People have been asking about these changes, how we did them and how we like them . Plus they wanted pictures. So this blog story is all about the dodger, bimini and solar panel.
Inside view of the bimini. Towards the front (right hand side of photo) it is laced on, in the back it is zipped on. We have added a zipper on the bottom edge for later use when we decide to add sides.
In these two pictures you can see we added a swivel to the block on the boom, a pad eye to the mizzen mast and a block by the winch. The swivel block at the end of the boom helps the sheet to align more directly with the original blocks , since we were experiencing a lot of line chafe with the original setup.
A couple of benefits that we discovered with our new dodger and bimini are that we can stand on the dodger to work on our main and we now have very secure, convenient hand holds for moving forward or aft on Sinbad, and also an additional handhold within the cockpit, above the main companionway. The visibility through the windshield of the hard dodger is far superior to that of new conventional, flexible clear windshield material. All the clear windshield material can be removed from the hard dodger in preparation for a big blow, if necessary. However, with the windshield material in, it has withstood >40kt winds rock-solid. We designed the hard dodger to have a low profile to reduce windage, but it is still spacious enough for all our cockpit use.
In order to install solar panels we needed to extend the aft port and starboard rails 53 inches.