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Taking a Deeper Look at Bimini Covers for Boats

A Bimini cover, also called a Bimini top, is an open canopy usually made of polyester or acrylic that covers the windshield and center console area or cockpit of a boat or some vehicles. They are usually erected on a metal support.

Bimini covers can be installed on several points on a boat's frame and come in a wide variety of fabrics, sizes and colours. They can have 2, 3 or 4 rod supports. Small fishing boats use 2 props, while speed boats and larger boats have covers that are mounted on 3 and 4 props respectively.

While a Bimini cover is usually used as a screen against the hot sun, it can also shield you from the rain and elements when the boat is stationary.

The cover can be detached when not in use and be re-attached when need arises.

Factors to consider when buying Bimini tops

There are a number of factors to be considered before buying Bimini covers such as:

  1. Price. The prices of the Bimini tops should match the desired quality
  2. Fabric. Materials such as polyester and acrylic are used. Common things to check in the fabric are the weight per square yard and whether the fabric has UV inhibitors.
  3. Support material. The Bimini supports are usually constructed out of plastic, stainless steel or aluminum
  4. Connector pieces. Cheaper tops use wire and plastic straps while the more expensive units use alloy connectors.
  5. Warranty. Make sure the seller offers a reasonable warranty.
  6. Speed. Bimini tops are categorised to hold up under different maximum speeds.
  7. Shape and colour. You should also select a Bimini cover that matches a boat's dimension and colour.

Characteristics of an ideal Bimini top

A good cover should have the following attributes

  • It should be easy to assemble and provide shade and reduce glare while on water
  • It should be are made of quality materials that can withstands the elements while out in the water
  • It should be resistant to water mold and mildew
  • The fabric should be breathable and should not shrink or stretch

Bimini tops for boats

Bimini tops for boats exist in two categories: standard and custom. Standard Bimini tops are the most popular; custom Bimini tops are not as common because they cost more and take longer to make.

The reasons for choosing either a standard or a specialized Bimini tops are:

  1. The need for a perfect fit or customized dimensions
  2. When standard Bimini tops made for a specific boat's make are not available
  3. When you require unusual colours or patterns

Different types and models of boats require different kinds of Bimini tops.

  • Pontoon boats require Square Tube Bimini tops or Double pontoon Bimini tops.
  • Tournament ski boats should be fitted with Tower Bimini tops
  • Fishing boats are fitted with Tee-Tops, mounted directly to the centre console