Bimini Cleaning. Sounds easy, but took us forever. Our sailboat came with a pretty nice full enclosure bimini and dodger. It adds a ton of great usable living space. I almost couldn’t imagine not having the enclosure. The previous owner said he took the hardware and frame supports off another boat and had it cut and welded to fit the Allied Mistress. Over all it is pretty nice but getting a little old and dirty. It was around 12:00 (lunch time) when I exclaimed that we needed to do some kind of project. We were sitting around and I was starting to feel like a total slacker.
We got out the boat brush, Simple Green (non toxic and biodegradable) cleaner and some other random scrub brushes. Unraveled the hose and made sure that Cadence had enough games and a fully charged iPad to keep her busy while Mom and Dad did ANOTHER “boat project”. She knows now what it means when we say we have a boat project to do and that it will usually take a while. She has been great about it all and loves to help when and where she can.
First was the unzipping of all the various panels involved in the bimini itself. We would take each panel and wash and scrub it on the dock as we went. We kept a plastic tarp laid out on the concrete dock so as to not scratch up the clear vinyl windows. Each panel was hung to dry on the boat wherever we could find room to do so. We scrubbed with the Simple Green which did a great job of removing who knows how many years of mildew and dirt buildup. It is very important to rinse the fabric clean of all the cleaner because it is pretty bad for the fabric to leave any in it. All in all it took us 4 hours from start to finish. As we all know, these projects always gobble up more time than estimated.
Well, all the hard work was worth it. It came out great! Looks clean and all the mildew spots are gone. It is now reassembled. The boat looked pretty strange with no enclosure. The only thing we have left to do is apply new waterproofing treatment to the fabric. The waterproofing stuff is expensive, especially if you get it from West Marine! We had to buy it there because we don’t really have time to have some shipped from elsewhere. It has to be applied when the bimini is clean and at the current rate of rain and bird bombings we don’t have much time.
Well, I woke up this morning after having written up this blog post to find that Shawna had finished things up. She had sprayed the waterproofing stuff on the top of the bimini after she had finished her morning Yoga. Perfect time to do it. The marina in the morning is very serene and calm with no wind (great time for Yoga.) I tried spraying the stuff on at the end of the afternoon yesterday and it was much too windy so I stopped. So the project is now officially done.
I know, not the most thrilling post, but we like to document what we can. Also, who doesn’t like pictures?!