In this section you will find handy ‘How to guides’ on fitting and caring for your Dolphin Cover Products.

We hope that you find these guides of use.

Sprayhoods

Tensioning the sprayhood – to remove any creases in the window panel;

One of the most common mistakes is that the sprayhoods are not tensioned correctly – this means they cannot perform as they were designed to and will often have creases in the window panel. Removing these creases is actually very simple;

This requires two simultaneous movements which can be achieved by one person but on larger hoods is best shared between two people.

Person one

  1. Pulling down on the back of the sprayhood or grab rail
  2. Using both hands pull or bounce your bodyweight straight down towards the cockpit floor, you should feel and see the hood tighten.

Person Two

  1. Tensioning the webbing on the back edge of the sprayhood wing Due to the orientation of the wing and webbing it is most efficient to seize the webbing tail in an overhand grip and push down past the buckle as the hood is tensioned.
  2. As the weight is put on the back of the hood/grab bar the webbing on the wing should slacken. This slack needs to be pulled through the buckle on the aft edge of the wing.

Whilst we recommend due care is taken, this operation can require more force than many people expect. Trust us, our hoods can take it.

Removing the sprayhood

It is important that to maintain the clarity of the window panels the sprayhood is not folded into the trough on the coach-roof. If you would like to sail without the sprayhood or are removing it for maintenance or storage, then follow these step-by-step instructions. This require a minimum of 2 people to undertake safely and effectively;

  1. If possible lay a clean sheet, beach towel or similar across the hatchway (and any winches, clutches etc. in that area), the larger the better.
  2. Unzip the boltrope zip (running along the bottom edge of the hood) on both sides up to the corner of the sprayhood, where it turns from the side window round to the forward window panel.
  3. Loosen the webbing straps on the wings of the hood.
  4. Whilst one person supports the hood at the aft bar, the other removes the webbing from the buckles in the wing and un-zips both of the pockets that cover the bars of the frame. The forward bar will need supporting as well once the zip is undone.
  5. Next, the person supporting the aft bar slowly lowers it down and aft. The other person folds the forward bar back to rest on the aft bar and lays the wings out to the side of the hood on the edge of the coach-roof.
  6. Once both bars are lowered aft to either rest gently on the combing or if easier held up with string around the boom, the hood should be sat relatively flat across the hatchway (hence the cloths/sheets). Now unzip the remaining bolt-rope zip on the forward edge.
  7. Either lift the hood carefully away onto a flatter surface such as the foredeck or aft deck (at least 2 people supporting the hood) or roll it in place over the hatchway.
  8. When rolling the hood try not to drag it or have any creases in the window material as this can cause permanent damage. If possible, use the cloths or sheets laid down at the beginning to roll in between the layers of sprayhood.
  9. Remove the bolt-rope zip from the track – remember which way it is positioned, with the Velcro on the outside.
  10. When storing the hood ensure nothing is placed on top of the hood or alongside it that can cause the hood to be crushed or compressed – this could damage the window material.

Fitting the Sprayhood

The above steps can be used in reverse order as a guide for fitting the hood. Once the hood is in place refer to ‘tensioning the hood’ to ensure it is performing as well as possible.

Troubleshooting;

If there are persistent creases in the windows of the sprayhood it may be that the lower section of the zip, the part that sits in the track, needs to be tensioned and pulled aft to match the main body of the sprayhood. To aid this we stitch small webbing loops on the outside of the zip towards the two aft ends;

  • Tie a length of good quality braided or cored line to these loops and using a deck winch or similar turning point, create a 2-to-1 purchase in the line.
  • Reduce the tension in the webbing straps on the wings of the hood and pull the zip aft using this line, you should see the creases reduce or disappear (do not use a winch as anything other than a turning point).
  • Re-tension the hood whilst the string is held taught (refer to the tensioning guide above if necessary). Once tensioned, the hood and the zip will remain in place.
  • The string can now be removed from the boltrope zips.

Using the central window

To ensure the window is easy to open without causing damage (or undue stress) always release a small amount of tension from the hood by loosening the webbing buckles on the wings of the sprayhood.

This reduces the tension on the window panel making it easier to unzip the window.

Tension can be re-applied to the hood once the window is rolled away but always remember to remove the tension again before trying to zip the window back down.

Release tension on webbings

Undo webbing buckles at base of zips

Loosen Velcro flaps

Unzip from bottom up – roll window panel as you go

Make sure panel is rolled evenly without any creases

Use removable straps to hold in place

Re-tension webbings on wings to stabilise hood

Reverse this process to close the window panel

Biminis

Our biminis are designed to be used whilst underway to offer continuous UV and weather protection. As such they need to be rigged correctly to achieve the best performance.

We design our biminis to rely on the camber in the bars and the tension of the cloth the shed any water and prevent pooling. They should be installed with all the frame bars level;

The bimini will need tensioning fore and aft to ensure the material is tight enough to prevent any flapping at high winds or pooling of water after heavy rainfall or severe weather.

Use the ropes supplied to create a minimum 2-to-1 purchase or use the new multi-block systems to ensure the bimini is taught between each bar.

Tension will need to be applied equally to each strop to ensure the bars remain level. With two or more people this tension can be applied simultaneously, otherwise adjust each corner in succession.

For reference the material should be tight enough that it reverberates like a drum skin when flicked with a fingertip.