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Boom rests on bimini when main sheeted. 1993 Hunter Legend 35.5

Feb 16, 2021
Hunter Legend 35.5 Bellingham
When sailing upwind, I am unable to sheet the main enough to get rid of excessive twist in the leech as the boom ends up resting on the bimini (and has torn a couple sections of the bimini on the forward bimini support rail). The sail is cut to Hunter's original specs. The main is fully raised when the problem arises.

I would like to be able to properly sheet my main without the boom hitting the bimini. I would also like to have a bimini.

The sail maker has suggested several options:
1) Re-cutting the main (as well as the reefing points, which exacerbate the problem when reefed) so the boom sits above the bimini when fully sheeted. It seems to me this would affect the balance of the sails and the compromise the performance of the mainsail.
2) Raise the gooseneck on the mast such that the sail sits high enough for the bimini not to interfere with the mainsail trim (this would entail shortening the head of the sail). This seems would also compromise the performance of the mainsail, though not as much as option 1. It also seems it would affect the balance of the sails by shifting the center of effort up and forward. On top of this (no pun), there is already a problem with the roach of the main getting hung up in the topping lift when tacking; raising the mainsail plan seems would exacerbate this issue.
3) Shorten the bimini. I'm ~5'11, and the bimini provides just enough room for me to comfortable stand. I might be able to get away with shortening it by ~1", but it seems an expensive option that wouldn't fully address the issue once done.

None of the options seem quite ideal, but something has to be done. Has anyone else encountered this issue, and what was done to address it?

Did Hunter design this boat without anticipating that anyone would install a bimini, and so the gooseneck is too low to actually have a bimini of reasonable height without it interfering with mainsail trim?

Much thanks for any input.


Aug 28, 2006
Bavaria 35E seattle
I'd say to consider reducing the foot of your mainsail after moving the gooseneck. Do you have a rigid vang? Will adjusting that help with the extra inch you need?
Aug 7, 2018
Catalina 350 Great Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
We owners and O’day 34. My sailmaker cut down the bottom of my sail @ the clew end by 4” and nothing @ the tack. (A triangle) We lost approx 22 SQ inches of sail, It was very inexpensive, we also changed to loose footed so there was no need to do much work on the bottom of the sail. I firmly believe the change was minimal as to sail trim and performance after the modification Another benefit was the boom @ the outboard end of the cockpit was raised by 4” for headroom clearance in the cockpit I am not a racer and was VERY willing to compromise sail performance to solve the problem of interference of the boom/Bimini.
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
To address your challenge a compromise will be in the works. Options appear to be:
  1. Sail with out the bimini open,
  2. Modify the boom elevation to accommodate the bimini,
  3. Shrink the sail to modify the boom angle so it clears bimini when open
  4. Modify the bimini where it contacts the sail plan and boom
Sail boats are a compromise. We adjust the rigging or the trim or the attachments/hardware/systems to accommodate our desires. When they conflict we adjust. It is in a sailboats nature to present compromises to the owner and crew.
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Aug 7, 2018
Catalina 350 Great Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
Lowering the Bimini will require essential remaking the whole thing. Cuts the steel, cut and resew the fabric and redo all the fasteners at the cut edge.. If money is no object go for it. I paid $125.00 to recut my sail and renew the tack. My sailmaker also commented on the benefit of a lose footed sail. I lost 26 Sq. Inches of sail area, I also have great site lines through the Bimini, the old Bimini was right in the middle of site lines and a head banger when going down the companion way. Raising the boom 4” also cleared it out of “head space” in the cockpit. Win, win, win, win
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Feb 10, 2004
Hunter 40.5 Warwick, RI
I had the same problem with my OEM boom. I cut the bimini frame and reattached. No modification to the fabric. It still wasn't low enough so I cut it again. Finally got a height that worked.

However I am just 5'7" so lowering 2-3 inches wasn't a problem.

Edited to add: I only lowered the front of my bimini. It is still the full height where I stand at the wheel.
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Dec 28, 2015
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Install telescoping legs on your Bimini and lower it when you are close hauled and need better pointing and leave it up at desired height for the other 98% of the time. If it’s a normal Bimini it shouldn’t take any recutting of the canvas to do this.
Feb 16, 2021
Hunter Legend 35.5 Bellingham
I am having the sailmaker shorten the foot at the clew (leaving the tack). It seems they didn't properly measure the leech length when cutting the sail. I am hoisting the old main this week and will see how it sits with the bimini.
Oct 2, 2008
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
Just thinking outside the box, could you raise the mast? Are you deck or keel stepped? Maybe the root issue is the compression post or cabin top. Just like I said, thinking outside the box.
Feb 16, 2021
Hunter Legend 35.5 Bellingham
I got ahold of the old mainsail from the PO and it fits perfectly. The boom sits comfortably above the Bimini when tightly sheeted, and when I really crank on it it still doesn’t touch the Bimini. Ullman, the sailmaker, now has the sail. It seems they must not have gotten the proper leech measurement when making the sail. Very strange. The Bimini has not been modified in any way since the sail was purchased in May 2020. Unfortunately they’ve had it for over a week now without any word on cost for trimming the foot at the clew (the sail sits fine when reefed after some futzing by the sailmaker, tho I’m not 100% it wouldn’t end up sitting low and tearing up the Bimini again if we need to reef in a hurry sometime).
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