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What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

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  • What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

    I have a 17' Seaswirl Tempo that has a convertible top. I'm very interested in purchasing a bimini top instead. My side windows are mounted on the very outside edge of the gunwales and are angled in at approx 15 degrees so mounting my main support inside or outside the side windows is not feasible as far as I know unless I were to place the mount on the outside of the gunwales. From the FAQs I've been reading about Bimini's, if you were to purchase a 6' top, approx 3'2" would extend forward from the main mount. If my main mount was right behind the side windows, I would need approx 4' 5" to cover to the front windsheild. An 8' top gets me closer to that 4' 5" figure, but I don't really want an 8' bimini. I say all of that to ask, is covering from the windsheild back the norm or am I overthinking this? Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

    I put a 8' bimini on my 17'6" bowrider last year and I'm very pleased with the functionality. I was a little concerned that it would overwhelm the boat, but I'm glad I went with the extra length. I really like the fact that it extends past the windshield and acts like the visor on a baseball cap and blocks the sun when it's at a lower angle. When I purchased mine, I was between widths and went with the narrower of the two sizes. In retrospect, I wish I had gone with the wider one that would have matched the actual width of the boat better. For what it's worth, I went with the black sharkskin fabric and it works very well and saved a few bucks over the sunbrella.

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    • #3
      Re: What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

      Mine is mounted on sliders that are attached to the top of the gunwales. This way you can drop it and slide it all the way back and out of the way.You might think of getting a bimini custom made for your boat. I did and it didn't cost me anything extra.

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      • #4
        Re: What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

        I'm really finicky about bimini location, so I don't think you are over thinking this . . . You should think a little about shape too. Some are built really flat, so the visor effect (as rustyw described) can be really lost if it is a 6 footer. Also, some wrap lower on the sides too and you get better afternoon sun protection, but visibilty while driving is bad, especially in a hard turn. I also would play with height when you (or somebody else) mounts it. Any bimini if too high looks like carp and loses the later sun benefits too. The aluminum ones can be cut down very easily. Sounds like you are stuck mounitng to the sides of the gunwales to me. You can still consider two sets of mounts though, one for when the bimini is up and one for trailering. The trailering one (and running the boat with the bimini down) should allow the covered bimini to lie flat on top of the transom just aft of your engine cover.P.S. I think all biminis should be blue. They don't fade and look great against a white hull.
        Torque gets you there. Horsepower gets you there in time for dinner.

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        • #5
          Re: What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

          My boat is white and teal green so I think blue would really clash.....although I agree about the blue color on most other boats. It sounds like you are a firm believer that the bimini 'should' indeed cover the front windshield am I correct?

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          • #6
            Re: What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

            If you don't cover the area over the windshield, when the sun gets lower in the sky, you will have it in your eyes , same as the raindrops. An 8' top on a small boat looks goofy, but you have to decide, either function or form. I cut down my custom top which snapped to the windshield and put a pocket in the sunbrella and converted it to a bimini top , it really looks goofy at 6' on a 23' boat, but I couldn't stand the heat, windshield also gone.

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            • #7
              Re: What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

              I agree they should extend a bit forward of the windshield for driver comfort. There are options to mount it further forward if you don't have enough flat surface on the outside or inside of the windshield to mount the pivot point adjacent to the glass:1. Get vertical or pivot mounts and mount to the gunwales.2. Get windshield mounts and a shorter Bimini and mount directly to the top rail of the side windows (do this ONLY if your windshield is stout and exibiits NO flex...would hate to see a windy day shatter the side glass.)With regards to height, I much prefer a taller bimini so everyone can comfortably stand and walk around the deck without ducking at all. However as already mentioned, late-day sun shade is less plentiful. As for appearance? In my mind who cares? They all look goofy. This is a cancer-fighter and a comfort-maker. I feel they are 100% function over form. I also agree darker colors are better as they create less glare than white. For your boat, I suppose I'd look for a teal top. I REALLY like the sharkskin material, very lightweight and strong.Also remember if you get one that's a bit too tall, they can usually be shortened easily with a hacksaw and a rivet gun to a max of about 10 inches.

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              • #8
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                Re: What's the 'norm' for bimini mounting?

                Yeah, no blue for you. The crazy 1 and I usually think more alike, but I think biminis can look cool. I agree you don't want it so short that people are ducking, but the whole boat will stay cooler the lower you can go and still be safe. I like to stand up often when I drive, so I would make that a priority too. Anywhere you put it there will be sun and visibility situations that will be less than perfect. If you put it too far over the windshield your passengers will suffer. Also, when the sun gets low it loses a lot of its danger, so I just drop mine when the sun starts coming in under.Take a look at all of the pics on this link. The Australians mount these things like some Custom Streetrodder would here. Trailers are cool too. Not a recommendation, just thought you might get a kick out of 'em. http://www.boatsgalore.com.au/white-lightning.asp
                Torque gets you there. Horsepower gets you there in time for dinner.

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