I have a full cockpit enclosure, but it’s getting very tired after 10 years. I can’t stand up in the cockpit without bending over a bit.
I’m removing the old cockpit cover and installing a new frame that attaches to the dodger and both mizzen shrouds on each side to cover the whole cockpit. It will have a full cockpit enclosure, and I’ll be able to stand up and see all around with the “Bimini” up all the time and with the full enclosure in place. I’m adding two more flexible solar panels on this as well. It will have two large “windows” that allow viewing the sails, with covers to keep the sun out when not in use. I’m also making a full sunscreen enclosure that will help with insects as well.
I'm not sure what you mean by a bimini type top but I offer this anyway. I think the most valuable addition to Ocean Pearl was the full cockpit enclosure, from the windscreen to behind the mizzen. Obviously we used the existing Amel bars and covers and attached to them.
In 47000 miles (I clicked over 47000 today) sailing we have never donned wet weather gear. When sailing down wind in moderate to strong winds and rain, without the rear curtains life would be miserable.
And you most certainly need full front and side protection cause that is where the big sea splashes come in.
While the top from the Amel frame to our "behind mizzen" bar is zip removable we seldom remove it. As are all the side and back curtains The side and rear curtains roll up and down easily. This cover system turns the cockpit into an all weather extension of the cabin. I decided when we were looking for a boat a full cockpit enclosure was non negotiable. I was not going to ask Yvonne to bake to the sun and freeze in the rain for the two years voyage we had planned.(10 years ago)
I'll say again, that cockpit enclosure is invaluable for the increased pleasure it gives.
And those guys and gals in their bimini "unprotected" twin wheel rear helm stations that look so flash in the marinas are wrapped up in wet weather gear and getting wet top and bottom