The only portion of the boat remaining to be covered is the dog blind area in the stern of the cockpit. Copper is pretty small, so I didn’t leave him a whole lot of room to “nest.” The height is just enough for my head to clear when I sit up. Copper can lay down or sit with his head lowered. Allowing him full seated head clearance would defeat the purpose of a layout boat.
I built the frame from 3/4” aluminum tubing and bimini fittings.
The tubing is bent to a radius of 13” to allow clearance for the bimini hardware and is mounted to the cross bar assembly with one-sided 1/2” EMT clamps.
The struts attach to the top tube with 3/4” nylon jaw slides that I purchased from Sailrite Kits. These made fabrication a whole lot easier.
The struts attach to the outside edge of the cockpit inside 7/8” aluminum tubing that is clamped in place with two-sided 3/4” EMT clamps.
The nylon jaw sliders came with a set screw. I removed the set screw and riveted the slider in place with a 3/16” rivet. That will be much more secure.
The frame is a simple design and folds up nicely.
The struts can fold out.
I think I prefer them folded in. The mesh will be permanently sewn to the frame and the folded in position will likely cause the least hassle with the mesh and the Killerweed brushing material.
Assembly begins with the struts folded.
Unfold the struts.
Place struts in rear clamps.
Place crossbar into the cockpit clamps and insert retention pins. The flip blind doors would be installed next.
It took some trial and error to get the bends I wanted, but aluminum is pretty easy to work in the conduit bender. It’s important that the struts line up without binding. If they bind, assembly of the crossbar is difficult. I eventually attained a nice fit without any binding.
The profile of the blind from the stern is rather abrupt. I plan to ease this transition by extending the mesh that covers the dog blind to about the midpoint of the rear deck.
In the next installment I’ll discuss sewing the dog blind.
-- Mark, Minnesota