , so the cost per year is acceptable.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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Looks great, Allan. How nice to have those tools and the skills required.

I'm still looking for an effective temporary cockpit cover that stows easily for fishing yet deploys easily for shade. I might have found it in a variant of this cockpit shade on the Cruisers 45 Cantius.





Telescopic poles port and stbd of the FB sides with removable canvas and 2 cross-bars. It just might work.

Well that's real nice. Do like the re-tractability.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
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Looks good Allan. Bought a similar bender a few years ago at Harbor Freight because I refused to spend big bucks for a one off project with 2" square stock. Canabalized it to make this, worked great. I took the wheel off mine and power it with a Milwaukee right angle drill.
I like it, whatever it takes to get the job done easier and not pay someone else to do it I'm for. And when you think you will never use it again and it sits in your shop for ten years you can always sell it to someone on Kijiji!!! Then guaranteed within a month you'll need it again and wish you still had it. Can't have too many tools IMHO. The shop also works great for parties and keeps the mess out of the house.
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