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Hit the Sea With the Best Bimini Top for Boats

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It’s the anticipated summer season and the sun is in full swing. You have been out in the waters with your family or friends for hours, and you’re getting tired of the scorching heat. You desperately want to get under a cool shade because your skin is turning red, and now the family activity you’ve been looking forward to for weeks has turned into your most recent regret. If this sounds familiar, then we don’t have to tell you why so many boaters get Bimini tops on their boats. Making your boating experience enjoyable and protecting you from getting fried in the sun, they give you a pleasurable boating experience and are considered a mandatory investment for seasonal and active boat lovers. If you live in a warm climate and spend more than a couple of hours on the water you’ll likely experience the most benefit from this original creation from the island of Bimini. To help you navigate the online marketplace, we’ve curated a list of the quality bimini tops of 2024 with this guide, including our top choice, the  Naviskin Bimini Top . 

Our Top Picks

  • Best Overall: Naviskin Bimini Top Shop Now ➔
  • Budget-Friendly Option: Leader Accessories Bimini Top Shop Now ➔
  • Easiest To Install: MSC 3 Bimini Top Boat Cover Shop Now ➔
  • Most Affordable: VINGLI Bimini Top Boat Cover Shop Now ➔
  • Easiest To Mount: KING BIRD Bimini Top Cover Shop Now ➔
  • 1 The Material of the Bimini Top
  • 4 Solution-dyed polyester
  • 5 Cotton duck
  • 6 Types of Bimini Top for Boats
  • 7 Other Features to Consider in Bimini Tops for Boats
  • 8 Easy storage

Which color Bimini top should I choose for my boat?

Can i sail at fast speeds if my boat has a bimini top, why is it called a bimini top, related reviews, the leading bimini top for boat you can buy in 2024, best overall.

Naviskin Bimini Top

Naviskin Bimini Top

Made with 600D polyester canvas, this marine-grade Bimini top cover is available in 13 different sizes and 10 varying colors. This way, you won’t have any trouble finding the right fit for your boat with respect to the size or color. The material of this top has a PU coating, which makes it waterproof and resistant to salt water and heat. It will effectively prevent you from getting burnt during the hot summer days, and to add to its higher ranking in the stability and durability departments the frame of the top is also aluminum-made—allowing it to snap together easily. Th e packaging also includes stainless steel mounting screws and four adjustable straps.

  • Easy to install
  • Comes with a one-year warranty 
  • Includes a storage boot with accessories
  • Instructions are hard to follow

Budget-Friendly Option

Leader Accessories Bimini Top

Leader Accessories Bimini Top

If you want a high-quality bimini top without breaking your wallet, this is the one to go for! Leader Accessories uses marine-grade, heavy-duty 600D polyester canvas. Known for being resistant to water and UV light, this top will work efficiently against both sun and rain and enable you to spend more time on the water without getting frustrated by the weather changes.  S ince the top has an aluminum frame and double-walled bowlegs, you get all the accessories you need to mount the top with the packaging—including stainless steel screws, screwdriver, and other hardware. 

  • Includes instructions to assemble
  • Available in 13 colors and various sizes
  • Works efficiently
  • Directions can be hard to understand

Easiest To Install

MSC 3 Bimini Top Boat Cover

MSC 3 Bimini Top Boat Cover

This Bimini top for MSC is constructed with 600D polyester canvas and coated with marine-grade PU. The fabric of the top can withstand extreme heat temperatures and moisture, making it an ideal cover for a day out on the water.  The packaging includes plastic mounting brackets, two front straps, and two rear support poles. Coming to you partially assembled, the frame is aluminum-made with tubes that work to enforce its sturdiness. To install it completely, you just need to read the instructions that come with the packaging. 

  • The frame is resistant to rust
  • The installation can take some time
  • Available in various colors and sizes
  • The top can fade after a few weeks of use

Most Affordable

VINGLI Bimini Top Boat Cover

VINGLI Bimini Top Boat Cover

With its affordable price tag and top-notch features, the Vingli Bimini top is made of 600D/230 GSM marine-grade polyester canvas with PU nylon top coating. The material is UV resistant and waterproof, providing maximum protection against rain and sun. The seams of the top have double stitching, which ensures durability and strength. VINGLI also includes a stitched storage boot that works to prevent the top from blowing off.  You can roll it up and keep it in the storage space when not in use.

  • Comes with mounting hardware
  • The aluminum frame is anti-rust
  • Installation instructions are easy to understand
  • Limited color options available

Easiest To Mount

KING BIRD Bimini Top Cover

KING BIRD Bimini Top Cover

This top cover uses heavy-duty 600D/230 GSM marine-grade, PU-coated polyester canvas fabric that effectively protects you against UV light and water. The double-stitched seams ensure durability and maximum strength, giving you a top that can last for years. Rust-resistant aluminum tubes also make up the frame of the top, keeping it stable even in high wind. Since it comes with stainless steel hardware, including saddles, buckles, and hooks you don’t have to worry about purchasing them separately.

  • Easy to mount
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • Includes two extra rear support poles
  • Mounting brackets use plastic material

Finding Your Next Bimini Top for Boat: A Buyer’s Guide

Several questions may come to mind when choosing a Bimini top for your boat. Whether you’re a returning buyer or a beginner at sailing, all your queries will be answered in the following buyer’s guide. 

Here are some things to consider before buying a bimini top for your boat: 

The Material of the Bimini Top

Bimini tops are available in a variety of materials with some being better than the other. This is an essential consideration because the material and quality of the top will affect its longevity. 

Here are your options when it comes to materials:

It is an expensive choice but worth the price because of its softness and strength. This material offers strong protection against harsh UV rays and won’t wear out or fade. If you clean it extensively, you’ll have to waterproof it again. 

Vinyl-coated fabric makes for good Bimini tops because of its waterproofing capability. It resists water, driving it to the sides. While the fabric is not breathable, it compensates for this by being easy to clean and highly durable.

Solution-dyed polyester

This fabric stands out due to its attractive and rich color appearance. Since the material is resistant to UV rays, it’s effective against the sun. Additional qualities include but are not limited to water repellency, durability, and abrasion resistance. While known to be much stronger than acrylic, polyester’s only downside is that it tends to fade quicker than its competition. 

Cotton duck

This is one of the most affordable Bimini tops available on the market. Considering that the material is less durable compared to the ones mentioned above on the list, you can expect its UV resistance properties to be less effective than acrylic.

