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Bimini Top Advice & Tips

Need help selecting a boat bimini top? You've come to the right place! Use our helpful guides below to learn how to find the right bimini for your boat -- and how to take care of it as well. Now that's being a "savvy" boater!



Bimini Top Styles


Standard Bimini Tower Bimini



Mounts
  • Most common on top or side of gunwale

  • Can be on rail or windshield frame

  • Requires drilling
  • On tower frame via 2 aluminum clamps

  • Will sit 26" above mounting point

  • No drilling required
Frame 7/8" anodized aluminum round tubing 7/8" anodized aluminum round tubing
# Bows 3 or 4 4 total
(2 in front; 2 in back)
Support 4 nylon hold-down straps
attached to 2 mounted U rings fore & aft
4 nylon hold-down straps
attached to 2 mounted U rings fore & aft
Fittings Nylon standard,
Stainless steel available as an upgrade
Nylon standard,
Stainless steel available as an upgrade
Other Mounting bracket allows bimini to
lay flat when not in use
Fittings on bimini frame tube

Standard
Pontoon Bimini
Buggy Style
Pontoon Bimini
Self-Supporting
Pontoon Bimini
Dual Top
Pontoon Bimini





Mounts On side rails,
requires drilling
On side rails,
requires drilling
On side rails,
requires drilling
On side rails,
requires drilling
Frame 1" aluminum
square tubing
1" aluminum
square tubing
1" aluminum
square tubing
1" aluminum
square tubing
# Bows 4 total
(2 in front; 2 in back)
4 total
(2 in front; 2 in back)
4 total
(2 in front; 2 in back)
6 total
(2 in front; 4 in back)
Rear Brace Kit Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Support 2 nylon hold-down straps attach front of bimini to forward rails 2 nylon hold-down straps attach front of bimini to forward rails Horizontal cross strut in place of hold-down straps 2 nylon hold-down straps in front
Fittings Nylon standard,
Stainless steel available as an upgrade
Nylon standard,
Stainless steel available as an upgrade
Nylon standard,
Stainless steel available as an upgrade
Nylon standard,
Stainless steel available as an upgrade
Other Standard bimini appearance Different aesthetics with additional fabric Fewer straps in the way Seamless option for longer pontoon boats

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Getting The Right Fit - How To Measure

A bimini top mounts at its center. This means that, once mounted, half of the bimini top will extend from the mounting point toward the front of the boat and the other half of the top will extend from the mounting point toward the rear of the boat.
e.g. For a bimini top that is 6’ in length, 3’ will extend forward from the mounting point and 3’ will extend backward from the mounting point.


For Boats Without Towers

  1. Identify Mounting Points
    These are based upon boat style and boater preference.

  2. Measure Width
    Measure the distance between the left & right mounting points - this is the width of bimini top you will need.
    NOTE: Measure in a straight line, not up/over any other items such as windscreens. 

  3. Determine Height
    Bimini top height is measured from the mounting point up. Our tops are classified into 3 different height categories:
    Low Profile Standard Standing Room
    • 30" - 36" above mounting point

    • Sleek look & ride

    • Common on V-hull runabouts, cuddy styles, performance ski boats
    • 42" - 28" above mounting point

    • Standard clearance

    • Common on cruisers, inflatables, many fishing boats, cuddy styles
    • 54" - 60" above mounting point

    • Sufficient room for standing

    • Common on most fishing boats, whalers, inflatables, center console boats


  4. Determine Length
    Bimini top length is measured with the mounting points at the center. The customer should identify the range and length of coverage they desire forward and backward from the mounting point. Most “standard” boat bimini tops are 5, 6 or 8 feet in length and most pontoon bimini tops are 8 or 10 feet in length.



For Boats With Towers

  1. Identify Mounting Points
    Tower biminis can mount on various places on the tower frame. The specific mounting point will be determined by your preference and available clearance within the tower. The bimini top will extend 26” up from the mounting point.

