I wrapped up the bimini top this week and I'm pretty pleased with the results!
The second I finished, I had to see what it looked like so I zipped it onto the frame and screwed in the hooks to a couple of 2x4s to hold it up. Of course, this wasn't tight and tensioned but I didn't have the boat handy to actually install it.
I then went back to Sailrite's YouTube channel to watch the next videos in the series (front, side and aft curtains) to prepare for the next part of this project...the full enclosure kit. However, to start on that, the boat is required in order to pattern out the remaining pieces that will attach to the bimini. And just to say it out loud, there is almost zero chance I will ever use the full enclosure but since it was destroyed in the fire and the insurance paid for the materials to make it, why the hell not. I need projects like this to keep me from working 24x7.
Saturday I went and picked up the boat on the trailer. My plan was to install new hinges. The original hinges are mounted to the aluminum frame of the side windows. I had planned to place the hinges farther aft so that the bimini, when down, would lay on the transom. 4 broken drill bits and countless f-bombs later (one bit stuck in the hole I was drilling, snapped right off flush, and then three screw heads sheared off), I got the new hinges on and tested out the top and didn't like the placement. All that to use the original hinges. So, now my bimini won't sit nice on the transom when in the down position, but I'll just deal with it.
I screwed in the hooks for the straps and put it up. About an hour later, I noticed gas leaking out the vent on the side of the boat and freaked out that I had somehow drilled into something I shouldn't have...only to realize that the gas tank is full and it's hot. The vent is doing its job. Apparently it's a sign that she needs to get in the water and use up some of that gas!
Mad props to Sailrite for their awesome how-to videos - How to Build a 3-Bow Bimini Frame and How to Make a 3-Bow Bimini Top! Without these videos, I wouldn't have understood where to even start with this project.