Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame

ianjenkins1946 <>

Pat, will do, may not be till last week of April or so. Ian

To: amelyachtowners@...
From: sailw32@...
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2014 07:21:12 -0400
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame

Ian, When you can, could you post a few pics of your bimini . It would be of interest to me and anyone else that may be considering a redesign of their top. Thanks , Pat SM #123

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian & Judy
To: amelyachtowners
Sent: Fri, Mar 14, 2014 3:22 pm
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame


Hi John,    We delayed buying our SM for a couple of years because we thought the bimini was awful, particularly compared to that of the Maramu and Sharki which we had owned. With the latter two, and the Mango, Amel had built wonderful hard topped dodgers which you could stand under ( indeed, you could also stand on top of them ). I am 6 ft ( 183 cm ) plus I wear shoes.
 What annoyed me was there was about 6 inches clearance between to top of the bimini and the mainsheet and I could not understand why Amel didn't take the bimini up as high as it could go. Plus, I couldn't see ahead while at the wheel without cricking my neck, plus I had to demount to bimini when manoevering in dock, plus I could  not see the sails properly to sail, plus I couldn't stand up straight in the cockpit--I could go on!
 Amel sort of conceded that there was a problem when they extended the height of the bimini for the 2000 series but in truth it was a pretty halfhearted effort.
 Needless to say, my suggested modifications fell on deaf ears in La Rochelle but we bought Pen Azen anyway as I was convinced that the bimini could easily be improved upon--and so it proved.
 We did wait awhile but eventually ended up in Brazil with time on our hands and I went to work--it was SO easy. I took the existing three stainless hoops ( Pen Azen is a 2000, SM 302) and had them extended by ( I think) 10cm for the aft two and 15cm for the forward one. You can work out the exact measurements for yourself by taking the measurements to just below the main sheet.
 A welder added the necessary extensions and finished the job so well that you cannot see the joints. We then found a canvas man ( not easily found in Brazil where motor boats outnumber yachts by about 100 to one ) and he made a bimini out of Subrella, the heavy duty version with an impervious interior side .
We used the e xisting  aluminium tube attachment for the  forward part of the bimini .
We chose the angles for the hoops by trial and error--the forward one is pretty vertical.
 We put a full length clear vinyl window right across the front. The zip is at the top of the vinyl so when unzipped the vinyl tucks away neatly under the existing cover and I can stand at the wheel with my head straight out of the window, so to speak, with perfect visibility for manoevering in dock.
We never need to fold the bimini down  while the boat is in commission
 We have wonderful ventilation in the cockpit when required.
 We can sit on the aft deck with clear visibility ahead.
 We have larger side vinyl windows.
 We extended the drop curtain at the aft of the bimini to meet the new height. 
 We added a stainless steel ring to the top of the pin that secures the mizzen boom to th e mast ( there is already one on the bottom of the pin ) and we fitted a stainless pipe from one mizzen shroud to the other side via the new stainless ring--this allow us to attach the bimini extension at the same height as the new bimini and means that I can stand up anywhere in the cockpit.
 The only adjustment we had to make was this---when the main is rolled away the mainsheet just touches the top of the new bimini and would chafe, but we take a simple webbing strap with clips and tighten the mainsheet up to the underside of the main boom, out of the way. As soon as you unroll even half the mainsail the boom is lifted and the mainsheet stands well clear of the bimini, even when the main is sheeted hard to the centre of the track.
 When we leave the boat for any length of time we unzip the bimini ( takes about 5 minutes) and leave it down below. The new hoops still fold away. We then fit a  tonneau cover over the cockpit using the existi ng attachment eyes.

Of all the things we have done to Pen Azen this is, by a country mile, the most rewarding. It transforms your enjoyment of the cockpit. It looks great. It's inexpensive and you get a hell of a bang for your buck.

I did post some photos on the "old" website. I have only today tried the new photo section--what a nightmare ! I haven't been able to find them, but they may be there somewhere.
We won't be back onboard until mid April, otherwise I would send you some fresh ones.

Fair winds,

Ian and Judy, Pen Azen, SM 302, Ragusa, Sicily.

To: amelyachtowners@...
From: sailw32@...
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:18:02 -0400
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame

John, Are there photos where I might see what Ian or what you did. I am planning to modify my frame this spring and am looking for designs. Thanks, Pat

-----Original Message-----
From: john martin <symoondog@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Fri, Mar 14, 2014 10:35 am
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame

I followed Ian's plan with just  a few changes. It has made sailing and docking an Amel a new experience. We put a zippered glass across most of the forward part so it can be dropped down when docking, or when just enjoying the view while sailing in harbors and narrow channels. The dodger is the same length as the old. The only change is the height, plus the boat looks better from the side as the front of the dodger doesn't slant down like the old one did. My wife and I can both look around through the same window. I have my hands on the wheel, standing up straight and looking all around. It is the best thing I have ever done to improve the Amel. Thank you Ian...John  " Moon Dog" SM248

To: amelyachtowners@...
From: annejohnholl@...
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:44:56 +0100
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame

Dear Eric,
I recall that many years ago Ian and Judy on Penazen posted pics and details of what seemed to me to be excellent improvements to the Canvas dodger. They had made them to increase the headroom as he is over six feet tall and to make it possible to sit on the front of the aft cabintop and still see forward. When we met he told me that they had lengthened the forward frame by 10cms and the other two by 15cms.
This made the front section vertical and this was almost entirely clear plastic so that they could see the horizon and also the trim of the genny . I do not recall whether they had put a small window in the canvas so that they could see the trim of the main. I think that the dodger was longer so that it could be secured to the mizzen shrouds. I am pretty sure that it could still be folded forward when necessary.
                               Best wishes,    Anne and John
From: sailormon
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014 1:35 AM
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame
When I had my bimini replaced, I had them add zippers to the underside of it in the pockets for the frames..
That makes removal and replacement a snap.
Fair Winds
Kimberlite SM 376
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...] On Behalf Of Kent Robertson
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 3:49 PM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bimini Frame
I think I'll modify mine when the current canvas is shot.  Was thinking of telescoping side supports that would lengthen to put up and shorten to fold flat.  Any other ideas?
I don't have much room below the boom to raise the canvas.
Brunswick GA USA

On Mar 12, 2014, at 3:17 PM, <sailw32@...> wrote:
Most of the photos of Super Maramus I have seen have a cockpit frame that angles up much more than my 1994 SM . My frame folds down very nicely , and I like be able to fold it down. We are having a new Bimini made this spring and we would like more headroom. My question , did Amel change the frame design or has all those Amel owner's lengthened / modified their frames ? Secondly , can those frames fold down ? I prefer the way mine looks, lower and sleeker , but the added headroom would be nice.
                                                                                                  Thanks , Pat SM #123

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