C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Monday, June 14, 2010

finally, fitting day for the bimini

I would like nothing more than to proclaim the bimini complete, but alas there is more work to be done.  Today we started by completing the frame...
The next step was to install the actual bimini top.  We searched and debated many different materials from sunbrella to marine plywood to a fiberglass layup.  Ultimately due to ease and expense we went with 1/8" thick glasteel panel.

We purchased a 4'x8' sheet of the material, meant to be a wall panel, from Home Depot.    At $32 dollars a sheet we can afford to experiment.  If the glasteel does not work out then we will move on to a more expensive and time consuming option.

How does one attach glasteel to the tubing frame?  Home Depot also provided the answer to this question...3/4" conduit clamps fit the 1"SS tubing, are non-corrosive, and again inexpensive.
We used #10 X 1/2" SS machine screws with fender washers to bring it all together.  Below is a image looking up from the companion way.
The next steps are to cut the panel to the appropriate shape... it is asymmetrical looking at the sides and too long along the stern.  I hope to be able to cut the material in place by removing only selected clamps rather that remove the entire panel.  There is also a bit of sag along the forward, gallows edge of the bimini, but I think we have a simple solution... stay tuned.


  1. I will be very interested to hear how the glasteel holds up in the sunlight...

    s/v Eolian
    Seattle (where there is no sunlight)

  2. Bob, We are also curious about the UV resistance. I was somewhat reassured to learn that glasteel markets a similar material for use as roof and wall material for box trailers. We will report back on the performance.