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8' - Bimini Top to Long for 19' Boat? Size and Mounting Help Needed

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  • 8' - Bimini Top to Long for 19' Boat? Size and Mounting Help Needed

    Looking for a good Bimini top for our new to us SX 195 Glastron.

    On the tops Length:
    As I measure it, a 3-bow 6 foot long Bimini that starts even with the top of the windshield would lack about a foot of covering to the backrest on the rear couch. An 4-bow 8 foot top could start about 6 inches forward of the top of the windshield and extend about a foot past the backrest of the couch.

    Most all the bowriders in this size I see have 3-bow 6 foot Biminis. I really want both the front buckets and rear couch to have shade but will an 8 foot top look funny on this boat? Will it look weird to have the top start forward of the top of the windshield?


    On the tops Height:
    If mounted to the gunwales, it looks like about 42 inches would give me just enough clearance to stand up. The next size down would be 36 inches and would mean ducking especially when entering the boat from the sundeck. I don't want to destroy the low profile lines of the boat, will 42 inches be too much height?


    On Mounting:
    Its between windshield and gunwale mounting, I've attached a picture so you can see what I've got to work with. The gunwales are not level so I would guess any kind of track mount won't work unless I can bend it to fit the gunwale. The windshield support frame is sort of a "U" shape with rubber in the channel on the top. It looks like a plate would have to be attached over the top of the "U" for a windshield mount. Also under the gunwales there is a very thick layer of foam, so if I want to through bolt to the gunwales I would have to remove alot of it in the area where the mounts are.

    Which is better, windshield or gunwale mounting? What would look best on this boat?

    On Bimini Construction:
    Is nylon hardware adequate or should I insist on stainless? Aluminum tube adequate or stainless? I do want rear supports, I guess these can replace rear straps? The boat will only be used in fresh water.

    It appears that most here prefer Sunbrella material but I'm having a problem finding it in an 4-bow 8', 79-84" wide and 42" tall configuration.


    All advice is greatly appreciated.
    Attached Files
    2004 Glastron SX 195
    Volvo 5.0GL-D SX-M

  • #2
    Re: 8' - Bimini Top to Long for 19' Boat? Size and Mounting Help Needed

    Will it look funny?
    - It's in the eye of the beholder as they say... I'd say it'll probably look fine. What I will say is the bigger the bimini the greater the parachute drag effect when at speed. On our 19' there is definately a speed difference between bimini "stored" vs. "deployed".

    Height?
    - Buy the taller bimini, you can always cut it down a bit if too tall.

    Mounting?
    - I'd forget about the tracks and mount it on the gunwales. Keep in mind gunwales vs. windshield mounting may affect what height you decide to order. I did not through bolt ours...I followed the instructions and used ~1" ss screws into the fiberglass/wood sealed up with some 3M 5200 sealant.

    Construction?
    - Definately ss for fasteners over nylon. Aluminum tubing is pretty standard and seems to hold up well...the difference seems to be how thick the tubing is.

    We bought a Carver cover (http://www.carvercovers.com/products/bimini_tops/) and have been very happy with it. They have a wide selection and have sunbrella fabric available.

    -RW

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    • #3
      Re: 8' - Bimini Top to Long for 19' Boat? Size and Mounting Help Needed

      I'd heartily second everything Wanderer said. It's funny how looking "funny" drops to near zero on the I-give-a-damn meter when you are boating in comfort out of the elements.

      Definitely get it tall enough to comfortably stand under.

      One other thing to consider. The longer the bimini the more difficult it can be to get in and out of the boat. Not a huge deal but be aware there is a greater chance of a pole being in the way the further back the bimini goes. Most people can work around it but if you have older folks regularly along for the ride, ducking under the top while getting around the supports can be a bit tricky.
      Dang - I cut it three times and it's still too short!!...
      2004 Scout Dorado 175 Dual Console
      Yamaha 90 4-Stroke

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      • #4
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        Re: 8' - Bimini Top to Long for 19' Boat? Size and Mounting Help Needed

        I have a 4 bow 8' top on mine and I love it. My wife mandated a bimini when I got the boat. Since she doesn't like boating anyway, I try to do all I can to minimize the tension! My boat is 20'. I, too, thought it might look funny. Truthfully, it does not, and it covers the entire rear of the boat. Guests always love it too. Truth be known, I put it up about 90% of the time whether my wife is with me or not. It makes a HUGE difference in comfort in these Southern Summers. Not sure if I have a picture with it up. If I do, i'll post it tonight. If not, I'll take one this week if I get up to the boat. I am hoping to since I will be out of town this weekend.
        sigpic
        1991 Chaparral 2000SL
        Volvo Penta 5.7 SS Duoprop

        A bad day on the water beats a good day doing almost anything else!

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