Types of Bimini Top for Boats

There are two types of Bimini tops available on the market:

  • Off-the-shelf:  These are standard Bimini tops and are designed without keeping any specific boat in mind. Usually, they are available in a rectangular shape but in a limited color range.
  • OEM:  These tops use precise digital templates. Meant to tailor to the needs of specific boats, some boat manufacturers also provide Bimini tops to fit their boats.

Other Features to Consider in Bimini Tops for Boats

Easy storage.

When you’re not using your Bimini top, you can’t leave it out in the open. Since it’s recommended to store it somewhere, it’s best to look for ones that can fit easily into your storage space. 

To start, look for a top that has storage boots. If you don’t buy one that comes with the boot, you’ll have to purchase it separately. Also, make sure to always clean the top before storing it somewhere to avoid a build-up of dirt and dust elements.

There is nothing as the right price of a Bimini top. Usually, the price is directly proportional to the quality. If you go with the cheap options, you will pay the price in longevity and you might have to get a new one just after a few weeks. To avoid this, make your budget justifies the features and quality of the Bimini top you’re purchasing.

People Also Asked

The first thought that comes to your mind may concern your Bimini top’s color. In a flawless world, that would work, but in terms of quality, darker materials aren’t as durable as lighter ones due to the higher amount of dyes. On the flip side, darker colors absorb more heat than light colors and are less visible.  For these same reasons, you must decide between quality and heat absorption when selecting the color of your Bimini top.

Experts recommend keeping the boat under 35 mph. Any higher than this, and you may risk your Bimini top detaching. If you want to go at a higher speed, you should implement thru-bolting.

Bimini tops get their name from their place of origin, the island of Bimini in the Bahamas.

Article Contributors

Sail magazine review team.

SAIL Magazine Review Team reports on best-selling products in sailing and boating. SAIL Magazine is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Artificial Intelligence (large language models) may have been used in the research and creation of the content.

To ensure questions about product testing or a specific article are addressed, please contact [email protected]

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Sailboat Covers & Enclosures

A bimini for your sail boat is the perfect protection against the elements; wind, rain, sun or mosquitoes. Be comfortable in your yacht at anytime, anywhere. We proudly offer high quality Bimini’s that are specifically designed for your boat using fabrics such as Stamoid and Sunbrella that are not only durable but also waterproof, flexible, mildew resistant and available in many colors!

Frames fabricated by our Trademark, Patented H2ube or the option of the stainless steel tubing.

Hallett Canvas & Sails, Inc. has 26 years experience manufacturing various designs of dodger’s suitable for each individual customer and their boats. Hallett dodgers are carefully built ensuring structural integrity as well as years of performance. Dodgers will add the comfort, protection and style to your boat. Custom design your own dodger or see our dodger design page for some potential options that fit you and your sailboat.

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Get out of the sun for the afternoon. This cover protects the cockpit from light rain and sun without the use of bows. Awnings can also help ventilate your boat in an array of weather conditions allowing hatches and companionways to be open and covered from rain or sun. Awnings work well with dodger and bimini’s. It is easy to use, just zip the front to the dodger and insert an awning pole in the back and your done! All awnings are made using the finest outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella and Stamoid and more.

Sail Covers

All sails should be protected from U.V. rays which, rapidly breakdown any sail cloth, taking years off the life of the sail.

  • Standard Sail Cover We provide a front zipper, vinyl protection for winches or cleats and twist snaps for easy on and off. Options of Lazy Jack cut outs if it applies to your boat.
  • Hallett Zip-Top Sail Cover Hallett Zip Top Sail covers are integrated to a lazy jack system to allow the mainsail to drop into the cover, then zip the top up and you’re done. It’s that easy! The cover is independent of the sail which allows for easy installation and taking off at the end of the season.
  • Horse Blanket The loose luff, flaked mainsail on boom Sunbrella sail cover that simply is laid and fastened.
  • Interior Luxury Foam including EZ Dry, Quality fabrics and construction will make your boat worth living on for years to come.

Winter Covers

We can build covers for any custom projects. We will work around special rigging or unique designs to bring it all together for the perfectly finished look. Many times the up front cost of a winter cover is substantially high, however if you keep your boat for more than three to five years the cost becomes much lower than shrink wrapping. Also the quality and functionality of the cover is much greater than the standard blue and green polyethylene tarps. A quality winter cover is important in preserving your upholstery from rain, snow, and harmful UV rays. Now using more and more, the H2ube frame for sturdy, easy use, easy to clean covers. Sail boat enclosures. Our custom fit sail boat enclosures allow boaters to use the outdoor space in all weather and get full use of boat. This in turn can also lengthen the boating season all together allowing you to launch earlier in the spring and to stay warm on a beautiful late fall evening sail. Enclosures are designed to provide maximum visibility built with Strata Glass, Makrolon Polycarbonate or Crystal Clear glass while using Sunbrella or Stamoid for the panels.

Custom Covers

Hallett can design and fabricate any in-house custom upholstery or canvas work that you may need. Some of these projects include, winch covers, helm covers, mooring covers, fender covers, boom tents, wheel covers, hatch covers and much more. You tell us what you would like and we will go the extra mile to meet your needs.

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The Marine Mag

6 Best Bimini Tops for Boats – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2021)

You love spending time on your boat, but you are fed up with getting sunburnt? We feel for you, and we agree that being exposed to the sun for a long time can be very harmful. Not to mention the unpleasant feeling when you get soaked because of unexpected heavy rain. Worry no more! Reading this article means that you are on your way to getting the best bimini top for your boat. Our guide will show you that this item is really worth it if you want to get protected from all types of weather conditions.

We do not expect you to be familiar with the characteristics of this product. So we have prepared some reviews on bimini tops to help you compare and contrast them and get the most suitable one for you and your boat. You will also find some tips on how to choose the boat cover, and how to use it properly to extend its life span. Read along and choose the right product!

Best Bimini Tops for Boats Comparison Chart

PRODUCTDETAILS

Leader Accessories Bimini Top

Naviskin Bimini Top Cover

MSC 3 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

MSC 4 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

XGEAR Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover

Best Bimini Tops – (Recommended Picks)

Check out the reviews of the products we have selected. Our crew has carefully researched the pros and cons of each unit.

1. Leader Accessories Bimini Top

Leader Accessories Bimini Top

You will probably find it beneficial that the mounting hardware is made of stainless steel and that the storage boot is color-coordinated with the rest of the bimini top. There are 13 colors and six different sizes of the product you can choose from. In addition to this, there are two fabric options – 600D solution-dyed fabric and marine-grade 600D polyester canvas.

Another advantage is that the stitching is double overlapped to add more durability. Thanks to the fact that the legs are double-walled, the aluminum frame is very sturdy and reliable. Also, two nylon straps are attached to the front and the rear part of the structure.

