On Saturday I installed my new bimini top with many thanks to Dave for all his help. I got out to the boat around 10am and it was raining on and off. Luckily it cleared up around 11am for most of the rest of the day. It was a very hot, humid, and calm day. Dave came out around 11am and helped me with the projects. He had a nice portable work bench which made things easier and some handy tools for grinding the stainless steel hardware.
I bought the aluminum Sunbrella bimini from Overton's and the size is 46"H 79"-84"W and 6' long. I went with the modified genoa track car mounting method that others have done on the Catalina 25 National Association and I bought the same size used by others.
I bought two of these track slides:
Dave brought his grinder and we grinded off the loops. Smoothed it out and we have a nice flat mounting surface.
We then drilled and tapped holes to mount the stainless steel bracket. There was just enough space under the car to place a nut. After tightening the bolts, we grinded off the protruding part of the bolt. There is just enough clearance on the track and it slides freely. I had a hard time getting the nylon fitting to fit in the stainless steel bracket, so it took a little sanding down. When I was trying to get it to fit, I used my hammer to tap it, then placed the hammer aside and used my hands. It must have been when I pulled it out of the bracket and well, I hit the hammer and it flopped right overboard. First tool I've lost so far.
Here is a photo of the final results:
Here is the bimini installed on my Sapphire Breeze.
I still need to figure out how I'm going to attach the hold down straps. The rear straps I plan to attach to the loops on the stern pulpit where the lifeline clip to (the bungies are temporary). Currently the straps are too long to reach directly to the loops. I'm thinking I may be able to wrap it back around the first stanchion of the pulpit and take the clip forward to the loop. That will hopefully take out the excess slack in the strap. After reading recommendations on the forum, I will probably install eyelets on the cabin top handrails for the forward straps. Having the bimini mounted on the track car allows me to slide it forward and backward, using different settings for sailing or while at anchor/tied up. I also did not have to drill any holes into my boat, which is a plus. I still need to test out the boom and main sheet clearance and figure out the best genoa track spot. Next weekend I plan to get it all completed and tested out.
Here is a photo of my spinnaker pole storage set up that I forgot to take a picture of last weekend:
I bought a Forespar pole chock for the aft stanchion and then a stanchion eye that I mounted on the bow pulpit. I then used a snap hook to clip the forward end to the pulpit. It is securely held, out of the way, and I'm so glad to now have it off the cabin floor.
In my last post I mentioned the outboard starter wasn't working. Dave helped me locate the problem and we found that when we swapped out batteries last weekend, I failed to reconnect the ground cable to the second battery. The circuit wasn't complete and it makes sense now. So, it's good to go again! Now I just need to buy and install a solar panel system! More $$$
We finished up the project right when a storm was approaching. We got things packed up, but went to retrieve my hammer right when it started to absolute downpour. Dave brought his net on a pole and a heavy duty magnet, but we were unable to retrieve it. I felt something with the net, but wasn't able to scoop it up. I ended up stopping at Ace Hardware on the way home and picked up a similar hammer for a few bucks.
That's about it for this weekend. I can't wait until next weekend. Hopefully I'll get some sailing in too.