Most boat owners opt for a bimini top to protect themselves and their passengers from the sun and elements while out on the water. Indeed, we should pick a suitable top first, then assemble it before installing the piece securely. If done with the right guideline and tools, it is not a complicated process.
Read on to learn the step-by-step instructions on how to install a bimini top on your boat. It will save you some trouble if you are a beginner.
How to Select a Suitable Bimini Top
So, before anything, you should ask, “what size bimini top do I need?”
Actually, the size of the bimini top you need depends on a few factors, such as the size of your boat and the amount of shade you want. You should also take into account the height of your boat’s windshield when deciding on the size of the bimini top.
- In general, most people choose a bimini top that is at least 6 feet wide and provides at least 50 shades of UV protection
- For boats with a taller windshield, you may need to get an 8-foot wide bimini top to extend further over the windshield
To figure out what size bimini top you need, you’ll need to take some measurements of your boat. Once you have those measurements, you can use them to select a bimini top that will fit well and provide the coverage you need
Step 1: Measure your Boat for a Bimini Top
You’ll need to know the length and width of your boat and the height of the windshield.
- To measure the length and width of your boat, you’ll need to take measurements from the front, back, and sides of the hull
- To get an accurate measurement of the front and back of the hull, it’s best to measure from the waterline up to the highest point on the hull
- For the sides of the hull, you can measure from any point on the deck
- The height of your windshield is also important in determining what size bimini top you’ll need. You’ll need to measure from the deck up to the top of the windshield, taking into account any hardware that might be in the way
Once you have all of your measurements, make sure to allow around 6 feet of standing space to easily get in and out from under the bimini top.
Step 2: Shop for a Bimini Top
Besides measurements, a durable material that can withstand the elements is another thing to take note of. Canvas is a popular choice for bimini tops, but reliable synthetic options are also available.
You’ll also need to decide on the style of bimini top you want. There are two main styles: frame and soft-top.
- Frame biminis are more rigid and offer more protection from the sun and elements
- Soft-tops are more flexible and provide less protection, but they’re also easier to put up and take down
Once you’ve decided on the style and material of the bimini top you want, you can start shopping around for the perfect one.
Make sure to compare prices and features to find the best deal.
How to Install a Bimini Top?
Now that you’ve got your new bimini top, you can install it on your boat following the steps below. Here’s what you need to prepare:
- Power drills and drill bits
- Masking tapes
- Eye straps
- Tape measure
- Screws, bolts, and nuts
- Marine-grade polysulfide sealant
- A helping hand
Step 1: Assemble the Bimini Top
As you got the bimini top’s package shipped to you, leave about 2 hours free of your time to start assembling and installing the piece.
Make sure to bring out the instructions and follow them to arrange its parts and then assembly. If you want a quick guide on how it often goes, here’re the simple steps:
- Please find the two pieces of the first bow and attach them by pushing the side pieces to the center piece, then screw them together. Do the same with the other pair
- Put the fabric face down, leaving its pockets to insert the frame up for easy sliding. Now, Put those bows into the pockets, and zip them if there is one
- Then, attach the hold-down straps to the fabric’s cutout and tie the loops securely. Do the same with the rest of the cutouts on the fabric
- Finally, it’s time to install the second bow pair’s eye ends to the first one. Make sure you take the screws out first and align those holes before pushing the bow eye into the jaws line. Now tighten it and do the same with the other bow’s end
Step 2: Place the Top on its Place
This is where you need a helping hand to hold the bimini top in the right position for installation.
On one of the boat’s sides, use a deck hinge to attach it to the gunnel upon the mounting position. You should mark the center point of the fabric to make sure when you install the deck hinges should be parallel for it to be foldable.
Step 3: Mount the Hinges
You might want to protect your boat deck from scratches, so you use masking tape to cover the surfaces for mounting. Then, drill the holes, and take the masking tapes off.
If you are careful, apply some marine-grade polysulfide sealant onto the surface around the drilled spots. Now, use the screws, nuts, and bolts to secure the hinges.
Step 4: Secure the Eye Straps and the Top
Finally, as you extend the hold-down straps to align with the bows’ leg ends, you can tighten the bases of the bows using bolts.
Then, mount the fore and aft of the bow onto the boat, using self-tapping screws if you have them.
Regarding the eye straps, you should probably install it horizontally by attaching them with the snap hooks.
Now, you should take the prepared cloth to clean everything off around the surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I add a Bimini top on any Boat?
A bimini top is a great way to protect yourself and your passengers from the sun and harsh elements while out on the water. But can you add a bimini top to just any boat?
The answer is, unfortunately, no. While bimini tops are relatively easy to install, some boats just aren’t well suited for them.
For example, boats with very low gunwales (the sides of the boat) or fragile structures like canvas-covered decks might not be able to support the weight or wind resistance of a bimini top.
Additionally, because bimini tops need to be attached at several points along with the boat’s frame, your boat must have a strong and sturdy frame to support it.
How Much does it Cost to install a Bimini top?
The cost of installing a bimini top will vary depending on the size and style of the bimini top and the type of boat.
On average, a basic bimini top can cost anywhere from $100 to $600, while more elaborate styles or those intended for larger boats can cost upwards of $1,000.
Furthemore, professional installation services will typically add $100 to $200 to the total cost.
When considering the cost of a bimini top, it is important to keep in mind the value that it can add to your boat. A bimini top can protect you from the sun and rain and can also increase the resale value of your boat.
With proper care, a bimini top can last for many years, making it a wise investment for any boat owner.
A bimini top is a great way to protect yourself and your passengers from the sun and harsh elements while out on the water. But before you purchase one, there are a few things you need to keep in mind, such as the size and style of the bimini top and the type of boat.
Installing a bimini top on your boat is a great way to enjoy time on the water, even when it’s raining. If you have any questions about the installation process or would like help with the project, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.