  • Installing and assembling the structure is very easy.
  • The fabric of the cover is of very good quality.
  • You can choose from 13 colors and six sizes.
  • This bimini top features double overlapped stitching for extra strength.
  • A disadvantage is that the height of this bimini top is not adjustable.
  • The instructions that come with the product are a bit challenging to understand.

2. Naviskin Bimini Top Cover

Naviskin Bimini Top Cover

When you purchase this bimini top, you will also get the aluminum frame, a storage boot, and the mounting hardware. A definite advantage is that the mounting stainless screws come free of charge. Naviskin provides a 1-year warranty.

Assembling the unit is pretty easy as it is equipped with quick-release mounts. The material the cover is made of is waterproof, so you shouldn’t worry that the rain can damage your boat. Since this Naviskin bimini top can be dismantled entirely, you can use only the canvas if you wish. A drawback of this product is that the instructions that it comes with are very poor.

  • You will find it easy to put together and install this item, thanks to the full package that includes everything that you need.
  • The poles and the cover are very sturdy and durable.
  • There are ten color options.
  • You can either use the whole structure or just the canvas.
  • The instructions coming with this product are not very detailed.
  • Another disadvantage is that the stitches on the front and the back are only single.

3. MSC 3 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

MSC 3 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

Unlike other similar items, this one is equipped with two rear support poles. All the necessary mounting hardware is included in the price of the product. So you won’t have to buy any screws, straps or hinges separately. You can mount this bimini top both vertically and horizontally.

There is a variety of sizes and colors you can choose from. Keep in mind that if you need to buy a replacement canvas, it would be cheaper to purchase a new complete top. Also, if you want to travel by boat and leave the bimini top up, you should be warned that it will wear out a lot faster.

  • This bimini top has proved to be easy to install.
  • Another advantage is that the rear poles take less space than the straps would have.
  • You can install this item both horizontally and vertically.
  • The product is offered in a range of colors and sizes.
  • This product comes with plastic mounting hardware.

4. MSC 4 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

MSC 4 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

There are two rear poles which are intended to provide better support.  The poles are 40 inches long, which includes the plastic tips which come at the end of each. Keep in mind that the rear supports have to stay upright in the storage boot, whereas the forward supports should be folded back.

If you don’t want to make a new hole in your boat, you can remove the attachment pieces and install quick release pins. When you order this product, you also get a storage boot. You can choose from a range of colors and sizes.

  • The instructions coming with this product are simple and easy to follow.
  • You will probably find the mesh storage compartment very convenient.
  • This product is equipped with two rear poles, which are long enough to support the top.
  • Installing the unit can be pretty quickly done.
  • The mounting hardware is made of plastic, which is not considered a very durable material.

5. XGEAR Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

XGEAR Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover

A significant advantage of this item is that its stitching is double overlapped, which means that it is stronger and more durable than other boat covers. Installing this bimini top takes only a few minutes.  The fabric part is made of marine-grade 600D polyester canvas, which has proved to be a solid material when it comes to shading.

Thanks to its four nylon straps for the back and front, the frame of this construction is strong enough to protect your boat. You can choose from 10 colors and 13 sizes. Keep in mind that it is not recommended to mount the brackets of this bimini top on inflatable boats.

  • This product comes at a very reasonable cost.
  • Compared to other similar items, this one is better as its hardware parts are made of stainless steel.
  • The construction is very durable and strong, which is ensured by the four nylon straps and the double overlapped stitching.
  • It will take you only several minutes to install this item.
  • This product doesn’t have rear supporting poles, and it relies only on the four nylon straps.

6. 4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover

4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover

The support of the frame is ensured by two rear poles and two nylon straps, which have upgraded clips. Thanks to its 600D fabric, this bimini top is waterproof. When you purchase this product, you get a matching boot.

Another benefit of this product is that its mounting screws and the eye hooks for the straps are made of stainless steel. Moreover, the item features professional nylon fittings. In case you need to fold this bimini top flat, you can also do this. To be precise, this unit folds to about 6 inches and can lay flat on the rear deck.

  • Installing the unit is very easy and quick, and there is no need for additional tools to put the structure together.
  • This unit stays stable even at higher speeds of the boat.
  • There are two poles and two straps to support the frame.
  • You will receive a matching boot with the purchase of this bimini top boat cover.
  • This bimini top comes only in five colors you can choose from.

How Do I Protect My Boat from the Sun?

Bimini Top Reviews

Keep in mind that if you do not take good care of your vessel, it won’t serve you for a long time. You have made such an investment with the purchase of your boat. So you will certainly not mind spending a bit more to make sure that it is well – maintained. There are several things you can do to protect your boat:

  • Make sure it is clean – before you put any protectant on your vessel, you should ensure its cleanness. There are a lot of boat washes that you can use for this purpose. Remember that if the boat is not clean enough, the protectant cannot be absorbed into its surface.
  • Use a protectant – it serves as sunscreen for your boat. You can get any cleaner wax to do so. This material will make your boat shiny, but at the same time, it will seal the surface and thus protect it from the harmful UV rays.
  • Maintain your vessel in good condition – whenever you come back from your trip in the water, remove the dirt that the top surface has gathered, put some light wax on, and also some polymers to protect it from the sun.
  • Get a boat bimini top – it will protect not only your boat but also yourself. Of course, it costs a lot to get such a piece of equipment, but it is worth it.
  • There are different types of bimini tops – some provide full cover, others shield just part of the vessel. If by any chance you can’t find the product that meets your needs and requirements, don’t worry. You can get a custom bimini top for boats.

Warning! Some people use dishwashing soap to clean their boats! We advise you to avoid doing this, as it will strip off the wax and damage the vessel’s surface.

The time spent in the water affects the condition of any water equipment that you use. So it doesn’t matter if it is your boat, your surf, or your bodyboard – you need to take good care of it to extend its longevity. If you are interested in knowing how to select and protect your bodyboard from being exposed to the sun and water, read our detailed article, and enjoy the waves!

What is the Bimini Top?

Before deciding whether you need one, probably you would like to know what a bimini top is . Read the following part of our buying guide to find an answer to this question:

  • A bimini top is most typically a metal structure that is covered by canvas.
  • People put it on the cockpit of their boats to protect them from the sun or rain.
  • The frames are usually made of stainless steel or aluminum. If your boat is a small one, it is advisable to get a bimini top with an aluminum frame, as it is light-weight. Vise versa, if you have a larger vessel, you need a structure made of stainless steel, which is heavier but endures the marine weather conditions better than the aluminum one.
  • These types of products can be used on any boat.
  • It is crucial to have a bimini cover on your boat so that you won’t get sunburnt or dehydrated.
  • Using such a top on your vessel, you will be even able to use it in the rain.

