Best Bimini for a 26X?

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Which Bimini do you have?

Power Sailing Center (no longer in business?)
0
No votes
Dowsar Marine Bimini or Sunshade
2
13%
Blue Water Yachts
2
13%
Other Brand - Store Bought
7
47%
Custom Made for My Boat
4
27%
 
Total votes: 15

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kmclemore
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Best Bimini for a 26X?

Post by kmclemore » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:36 pm

I did my research... checked the old forum postings... but I'm still not finding what I need... a real comparison of features between the different bimini options for the Mac 26X.

My darling Admiral gave me a "buy a bimini" certificate for my birthday the other day, and now the big problem is that I have to actually pick one out. Decisions, decisions - there are so many possibilities. Ideally I'd like to get one I can at least have the possibility of adding onto (side screens, dodger, etc.) and I'd like to be able to stand up under it - I'm 5'11" - and I'd like to be able to pick the color - I'm thinking white.

Now at Dowsar, land of ridiculous prices (even after conversion), they have two - a 'sunshade' (only in gray) and a 'bimini'. The latter seems to be the only one compatible with their other products.

Over at BWY they have far more reasonable prices, but I'm not sure if you can stand under theirs.

Other options are one from We$t Marine, Cabellas, etc., but obviously there's no chance of upgrade there... still, the prices are much better.

So.. help me out gals and guys... what are the goods/bads amongst the options? Those of you who have seen several brands, which did you like best and why?

Thanks folks!

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norbert
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Post by norbert » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:04 am

have the factory bimini, so voted "other" - am i right? it came with the boat and i find it quite ok. i keep it mounted during the season although the baltic summers do not provoke a frequent use (it helps against rain also 8) ).

Mark Prouty
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Post by Mark Prouty » Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:25 am

I am thinking strongly of this one but it would be nice to get one as the start of a full enclosure.

http://macgregorsailors.com/phpBB/viewt ... ght=bimini

Steve was nice enough to send me these pictures of this bimini:

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by Mark Prouty on Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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kmclemore
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Post by kmclemore » Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:52 am

norbert wrote:have the factory bimini, so voted "other" - am i right? it came with the boat and i find it quite ok. i keep it mounted during the season although the baltic summers do not provoke a frequent use (it helps against rain also 8) ).
Unfortunately this poll thing only gives you 5 choices, so, I guess if you've got the factory one I would vote 'custom made'... I wish I had been able to offer more choices! (thanks)

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DLT
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Post by DLT » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:00 am

I don't have an X, so I didn't vote.

But, I have a bimini I bought off ebay. It is all stainless steel and is about as big a bimini as you could have (which was the major selling point for me).

I say this just to remind you that you're not stuck with limited options. If I were you, I'd figure out the dimensions I wanted and then go looking to fit that. This, rather than trying to figure out which supplier meets your needs...

Obviously, the bigger you get, the less likely that you can sail with it up. I can't, unless I can figure out how to implement Bill's raised Clew trick...

On a side note, Bill sold me track slides onto which my Bimini is mounted. So, you can make an aftermarket bimini slide back and forth if needed...

I would highly recommend all stainless steel frame, tubing and fittings, as that way it will be much sturdier and you don't have to worry about those occasions where it gets used as a brace. You know it will...

Now, mine just happened to have zippers sewn into the edges, but that would be a relatively easy thing to add if needed. It would be even easier to add snaps...

The issue with later upgrading to a full enclosure would be finding matching sidewalls and such... But, I bet many of the supplier's packages could be adapted. You may just have to play with the mounting location of the snaps...

Or, it seems to me that side panels would be the easiest part of an enclosure to fabricate yourself, if you're so inclined. So, it can't be too hard to get a local canvas shop do it either... I mean, basically, you'r talking about a simply peice of Sunbrella with a zipper along one edge and a row of snaps along another...

Sure, you might want a window or two, but that's not an impossible thing to add... On the other hand, are windows even needed? How will you use the enclosure? If you'll use it like a tent, many tents don't have windows...

If you just must have windows, then you could fabricate the whole panel from plastic... You will have breathability in the bimini itself and all those little gaps you won't be able to block...

Mark Prouty
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Location: Madison, WI Former MacGregor 26X Owner

Post by Mark Prouty » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:02 am


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Terry
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Bimini

Post by Terry » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:47 am

Kevin,
Do not be too quick to dismiss the land of rediculous prices, you get what you pay for. As DLT pointed out, all stainless steel is quality. Examine the pictures Mark Prouty supplied and you will see that it is aluminum frame with hard plastic joining pieces, I have seen the cheaper versions up close, they are cheap. I went with the Dowsar bimini and they gave me a custom color sumbrella (pacific blue) to match the blue hull, sail cover, line bags, gas tank covers and other blue accessories, looks very smart. But the main feature is that the entire frame, joining pieces included, is all solid stainless steel, no cheap materials here, it is very solid and sturdy, plus it just slides onto the genoa track so it is adjustable. I paid a bit more but I got a lot more bang for my buck and if in your case you wish to have the option of future enclosure it is easily available. My next purchase from Dowsar will be the dodger which I expect will be of the same high quality stainless steel and I will be able to use it as a grab handle on the way forward over the cabin. NautiMoments has ordered the whole enclosure from Dowsar for his M and will be receiving it soon, I look forward to checking his dodger part of the assembly to reafirm my decision to get one from Dowsar. I notice Duane Dunn has no regrets with his full enclosure from Dowsar, fact is, the only thing anyone complains about with Dowsar is the price point, you get what you pay for. :P

