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Journeys Home

   I did not use patterns to lay out the bimini /enclosure. The bimini I purchased from a local canvas shop. It cost about $500.00 with the stainless steel tubing and is about the same size Kilburn Adams suggested. The dodger and side panels I made after installing the bimini on the boat. The material is Sumbrella Canvas material. It took 12 yards of canvas and 8 yards of window material.

Clear Vinyl, 54" Wide, 30 ga  $15.00 yard
 Natural (White), 60" Price:   $20.99 yard

This did turn out to take a lot of time. I made mistakes which added about 25 percent more canvas than needed.
I did save about 40 percent of the cost, but I never want to see a sewing machine again. You will need a heavy duty sewing machine that can push a needle thru 4 layers of canvas. I found one at a marine swap meet and sold it when I finished for $25.00 less than I paid for it. 

This is how I completed the canvas enclosure.

Mount and make sure your bimini will not move during the enclosure work. 
I attached a zipper across the front edge of the bimini. Two zippers on each side and one zipper across the back. Then I attached a matching zipper to the dodger piece (3x8 foot) of sumbrella canvas and zipped them together. I doubled over all the edges before adding zippers to the panel. Next I pulled the canvas forward and arched it across the cabin deck to get about 45 degrees. 
Pulled the side of the dodger down and over the side of the cabin and marked the lower edge for cutting. I left about two inches for folding over. Marked the window locations and the two zippers locations for the center window.
Cut and added zippers to center window. I cut the vinyl windows to the size I wanted. I got the  vinyl window material at a canvas store. I attached the clear window material to the canvas before I cut out the canvas opening for the window. This will keep the canvas from wrinkling. I used a heat gun edge to cut canvas to prevent unlacing of the sumbrella material.

Added a strip of canvas about 4 inches wide across the cabin top canvas to attach the dodger front edge. Mounted the mahogany wood piece on each side of the cabin top for the dodger.
After finishing dodger and attaching it to the cabin top I added one zipper on each side. This is for joining the  front side panels.
Added matching zippers to top of each front side panel to attach to bimini. Attached and marked lower edge to gunnels.
Marked and added matching zipper to front side to zip to dodger. Now I had the dodger and the front two side panels on the boat.

Add rear zipper to front side panels.
I used the same procedure for the two rear side panels. Added zipper to back of rear panels.
I cut a large canvas piece for the rear deck and added matching zipper for bimini. mark and cut rear piece for engine well area. Added the matching zippers for the rear side panels to attach to the rear piece.
After all the panels were finished and mounted I removed them and added the clear window material. Then I cut out the canvas material in the window area.


One mistake I will change soon is I made canvas window panels to cover the windows. I put the covers on the outside of the enclosure and dodger. This was a mistake. They are hard to get to and can blow and flap in the wind. This was from years of having boats with the window covers outside to protect the vinyl. What was I thinking, since I keep the boat in a garage and the main use for the covers is privacy.