We hope that now you are well informed on what a bimini top is, and why you need it to protect your boat. If you are curious to learn about other boat equipment and accessories , visit our homepage. There you can read our reviews on the top products and choose the ones that will contribute to your pleasant boat experience. You will also learn useful tips on how to choose, install, and maintain a variety of boat items.

How to Install a Bimini Top?

Best Bimini Tops

Once you have made up your mind and purchased this product, you will surely need some tips on how to install a bimini top. We have done some serious research, and we have contacted trustworthy experts to provide these useful steps. Follow them, and you will find installing a bimini cover a pretty easy thing to do:

  • When you look at the reviews of the products that you consider buying, check if they come with a manual. Keep in mind that following the instructions as close as possible will save you a lot of time, energy, and effort. Some of the manufacturers send illustrated and detailed manuals on how to install a bimini top. Others can even offer a video showing the whole process with all the tricks you need to know.
  • Once the product has arrived, unpack it and make sure that you have all the necessary parts. Then you need to assemble the bow pieces. Slide the left and right bow on to the middle one. When the holes have lined up, use screws to tighten them.
  • The next step is to remove the fabric top from its case. Put the canvas on a clean surface, so that the pockets for the frame are facing up. See if these pockets have any buttons or zippers, and unbutton or unzip them. Now, you have to insert the bows into the pockets, button, or zip them up.
  • Most of the bimini tops are equipped with straps that are intended to ensure more stability. If this is your case, then you need to attach them. You can do this by inserting the loop end of the strap through the cutouts of the front and rear pockets. Then put the hook end in the loop of the strap and pull tight.
  • Whenever you have attached the straps, it is time to connect the eye ends to the secondary bows. Doing so, you will provide even more sturdiness. To do this, you need to remove the screws from their jaw slides. Then turn around the secondary bow, put the eye ends into the jaw slides. Check if the holes have lined up, and after that, insert the screws again and tighten them. This step should be repeated with each one of the secondary bows.

These are the most basic steps you need to follow to install the majority of bimini tops.

Now you know how to install a bimini top, and you are almost ready to embark on your journey on the water. However, there are still some other things that you need to be aware of. One of them is how to get an anchor windlass .  Check our buying guide to get acquainted with this information so that you can be completely prepared to travel the seas.

Don’t let the sun or the rain damage your boat or affect the time you spend on it! Now you have the opportunity to look at the best bimini tops and get the one that will protect your vessel in the right way. After all, having a boat is not a cheap pleasure, so we are sure that you will do everything necessary to shield it from any harmful weather conditions.

The market is full of a great variety of vessel covers, and choosing the top one could take a lot of time. That’s why we have prepared reviews on bimini tops to help you with this process. Besides, you can find beneficial information in our buying guides. Visit our homepage to learn how to protect your boat, as well as what a bimini top is and how to install it. Thanks for reading, and as always – stay put!

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Bimini Selection Guide Find the perfect bimini

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Pontoon Bimini 96"W X 56"H X 8'L Hot Shot Fabric

Taylor Made Pontoon Bimini BoaTop 96"W X 56"H X 8'L - Hot Shot Fabric Taylor Made is a leading manufacturer of pontoon bimini tops and is known for its quality boat bimini tops and covers. Boaters trusted Taylor Made tops all over the world. This...

SureShade Pontoon Power Bimini Top  - Installed/Open

SureShade Pontoon Power Bimini Top

SureShade Pontoon Power Bimini Top For an automatic bimini top option, check out the SureShade Power Bimini Top. This fully automatic cover is a great addition to any pontoon boat and takes bimini tops to another level. There is no need for manual...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 79"-84"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 79"-84"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 79"-84" Keeping your top protected with a bimini top storage boot can increase the longevity of your bimini top and make storing and securing your bimini top. Taylor Made is a leading manufacturer of bimini top...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 97"-104"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 97"-104"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Top Storage Boot 97"-104" Protecting your bimini top while it is not in use is a convenient way to preserve the life of your fabric top. Bimini top storage boots are ideal for shielding your bimini top from wear and tear and...

Attwood Bimini Top Storage Boot 75"-81" Wide

Attwood Bimini Top Storage Boot 75"-81" Wide

Attwood Bimini Top Storage Boot These bimini storage boots are constructed of Sunbrella acrylic fabric with non-corrosive zippers, designed to match your bimini top. The boot will help keep your bimini top clean and dry during storage. These boots are...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 73"-78"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 73"-78"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 73"-78" Bimini top storage boots provide a convenient way to store and protect your bimini tops when not in use. They are designed to cover your bimini tops and ensure it is shielded from the marine elements...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 91"-96"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 91"-96"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 91"-96" When storing your bimini top when not in use, it is a good idea to protect it from the elements with a bimini top storage boot. These boots provide an extra layer of protection from rain, wind, dirt,...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 85"-90"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 85"-90"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 85"-90" For a convenient and easy way to store your bimini tops, check out Taylor Made Hot Shot bimini top storage boots. Wholesale Marine offers a full line in varying sizes, which fits most bimini tops,...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Pontoon Bimini Boot 102"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Pontoon Bimini Boot 102"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Pontoon Bimini Storage Boot 102" Store your pontoon bimini top when not in use with one of our pontoon bimini boots, including the Hot Shot 102” from Taylor Made. The Hot Shot Pontoon Bimini Boot 102” is made to Taylor...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 67"-72"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 67"-72"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Storage Boot 67"-72" Taylor Made Bimini Top Storage Boots provide a convenient way to keep your bimini top clean and neat while being stored. These storage boots feature full-length separating zippers for easy on/off. All...

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 73 - 78" Width x 54" Height 6 ft Length

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 73 - 78" W x 54" H x 6' L

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Top 73” - 78” Taylor Made is a leading manufacturer of Hot Shot bimini tops and Wholesale Marine offers a wide selection of sizing and color options, including the Hot Shot bimini top 73” - 78”. This...

Taylor Made Hot Shot Pontoon Bimini Boot 96"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Pontoon Bimini Boot 96"

Taylor Made Hot Shot Pontoon Bimini Storage Boot 96" For bimini tops with a width of 96”, protect them when not in use with a pontoon bimini boot. This Taylor Made bimini storage boot is perfect for those mid-size pontoon bimini tops. It is...