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cuisto
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Dowsar

Post by cuisto » Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:42 am

When I bought my X used it came with the full Dowsar enclosure. WE LOVE IT. It has helped us extend our season by about a month on each end..keeps the bugs at bay all summer and is quite versitile.
It is however pricey. To buy new I'm not sure I could be swayed to spend the $$

Please note that as mentioned in post above, the quality and ruggedness of the all stainless construction is considerable. Am very pleased the previous owner had the forsight to splurge. Very solid.
Scott :macx:
Last edited by cuisto on Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

LOUIS B HOLUB
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Post by LOUIS B HOLUB » Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:52 am

Our previous boat a Mac26S had a black bimini, with roll down sides for more shade--a custom job by the former owner. Our 26X has a factory bimini...a dark grey color. I would like a white color, if ever replaced. I cant imagine sailing, or weekending, on the Mac without a Bimini. Sometimes with the boat on the hook, us sitting under the bimini is great fun. But thats not possible in Summer time sun heat.
:macx:

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Richard O'Brien
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ebay

Post by Richard O'Brien » Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:20 am

This one's been on ebay for a couple of weeks. especially for Macs:http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Macgrego ... enameZWDVW

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kmclemore
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Post by kmclemore » Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:11 am

Thanks for the feedback so far guys.... keep it coming, please...

Terry, I don't doubt the Dowsar is nice.. heck, it looks great.. but gad.. the price! I'm not dismissing them out of hand, but I'd also like to be sure I'm getting the most bang for my buck before I go and splurge.

Has anyone had the chance to compare the Dowsar to the BWY one? Is the BWY one aluminium or stainless, and does theirs mount to the boat or to the track? Is there any difference in quality between those two? I agree, some of the cheaper ones indeed do *look* cheap.. thin aluminium tubing, plastic bits, etc., but I've heard the BWY one is pretty good... anybody got one that wants to offer their review? I see there's two votes, so somebody's got one!

KaiSchuler
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Dowsar was my choice

Post by KaiSchuler » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:35 pm

Hello!
I chose the Dowsar Bimini for my M, bought it last year. Yes, price is high, but (also true) quality is high. It is height adjustable, you could sail with it (in lower position), it's all stainless steel, they made it in a custom color (Heather Beige sunbrella, matches the rest of my canvas and UV-stripe).

The only downside was: delivery time. The were swamped with work last spring, and had a hard time keeping up with requests etc. But it all came to a very happy ending, and I can honestly recommend it.

If I would go for a dodger, I would seriously consider Dowsar (even with high $$$).

Best regards,
Kai
(snowing outside in Chicago, I am SO ready for spring!!!)

:macm:

Mark Prouty
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Post by Mark Prouty » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:35 pm

I called Genco Marine. The guy who designed and build the Dowsar is the same guy who is doing their 26X full enclosure. It is the exact same thing.

If he can get two or more orders, he'll give us a 20% discount

MacGregor
26X:
Dodger - $1195.00
Bimini (includes connecting piece) - $995.00
Enclosure (screens & windows) - $1195.00

sub total...... 3385 :o
20% off (677)
===
total $2708

If you notice they gave me a 15% discount on my last inquiry. You might be able to talk him into a discount on one order.

They make 600 to 700 enclosures per year

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Idle Time
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Post by Idle Time » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:59 pm

I voted other because I believe it is a stock bimini. We used the boat for a week on Lake Stockton MO without a bimini and the temps were hovering near 100...needless to say we wore longsleeved shirts and big straw hats. We still boiled. Went right out and ordered one.

If I could do it I would get one of the Dowsers like Duane Dunn has. It would be perfect here in Florida (shade and bugs).

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Terry
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Genco

Post by Terry » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:00 pm

Well after seeing Marks post I checked Genco's website and saw they were in Ontario Canada so I also phoned (I am 3 hours behind) I spoke to the guy and he was shocked to hear of Dowsar's $1789.00 price for an X or M dodger, (he also told me he had just spoke with Mark) and I have now given him incentive to go down to the marina and measure up an M for design, he figures at those prices there is room for him to compete, don't you just love competition :D . Sounds like his will be of the same quality but more competeitive price, will likely force down Dowsars prices. Looks like a dodger is going to be in my sights after all. I plan to stay with the SS construction. A group buy for Biminis sounds like a good idea, but I already have one, just need a dodger and full enclosure is not within my needs as I am a fair weather sailor, I won't go out if it is ugly, getting caught unexpectedly is something I'll just have to grin and bear.

Kevin - check your mail.

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