Accon Bimini Fitting
Quick and reliable, a boon for biminis.
Bernd Czipri and his dad, John, run Accon Marine, Inc., in Clearwater, FL. Despite this modern global economy, in which a product is designed in one county, made in several others, assembled in Timbuctu and comes with an instruction booklet in a half dozen languages (none done well), the Czipris do it all.
"Bernie" runs the company now, but John stayed on to develop and design new products, which saves him from getting run over by the Hoover if he stays home every day.
Both are inordinately proud of the quality of their folding cleats; pop-up line chocks; flush-mounted cleats; disappearing lifting eyes and rings; even pop-up navigation lights that meet Colregs International Standards, and a very substantial line of hinges.
Their latest invention results from watching boat owners struggle with bimini tops and dodgers. If the canvas work is done well and fits tautly, it can be very tough to put up. The owner winds up trying to put great pressure on the metal frame, which is restrained by the drum-tight canvas, while at the same time trying to guide a small fitting into another small fitting, and then secure the two with a tiny pin or screw. Humans don't come with that many hands.
The new Accon piece has a long handle—"Universal Quick Release Bimini-Top Fitting."
All you need do is shove the post on the hinge part of fitting (which is attached to the bimini or dodger) into the base (the flush-mounted receptacle in the deck or cabin top) and give it a twist to lock it in place. To release, just squeeze the trigger.
The fitting also will work with canvas hatch hoods and offset hatchway covers, which sometimes are called "pram hoods," as with baby buggies.
Made entirely of highly-polished 316 stainless steel, the fitting retails for $27.33.
Contact -Accon Marine, Inc., 727/572-9202, www.acconmarine.com.