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 67 - 72" Width x 54" Height 6 ft Length

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 67 - 72" W x 54" H x 6' L

Taylor Made Hot Shot Bimini Top 67” - 72” W x 54” H Bimini Tops are a great addition to boats to provide shade and protection from the elements. These tops are designed to be easily installed and give additional coverage from the sun...

Deluxe Pontoon Bimini 102" Width X 56" Height X 8 Ft Length

Deluxe Pontoon Bimini 102" Width X 56" Height X 8 Ft Length

Taylor Made Deluxe Pontoon Bimini Top 102" Width X 56" Height X 8 Ft Length Looking for extra protection from the sun and rain while out on your pontoon boat, shop our Deluxe Pontoon Bimini Top from Taylor Made. This top-quality pontoon bimini top...

Premium Pontoon Bimini 96" Width X 56" Height X 8 Ft Length

Premium Pontoon Bimini 96" Width X 56" Height X 8 Ft Length

Taylor Made Premium Pontoon Bimini Top 96" Width X 56" Height X 8 Ft Length Need to upgrade or replace your existing pontoon bimini top? Shop our selection of Taylor Made pontoon bimini tops. We offer a wide selection of, including the Premium Pontoon...

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 60 - 66" Width x 54" Height 6 ft Length

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 60-66" W x 54" H x 6' L

Taylor Made Products Hot Shot Bimini Boat Tops This Hot Shot Bimini Top provides refreshing shade while affording you visibility over your windshield instead of just through it. Taylor Made Boat Bimini Tops are sold as packages with the frame, fabric...

Tower Bimini Top 68-71"

Tower Bimini Top 68-71"

Taylor Made Tower Bimini Top 68-71" Width These Bimini Tops are designed to mount within the confines of most wake board towers to provide shade for the driver and spotter. All tops are 48" long and approximately 16" (from mounting point) and are...

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 79 - 84" Width x 54" Height 6 ft Length

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 79-84" W x 54" x 6' L

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 79 - 84" Width x 42" Height 6 ft Length

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 79 - 84" W x 42" H x 6' L

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 67 - 72" Width x 42" Height 6 ft Length

Hot Shot Bimini Boat Top 67-72" W x 42" H x 6' L

A guide to selecting bimini tops.

Blazing hot sun rays beating down on the water can quickly scuttle a pleasant afternoon on your boat. That's where a Bimini top is a welcome addition to any craft. These open canvas covers provide the necessary shade for the cockpit of your boat and help keep things cool.

The Bimini top gets its name from the island in the Bahamas where it was invented. These handy covers truly make the difference in boating comfort. Generally made from aluminum or stainless steel, most Bimini top frames collapse for storage and are easy to raise for shelter against the sun or rain. If you're looking for shelter and shade on your craft, here's a look at how to pick a boat Bimini top to provide shade and shelter.

Type of Boat

The first thing you need to keep in mind when looking for a boat top is the type of boat you own. There are different dimensions to consider if you're looking for a fishing boat Bimini top, an inflatable boat Bimini top, or a small Bimini top for a boat.

The heights will vary depending on the make and model of your boat. There are different Bimini tops for competition skiing boats, pontoons, and other watercraft. You'll need a specific Bimini top if your boat has a tower.

Decide on Dimensions

When searching for a boat Bimini top, you'll also need to decide what area of the craft you want to be covered. Our Bimini top for boats selections come in a variety of sizes, ranging from five to ten feet. Six-foot long tops are the most common length in use.

To measure properly, find the midpoint of the area you want to be covered. For the width, measure the distance from the center to the main mounting points on both the port and starboard sides. To decide on length, work from that midpoint once again and measure the space you want to cover on both sides, fore and aft. To determine the height, you need to stand inside your boat. Measure starting from the main mounting points, not the floor, up to the desired position overhead. The higher you position your boat Bimini top, the less shade you'll have.

Final Touches

The final choices you'll need to make before purchasing your boat Bimini top include fabric style and storage. The fabric you select for your Bimini top should be durable and water-resistant. The color of fabric you choose should complement the look and style of your boat. Buying a top with fabric that has been treated to make it both mildew and UV resistant makes it a solid investment. The fabric itself should be soft, lightweight, and easy to handle and clean. Options include polyester, vinyl, and woven acrylic.

Wholesale Marines’ selection of Bimini top for boats fold away when not in use. For added protection in storage, consider a Bimini top storage boot , which is ideal for protecting and securing the cover.

Boat Bimini Top Solutions and More

If you're looking for a Bimini top for your boat, check out the selection at Wholesale Marine. Our Bimini top selection guide helps you navigate the different choices, from a small boat Bimini top to a pontoon and more. With the selection guide, you'll find the product you need, regardless of boat type and width. Wholesale Marine delivers quality customer service and boating supplies to boaters everywhere. Contact us today or visit our Boater's Blog to learn more.

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Bimini Tops

Boat bimini tops are an essential accessory for your boat, especially in the hot summer months, to help shield against harmful UV rays. We offer a wide selection of 2, 3, and 4 bow bimini tops for boats in a variety of styles and colors, to compliment your boat and to fit your aquatic lifestyle. If you are looking for a  bimini top for your  Pontoon boat ,  Inflatable boat  or any of the many other types of recreational boat out there, we have the perfect bimini top for you.

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Carver Bimini Tops

  • Made in USA
  • Strong double-wall main bow
  • 4-ply reinforced seams
  • Anodized aluminum or stainless steel frame tubing
  • FREE Storage boot
  • Specialty bimini tops for pontoons, towers, & inflatables
  • Up to 10-year fabric & 5-year frame warranty
  • Learn more about Carver Bimini Tops

Westland Bimini Tops

  • Made in North America
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  • 90° swivel hinge for mounting
  • Anodized aluminum frame tubing
  • FREE Storage boot (except ST series)
  • Over 30 years of industry experience
  • Up to 10-year fabric & 1-year frame warranty
  • Learn more about Westland Bimini Tops

From how to clean your boat biminis to fabric comparison to how to measure your boat for the best bimini fit, we've got you covered with comprehensive Help Guides, bimini top articles, and customer reviews. We're standing by and welcome the opportunity to get to know our customers whenever possible. Feel free to give us a call , send us an email , or chat with us online . We're here to help with all your bimini top needs!

Our comprehensive help guide about the bimini top for boats is here to assist with your bimini cover selection and fabric choice. It also includes important basics like how to measure for a bimini top and general bimini maintenance. Let us help point you in the right direction for shade and sun protection aboard your favorite watercraft.

Bimini Top Basics

How to measure for the best fit, how to install a bimini top, fabric comparison, slide track and brace kit options, bimini top storage, bimini top maintenance, what does 2, 3, and 4 bow mean.

