Do I need a Bimini Top for my boat?
Do I need a Bimini top? Well, that’s your call, the best way to decide is to ask yourself a few quick questions, When do I use my boat? how long do i use it for each time? am I sensitive to the sun etc? The Gold Coast is a beautiful place for boating and protecting yourself from the elements is really important.
If you are out early mornings only and beating the sun, chances are you may not find one totally necessary, If you go out boating through the day and stay out for long periods of time then keeping that sun off you is a huge plus, if you plan to take friends & family out it’s a good idea to protect them as well as yourself and make everyones day much more enjoyable. Your Bimini will also protect you from sudden downpours.
Where do I start? Can I buy one pre-made or do I need a custom made Bimini top?
The cheapest option will always be the standard pre-sized Bimini top and this can sometimes be a great option. If you have a popular boat model then a Bimini top retailer is more likely to have something in stock, make sure you locate a reputable retailer that specialises in Bimini tops.
You may prefer a custom job if you require the perfect fit, custom dimensions and/or add on’s or want a colour other than the standard ones on offer. Another reason for a custom fit is that you simply don’t have the option for a pre-made Bimini due to your boat model.
If this is the case your best bet is to locate some local boat upholsterers/marine trimmers and obtain a few quotes (always get more than one to compare). Aiming for someone local obviously keeps travelling costs down as the upholsterer/marine trimmer will generally visit the boat more than once. (First up to make patterns etc and then again to install the various elements).
When comparing quotes it’s important to be clear about what material the upholsterer is using, one quote may sound cheaper but just make sure the material isn’t! Saving a few $ wont mean much if your Bimini top deteriorates and lasts half as long.
Check these items when comparing your quotes:
- What fabric are they using, does it have UV Inhibitors to protect against fading, are they ant fungal or anti microbial so they don’t mould and deteriorate over time. What warranty is offered with the fabric they are supplying? Sunbrella fabric is undoubtedly number one for an A1 Bimini top, see our information on quality durable boating fabrics here.
- What is the frame made of? Plastic, stainless, aluminium, Most people tend to opt for aluminium frames as it looks like stainless steel and is a lighter option.
- What are your connector pieces made from? some standard tops are fitted with plastic or wire fittings, these connectors take alot of the stress so heavy duty nickel plated brass or stainless steel is obviously a better option
Just make sure you aim for quality, a loose or ill fitted Bimini top just wont stand up to the test of time, people who take the lesser quality first always opt for the better quality second time round. Save yourself $ and get it right first time.
The most important thing is that you are happy, comfortable and enjoying your boat on those wonderful waterways we have here on the gorgeous Gold Coast.