Wing Tip's Cockpit Enclosure

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Wing Tip's enclosure was designed to extend the sailing season on Lake Tahoe. The boat now resides at a much lower altitude and the full enclosure only comes out for the off season.

Everything was produced by R&K Quality Canvas in Alameda, CA in 1995. The only repairs needed so far have been from chafe. The black band on the front of the bimini is covering a 2" hole, the mainsail reef line was fine.

Since we transport the boat from time to time the dodger has been modified so it's frame can be folded and transported in place. The other notable changes were to move two pairs of support legs. The forward dodger legs interfered with the swing of the winch handles and were moved to a clamp-on fitting on the cabin top hand holds. Also the rear bimini support legs blocked the pushpit seats and were moved to clamp on attachments to the push pit rail itself.

The basic construction is 1 inch SS tubing using off the shelf Taco fittings. Looking at photo Summer 3 you can see the basic dodger frame consist of two bent loops. The primary loop forms the rear of the dodger and mounts to the vertical cockpit bulkhead. The secondary loop arches forward from low on the primary loop to form the dodgers front edge. The remaining frame elements are the four straight legs that position the loops. Each portion of the frame (except for the primary loop mount) is adjustable by means of set screws on the intersecting fittings.

The fabric (Sunbrella) for the dodger is in six sections. The primary cover slides on the frame tubes before they attach to the boat and stays in place all year. The rest of the dodger is made up of the windshield, port & starboard side brows, and port and starboard side panels. Each of the five removable elements zip to the primary cover independently, are snapped to the hull, and finally zipped to each other down their sides to form the dodger.

The bimini follows a very similar construction to the dodger except three frame loops are used. One main frame loop forms the rear edge of the bimini. The two remaining loops take off forward from fittings on the main loop to support the expanse. The bimini frame can be observed in Summer 1 and a closer view in Summer 4.

Like the dodger, the primary cover slides on the frame tubes before they attach to the boat and cover portion stays in place all year. Because the two forward loops attach to the main loop the forward straps can be released and the bimini retracted aft. First the straps and then a cover are used to protect the retracted canvas from flogging itself in the wind.

The reminder of the enclosure is made up from eleven more panels. Ten of the panels have window sections and protective covers like the dodger panels. When closing her in seven of the panels removable elements zip to the primary cover independently, are snapped to the hull, and finally zipped to each other down their sides to form the rear and aft sides of the enclosure. The stern perch seat are outside the enclosed area. The next is a solid panel that seals off under the captains seat on the walk through transom.

The three remaining elements of the enclosure are somewhat unique for a sailboat. (Note: Deck access is very restricted with these panels in place adding time to correct any potential problem on deck and therefore risk.) The next element to install is the upper windshield. It zips in the gap from the rear of the dodger to the front of the bimini. The two remaining side elements zip to the upper windshield, are snapped to the hull, and finally zipped to the rear of the dodger and the forward aft panels of the enclosure.

Now assemble it yourself, nothing to it.



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