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Embarking on an enclosure project

Macboy

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Aug 8, 2014
247
Macgregor 26S Sherwood Park, Alberta
If there was a single certainty in my life as far as sailing goes it is this. Bugs could very well put an immediate full-stop to all of my family sailing hopes and dreams.

Our inland lakes in Alberta are wonderful - even more wonderful for these little (I call them) fish flies. I know they're harmless. But try telling that to a daughter who is petrified of anything flying. The list of all of the "for the family" creature comforts to come to our Mac includes dedicated USB charge outlets in the berths, led reading lights and a composting toilet complete with urine diversion. On top of all of this I'm going to attempt to enclose the cockpit with a proper dodger, bimini/canopy and sidewall setup. So hear my plan and please, tell me if you can foresee any better way about this. I've virtually memorized Sumner's mods and will be incorporating some of them. Ditto that for the Analog Engineering listed mods.

Here's my (current) plan. Our Mac has a bimini already. I haven't had a good look to see if the tubes are single spans or if they are riveted together. I'm hoping they are at the very least some sort of universal kit that can then be disassembled and reconfigured. I found another universal bimini kit on Amazon that has an additional tube on each side making a second hard point mount to the coaming. I'd ideally use that bimini as the rear portion.
Bimini on Amazon

THEN I'd disassemble the current bimini and cut/shorten/narrow/bend as required to create the two bows to form the upper and forward bows for a dodger frame, the front most fabric running down to the deck attaching with swivels or snaps - most likely snaps as I assume they'd be less snaggy in general? This dodger would either be forward enough or wide enough that I could still operate both winches. In any case it would be tall enough that the pop top could be opened. (We can currently sail with the pop top in the up position without boom interference - PO may have raised the boom?) And no, no boom vang.

Join the dodger to the bimini top with a zip in panel protected by rain flaps. Ditto for side curtains - zip in at the top to the bimini top as required and then snaps on the coaming, zips to join the sides. More window/screen than fabric on the sides to stay nice and bright in the cockpit. I guess a window on the roof for sail monitoring. Or figure out a way to make it "convertible". Just the bimini part - not the dodger part. The dodger would have to go on and off when the boat was splashed and taken out otherwise it'd interfere with mast stepping.

I've got an old, heavy duty sewing machine that should be able to punch through five or six layers of sunbrella etc. It's all set up with industrial needles and industrial threads. I can't fit the binding attachment so I'd have to do that part the old fashioned way.

Am I crazy? I looked at the BWY dodger for the X and don't think (but don't know) that it'll work at all - even as a starting point for a classic Mac. I'm not scared of the patterning process at all and understand that the bimini frames will need horizontal bracing. I have a 3d printer and can model and print any fittings I'd need in addition to the ones the kit comes with. I have searched and searched over the years and haven't seen anything "typical" on the classics. I've seen Habitent and while a good idea, seems a bit spendy for something that won't be a GREAT fit for the boat.

I'm sure I'm overlooking something(s) here. Please, anything you think I ought to know or give some thought to, let me know.
 
Feb 21, 2013
2,182
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Last edited:
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Macboy

.
Aug 8, 2014
247
Macgregor 26S Sherwood Park, Alberta
It looks like my best bet might be to “sort of” fashion a frame system that would hold the pop top cover in place without the pop top lifted. That’s about as close to a typical dodger as I’ll be able to get. Which is fine. Makes for some easy sewing for that part of the project. Of course I can’t literally use the pop top cover since I’ll need to add some width to accept the tubular frame. And I’d wan5 the front windowed anyway - not solid like the current pop top cover.