  2. Measure Height For Clearance
    • From the desired mounting point, measure 26” up.
    • If this does not provide clearance within the tower, a new mounting point must be selected and re-measured.
    • This clearance should be measured in the front, center and rear of the tower if the tower tapers at any point (e.g. there may be clearance in the back but if the tower is lower or narrower in the front, there may not be enough clearance there).

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Fabrics - What's the Difference?

Your local weather conditions are key to selecting the fabric for your bimini top. Note that lighter colors will always be more fade and sun resistant, regardless of the fabric. Want to see and touch your fabric options?
Contact us to get a free fabric swatch today!

Compare Bimini Top Fabrics

Sharkskin Boat Cover Fabric
SunDura Boat Cover Fabric
Sunbrella Boat Cover Fabric
Manufacturer Westland Carver Carver, Westland
Material 100% acrylic-coated polyester 100% solution dyed polyester 100% marine-grade acrylic
Features
  • Great water resistance & durability

  • Good quality/price mix

  • Low breathability, not meant for hot, humid climates

  • Good for cool, dry climates

  • Great water, UV and mildew resistance

  • Good breathability

  • Great fade resistance

  • Great for any climate type

  • Great water resistance and breathability

  • Extreme strength & durability

  • Most fade resistant of all fabric options

  • Best fabric for salt water

Weight 6.5 oz 7 oz 9.25 oz
Bimini Top Fabric Specifications (1 = poor; 5 = best)

Sharkskin Boat Cover Fabric
SunDura Boat Cover Fabric
Sunbrella Boat Cover Fabric
Water Resistance 5 5 4
Mildew Resistance 4 5 5
UVResistance 3 5 5
Breathability 2 4 5
Strength 3 4 5
Tensile Strength 4 5 5
Colorfastness 2 5 5
Warranty 1 year frame
3 year fabric
7 year frame & fabric Carver: 7 year all parts

Westland:1 year frame
3 year fabric
Bimini Top Fabric Climate Performance

Sharkskin Boat Cover Fabric
SunDura Boat Cover Fabric
Sunbrella Boat Cover Fabric
Hot, Humid 2 5 5
Hot, Dry 3 5 5
Cool, Moist 4 5 5
Cool, Dry 5 5 5

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Accessories - What & Why?


Brace or Rear Strut Kit Slide Track



What? Kit that allows bimini top to be folded back and secured when not in use Track that mounts to gunwale and bimini mounts onto track so that bimini can slide out of the way when in the down position
Why? Makes bimini more stable in the open position

Allows ability to walk under bimini when closed
Allows bimini to be slid to back of boat when not in use and then forward into position when needed

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Care & Cleaning - How?

Follow these three simple steps to keep your bimini top fabric in good shape.


  1. Protect
    All of our bimini tops are treated with a water repellent fabric guard that allows water to bead and run off the bimini. Over time and
    through normal use, this treatment will wear off. We recommend applying a coat of fabric guard every two years to help restore
    water repellency (or annually if you are in an area with harsh conditions such as salt water or extreme UV exposure). To apply, simply
    spray on the Fabric Guard so that the cover becomes slightly damp but not soaked.

  2. Clean Fabric
    • NEVER put your bimini top fabric in a washing machine or dryer
    • Brush off loose dirt and debris from bimini
    • Hose down bimini so that all parts of it are wet
    • Mix ¼ cup of mild soap (never detergents or cleaning agents like bleach) in a gallon of water
    • Use a mop or soft bristle brush to clean fabric
    • Use Fabric and Vinyl Cleaner to help remove difficult stains
    • Rinse and hang dry
    • Reapply Fabric Guard
    In the event of mildew growth:
    • Mix 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of borax powder, and 2 cups of warm water in bucket or sprayer
    • Apply mixture to mildew spots and let set for no more than 10 minutes
    • For troublesome spots, use a soft bristle and scrub
    • Rinse well and allow boat cover to dry thoroughly (never use a dryer)
  3. Store

    When not in use, store your bimini top in its storage boot in a clean, dry place and ensure fabric is completely dry before storing


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