The bows of the bimini top are the parts of the frame that connect from side to side over the width of the boat. Bimini tops are equipped with either 2, 3, or 4 main bows. The smallest style offered—mostly used for shorter Jon style fishing boats, V-hull fishing boats, and inflatables—is the 2 bow bimini top. The most commonly used bimini top is the 3 bow. This bimini top style is recommended for V-hull runabouts, ski boats, performance boats, and most center consoles. The largest bimini top carried by SavvyBoater is the 4 bow, which is reserved for larger boats, such as pontoons or deck boats.

How do I mount my bimini top?

For standard bimini tops drilling is required, as the bimini is mounted onto the top or on the outside of the boat. For pontoon bimini tops, which are mounted onto your pontoon’s side rails, drilling is also required. For tower bimini tops no drilling is required. Instead, the bimini clamps directly onto the boat tower itself.

How fast can I go when my bimini top is deployed?

You can safely deploy and use your Carver bimini tops while operating at speeds of up to 35 MPH, and up to 45 MPH for Westland. If you would like to go faster with your top up, we recommend thru-bolting.

How do I thru-bolt my bimini top so that I can go faster than 35 MPH with it up and in use?

If you have nylon fittings you’ll first need to replace them with stainless steel fittings . The next step is to thru-bolt the connection points of the bimini to the boat—the front and rear eye straps , as well as the deck hinge. In order to thru-bolt, you’ll need a longer bolt that travels completely through the fiberglass and reaches to the underside. For added stability and security, we recommend adding an extra washer and nut. Lastly, check the top for stability, ensuring the front of the top is angled downward. If it isn’t, pull the front hold-down straps tight in order to change the angle. As always, check all straps and fittings for tightness before using your bimini top at speeds higher than 35 MPH. *Note: Thru-bolting will allow you to operate your boat at speeds of up to 45 MPH with the top still up. Keep in mind wind speeds and adjust your speed accordingly. Whenever trailering your boat, your bimini top should be laid down flat.

First choose where you want to mount your bimini top. The most common mounting point is at the widest part of your boat. If this won't work, then move the bimini mounting points forward or back to accommodate. Once you decide on a good mounting point, measure a straight line between these points on either side of your boat and keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure not to measure up and over or around obstacles.
  • As bimini tops come in a range of widths, choose the range in which your width measurement falls.
  • The bimini top will measure in the middle of the range, but can be flexed in or out.
  • See instructions with image

The mounting point is the center of the bimini top, so the top will extend half its length in front and half its length behind the mounting point.

  • A 6 foot top will cover 3 feet forward, and 3 feet behind the mounting point.
  • Check to see if your new bimini might conflict with existing antennas or ski pylons.

Measure straight up from the mounting point. Keep in mind that the total standing height is the height of the bimini top plus the height from the floor to the mounting point.

  • In order to determine what height you should get, remember to consider how much clearance you want underneath the bimini.
  • With a 36 inch bimini, the support bows will cross the boat 36 inches above the mounting point.
  • A 36 inch bimini that is mounted 20 inches above the floor of the boat will have 56 inches of room underneath.

A tower bimini gets measured similar to the way a standard bimini does, only with a few key differences.

  • This bimini will only mount to the tower, which means no moving it forward or back in the boat.
  • Because of the no-drill installation the tower bimini is easily adjusted higher or lower on the tower.
  • All tower biminis are going to be the same height and length (26" H x 5' L)

Video Guide: How to Measure Your Boat for a Bimini Top

Step-by-step installation instructions, watch how to install a bimini top, brace/rear strut kit.

Brace Kits hold your bimini top up and out of the way when folded. Braces also give your bimini a more stable position when open. Brace kits come with two braces and mounting hardware that works seamlessly with your bimini top. See image

Slide Tracks

Slide tracks mount to the gunwale of your boat and allow your bimini top to slide into a more convenient, horizontal storage position. Bimini top slide track kits come with two tracks and all the necessary mounting hardware. See image

Will my bimini top lay down flat?

Standard 2, 3, and 4 bow bimini tops come with mounting brackets that allow the bimini to lay flat when not in use. Optional Brace Kits are specifically designed to hold your bimini top up and out of the way when it's folded and not in use. As an alternative to braces, Slide Tracks allow a retracted bimini top to easily slide into storage position. Bimini top towers can also be folded down or removed for storage.

When I lay my bimini top down, where will it land on my boat?

When you lay your bimini top down, it will elongate. This is due to the way the metal bows nestle together. If you intend to fish from your boat while your bimini top is down—or if you have other equipment stored in your boat—this could cause an issue with space. Below we list each Carver bimini top height, and how long that top will be from the mounting point to the top of the canvas when it is laying down flat in your boat.

  • 30" Tall (5' Long) Bimini Top - 50" long when laying down
  • 36" Tall (6' Long) Bimini Top - 55" long when laying down
  • 36" Tall (8' Long) Bimini Top - 60" long when laying down
  • 42" Tall (5'6" Long) Bimini Top - 62 to 64” long when laying down
  • 46" Tall (6' Long) Bimini Top - 65" long when laying down
  • 48" Tall (8' Long) Bimini Top - 74" long when laying down
  • 54" Tall (6' Long) Bimini Top - 68" long when laying down
  • 54" Tall (8' Long) Bimini Top - 80" long when laying down
  • 60" Tall (6' Long) Bimini Top - 74" long when laying down
  • 60" Tall (8' Long) Bimini Top - 86" long when laying down

Can I replace the fabric portion only on my Bimini top?

Yes, you can replace the fabric portion on your bimini top! To find one that works for your boat, take a look at the Carver Replacement Canvas section in our bimini top accessories.

Carver's bimini top replacement canvases are made for pontoon bimini tops that measure 48" or 54" high and come in lengths of 8', 9', or 10'. The canvas is made to fit a bimini top that mounts to the boat somewhere between 91 and 102". The replacement canvas also comes with zippered sleeves and a cut-out for the running light, allowing you to easily fit it to the frame without having to remove anything.

How do I clean my bimini top?

When it comes to bimini top cleaning, there are several directions you can go. Below are two options that involve a combination of household ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.

- 1 cup Vinegar - 1 cup Borax - 2 cups warm water Mix and apply to mildew spots, letting it sit for no more than 10 minutes. Scrub with a soft bristle brush and rinse well, allowing the fabric to dry completely.

For General Cleaning

- ¼ cup Dawn dish soap - 1 gallon water Fully wet the fabric and then scrub it down with a soft brush or cloth, give it a good rinse, and allow the fabric to fully dry. Get tough spots clean with Fabric and Vinyl Cleaner Apply Fabric Guard to the clean, dry surface to protect the fabric from the elements and extend their life.

