Author Topic: Super-Brella alternative to bimini  (Read 1074 times)

Offline cal27sailor

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Super-Brella alternative to bimini
« on: August 18, 2015, 11:54:48 PM »
I saw a great idea for an alternative to a permanent bimini while I have been in Wisconsin on vacation.  A sailor with a 32' sailboat did not have a very good location for a bimini and did not want to deal the frame and hardware when sailing.  His solution for a cover while in the marina or at anchor was a Super-Brella suspended over the cockpit from a halyard and held down with shock cord attached to the safety lines.  Super-Brellas are versatile, multi-use shade umbrellas that come in several different sizes and colors.  They have zippered windows to provide more ventilation.  Super-Brellas sell at sporting goods stores for $50-60...much less than a bimini.  They can also be folded up and stashed in a lazerette when not in use which is especially great on a very tight boat like my CP19.  The sailor using this on his boat was very happy with the performance and ease of use.  I may give it a try and see how it works.  Anyone else seen alternatives to permanent biminis or boom tents ?
"Rita Marlene", 1984 CP-19, Hull #231
Grand Lake Sailing Club, Grove, OK

Offline Mike K

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Re: Super-Brella alternative to bimini
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 05:16:38 PM »
I know this is an old topic, but thought I'd offer an alternative in case anyone was looking for a sun shade...

Anyway, I needed a bimini also, but on small boats, they can be a real pain to install, use and live with, not to mention expense.  On small boats, they tend to be short, and LOW, as the boom and mainsheet are limiting factors.  I have a factory installed bimini on my CP Legacy, but found that it's so low that it's really difficult to sail with and still see and move around it.  It seriously hampers getting on the foredeck.   When sailing heeled over, I lose about 50% of visibility, and have to scrunch down even more than I do just to fit under the thing.  I dislike using it at all unless at anchor, and then it's still too low for comfort.

After agonizing over details and cost of a real bimini for my Precision 21, I decided that maybe all I needed was a sunshade to use at anchor or in a slip.  I bought a Taylor Made Anchorshade III, that is pretty much a big, square umbrella with an adjustable height center pole that ties off to shrouds, stays or whatever else is available on your boat.  It's much cheaper than a bimini also.

At anchor, you can swing the boom out of the cockpit, and raise the umbrella to a much higher position than a bimini will ever go.  And it stows easily in it's own bag.  I've slowly motored with it in place (<3 Kts), and it was fine.  It's not made for high winds. It makes hanging out on the boat at anchor or slip much nicer and cooler.

Of course, the downside is you can not sail with it, but I compromised when sailing by wearing a wide brim hat, with lots of sunscreen, and a long sleeve polyester Columbia fishing shirt with UPF 50 (not as hot as it sounds, just don't get the nylon one).

Here's a link to the manufacturers website if anyone's interested. I bought mine from
Mike.  '13 Legacy "Santosha".

Offline BruceW

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Re: Super-Brella alternative to bimini
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 06:48:20 PM »
I have been using the top half of a beach umbrella. You can bungee it to a stanchion and then move it to the other side, or even have 2! They cost about 8 bucks apiece, though, so maybe just 1 and move it around, huh.
Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline Mike

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Re: Super-Brella alternative to bimini
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 11:38:08 AM »
I agree totally.  I have one which I use on the l9 and my drascombe lugger....versatile and easy to set up.