Put in washer and dryer Use powerful cleaners like bleach or detergent

If you're using your bimini top in saltwater, make sure to properly clean it after each saltwater outing to prevent rust or corrosion. To clean your bimini top after saltwater use, it's best to remember a few key points.

  • Hose it down to remove all traces of saltwater from the frame and canvas.
  • As described above, create a mild solution of dish soap and water, then use a soft brush to clean the bimini top frame.
  • You can also clean your bimini frame with a quality car chrome polish, followed by a fiberglass wax.
  • Steer clear of cleaners that contain chlorine or powders/pads that are made for scouring, as you don't want to scratch the frame.
  • You can use a commercial grade rust remover on your aluminum frame, so long as the rust remover is made specifically for aluminum.

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Boatman Marine Canvas

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Custom boat covers, interiors, and exterior upholstery, bimini tops,  carpet, seadek   , +1 405-628-7844, custom bimini tops.

At Boat Marine Canvas , we use the finest marine-grade materials to make custom Bimini tops for boats. Whether you need a brand-new Bimini top made from scratch or simply require fabric replacement, we have the expertise and materials to get the job done.

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Sunbrella Bimini Tops- Built to last

Quality has always been a key consideration for us, be it our upholstery , boat covers , or any other offering. Sunbrella fabric is well-known for its exceptional quality and performance. It offers a ten-year limited warranty, giving you the assurance that your investment is protected for the long haul, making it our choice of material for custom Bimini tops for boats.

Choose your style- Sunbrella fabric is not just about durability; it also offers customization. With a variety of styles and colors to choose from, you can select the perfect shade that you prefer for your boat.

Attention to detail- The material quality extends beyond the fabric. We pay attention to the details, ensuring that the Sunbrella boat Bimini tops are not just strong but also look great. To achieve this, we use matching Sunbrella edging, which not only enhances the aesthetics but also adds an extra layer of protection. It is after all the small touches like this that set our Bimini tops apart.

Durability- Durability is a key concern for boat Bimini tops, and we take it seriously. We use #10 zippers for all our Bimini tops. These zippers are known for their durability and reliability, ensuring your Bimini top lasts for a long time, and you enjoy shade for years to come.

Get Custom Bimini Tops at Boat Marine Canvas Today

Whether you need powerboat or sailboat Bimini tops or for any other vessel, we can make a Bimini top that fits your boat perfectly. We will work with you to design a custom Bimini top according to your requirements.

Do you have any unique requirements or special features you would like to add to your Bimini top? We are here to make it happen. Place your order for your Bimini top today, or contact us for discussing your requirements.

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  • How do you install snap-in boat carpets on my vessel? Our skilled and trained team is equipped with all the tools and equipment to install marine carpets in your vessels. ● Our installation process begins with precise measurements of the designated carpeted areas. ● Each carpet is meticulously cut to ensure an exact fit. ● The installation is secured using high-quality snap-in fasteners or adhesives. ● Our team makes minor adjustments to guarantee a polished and finished appearance.
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ShoreTex , formerly known as Shoremaster Fabric, features the largest line of true custom patterns that are specifically designed for your boat and its added features. They have been serving the marine industry since 1989, offering custom fitted boat covers and boat lift canopy covers. These top-quality, USA made boat covers can be used for mooring, travel, or simply storing on a trailer.

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Located in Chesnee, SC, CoversDirect® is America's trusted source for quality boat covers, Bimini tops, and other protective marine covers. For over 12 years, we have been in the business of providing our customers with the quality products they seek in a timely fashion.

Many of our products are in stock and will ship the same day they are ordered. If a product is not in stock, it will take some time to be made. Fast shipping via UPS or FedEx Ground is free within the contiguous US on all of our covers and Bimini tops! In stock covers and products manufactured by Carver Industries will ship from SC. ShoreTex replacement canopies and boat covers are custom-made and will ship from MN. Destinations within the US take 1-5 days in transit via UPS or FedEx.

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We are not a large call center, and it won't take 10 minutes to get your call routed to the right person. We are a small office with 9 employees. We sell boat covers and Bimini tops worldwide, and we know our product. Call us today and let us earn your business. We guarantee that you will not regret the decision.

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Since these items are a bit new to our extensive list of products, give us a call at  (855) 701-7017 if you don't see exactly what you're looking for! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you find what you need.

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Bimini Tops - Select Height 73" - 78" Width

  • Determine the height of the bimini top by measuring from the mounting point straight up with a tape measure.
  • Choose the ideal height to fit your needs.
  • A Center Console boat will need a taller bimini top, while a Ski Boat needs a shorter bimini top for a sleeker look and ride.
  • A boat with 30" side rails and a 48" tall bimini top would provide 78" of clearance.

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Kemimoto 4 Bow Bimini Top and Boat Bumper Review

Andy Husek    07.16.24

Kemimoto 4 Bow Bimini Top and Boat Bumper Review

Our boat is a mixture of a fishing boat and a family boat which both involve being out and exposed to the elements for prolonged periods of time.  To enhance our on the water experience with some shade and protection from Mother Nature, we decided to try the Kemimoto 4 Bow Bimini Top .  Before even ordering the top, I checked out some of the reviews online which made it seem like solid construction, easy install and a great value for the money.  

Ease of Installation

Any time you’re going to be drilling holes into your boat, there’s going to be some trepidation.  The paper instructions that came with the top were relatively vague given the flexibility of the install and the customization available to you.  The instructions pointed you online where there were some great resources that gave me the confidence I needed before getting the drill out.  Installation can always be an imposing task, but this top was extremely easy to put together.  Everything you needed in terms of hardware, brackets and even a screwdriver were included in the package which helped ensure things go smoothly. 

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We quickly put the top together and mounted the brackets using the instructions to guide placement.  The mounting brackets had a space molded into the bracket for the nut which prevented the nut from spinning and made installation even easier.  I had installed this while my boat was in the water and this small detail minimized the risk of dropping something in the water.  The brackets mounted easily and after some quick adjustments to the front straps, we were fully set up in about 45 minutes.  While not impossible to install by yourself, I’d recommend having an extra set of hands for placing the cover and checking for fit.

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Materials and Durability

The top itself strikes a balance between being durable and sturdy, while still being lightweight enough to move and store with ease.  The frame is all aluminum which makes it lightweight and easy to maneuver while still being very rigid.  All the mounting hardware was quality stainless steel and included very user-friendly quick release pins which are easy to use and lock into place.  Between the stainless hardware and marine grade aluminum frame, it is clear that this top was made with saltwater usage in mind.  The quick assembly and disassembly are especially useful for anyone that would remove the top and store it indoors when not in use.  The fabric is marine grade 600D polyester which is water resistant, UV resistant and tear resistant.  When folded up, the boot fit properly and had enough room where you didn’t have to fight to make it fit.  I recently had some custom canvas work done for a mooring cover and the craftsmanship of the seams and double stitching were of the same standard.

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Functionality and Performance

Once in place, we took the boat for a spin to see how the top would meet our needs and were immediately impressed.  We cruised at about 30 MPH and the top rode true with minimal chattering and shaking.  One of the things that stood out with the top was how tall it was, giving you full usage of the deck beneath it.  I’m 6’ tall and was able to fully stand up and still have plenty of clearance while under the top.  Some sunshades and camper tops in the market that we explored made the deck feel more enclosed whereas the Kemimoto was tall enough to feel open and still feel the breeze off the water. 

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In conclusion, the Kemi moto 4 Bow Bimini Top is well designed and highly functional.  It comes in at a price point that couldn’t be touched by a custom canvas shop, but still provides a similar level of quality and versatility.  The scariest part was the installation and with a little bit of pre-work online, you can minimize the risk and install with confidence.  For my usage case, this top provides a very cost-efficient way to be more comfortable and protected on the water.  I really liked the ability to quickly install/remove the top to best fit how we’re using the boat that day and the space provided by the height of the top.

I also received a set of flat Kemimoto boat fenders that were a huge surprise.  I’ve been boating for 40 years and in that time, there haven’t been any real innovations in boat fenders.  Due to their flat design, these fenders didn’t roll out of tight spaces after repeated compressions which really gives you peace of mind.  

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They also worked great to go around a piling to provide a softer cushion.  The Kemimoto bumpers don’t fully replace the common cylindrical fender but excel in some specific usages like rafting off with another boat and adding additional cushioning to specific areas along a dock.

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Both products can be found readily available on Amazon as well so it would be a great idea to head over there and take advantage of Amazon Prime Day.  You can find the bimini top and bumpers on Amazon at the links below!

Kemimoto 4 Bow Bimini Top

Keminoto Boat Fenders

OR…you can head directly to their Amazon store and check out all their great products from Off-Road, On-Road and Marine to specialized clothing and gear, definitely worth a look!

Kemimoto Amazon Store

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For more information on Kemimoto products you can  visit  their  official site   HERE .  Tons of great products and deals to be had just by becoming an official member.  You receive  exclusive member benefits  such as  points for gifts,  Kemimoto’s 13 th  anniversary sale coming in August and even 14% off & 200 points right now just for signing up!  Head on over to their REWARDS  page to see all the member benefits.

Avatar Author ID 632 - 779481752

Andy has been a lifelong Outdoorsman and has hunted and fished all over the world but his home state of Michigan is near and dear to his heart. He grew up fishing the Great Lakes and mostly hunted waterfowl and small game until his teenage years when he quickly became an avid big game hunter and embraced the art of long range shooting. With the help of several long range courses he has become proficient at shooting out to 1,000 yards with his longest confirmed shots being in excess of 1,700 yards. He has hunted North America from the northernmost parts of Alaska to the southernmost parts of Florida and everywhere in between. He has even made the trip across the pond several times to hunt in Africa. When he is not hunting or fishing he is coaching travel softball and watching his two daughters play the sports they love. In between hunts and when they have a break from sports he and his family enjoy spending time outdoors in the beautiful state of Michigan skiing, boating and camping.

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Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race: Storm snaps masts, tosses sailor into Lake Michigan

A fast-moving summer storm Saturday night on Lake Michigan left carnage in its path after three huge sailboats snapped masts and a fourth boat had to rescue a man after he fell overboard, all in the middle of the night under total darkness during the first day of the Chicago to Mackinac race .

“It was about 11:30 Eastern Time and we outpaced a couple storms. The team was getting ready … when a squall hit us. The wind picked up from about 18 knots to over 30 knots and shifted 80 degrees,” Skip Dieball, 53, of Wilmette, Illinois, a tactician racing on the 52-foot Usual Suspects, said on Sunday. “Sometimes in the daytime, you can see some of the shifts coming, the wind pattern on the water. But it was so dark we couldn’t see anything. We told each other we would prepare early. We were, and it just came really fast.”

Disaster was averted after Madcap, a Santa Cruz 52 owned and skippered by John Hoskins, responded to a man overboard report from Callisto, a J/125 owned and skippered by Jim Murray. Both boats resumed racing the 333-statute-mile (289-nautical-mile) race without injury.

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In addition to Usual Suspects, owned by Eric Wynsma, masts broke on the 65-foot Sagamore owned by Laura and Tone Martin, along with the 45-foot Sapphire, owned by Robert Radway. No injuries were reported, according to Laura Muma, communications director for the Chicago to Mackinac race.

Despite being on high alert to take down sails, the demasting events were intense.

‘Loud as the loudest thunder’

As soon as the mast snapped, Dieball said the crew started doing a head count to be certain all 13 sailors were still onboard. The rig could have come down on the crew if they had been in their normal stations, but they were scattered. While the mast “broke violently,” Dieball said, “it did not come down violently.”

The race boat, with its custom carbon fiber mast, strong and light but brittle, is designed for high-performance racing and often used in America’s Cup races.

When the mast broke, it sounded like a “crack of thunder” immediately overhead, Dieball said. “It’s as loud as the loudest thunder.”

When the mast settled, the crew had to rapidly assess next steps. The biggest fear is that the broken mast will bang against the boat and puncture a hole, Dieball said. A mast on a boat that size can be 60 or 70 feet tall, he said.

“Part of your safety equipment is having cutting devices that get the mast away from the boat. The mast had broken in three different spots and it was time to start cutting things away,” Dieball said. “Carbon fiber, in many ways, is sharper than steel. We had to make sure no one was in a spot where one of the pieces would actually cut them.”

So sailors took out cutting tools and knives they’re required to carry as part of the racing protocol — and sliced away rigging as fast as possible, letting material sink into the water.

‘Survival mode’

Skipper Eric Wynsma, a real estate developer from Grand Rapids, had three of his grown kids racing, too. This was his 25th Chicago to Mackinac race.

“We were just in survival mode,” Dieball said, cutting away for about 30 minutes. “After the (storm) cell went through, the wind died off. So it wasn’t like we were battling elements. We were into the race about nine hours, finishing about a third of the course, and we returned to Muskegon.”

After stabilizing the situation, the Usual Suspects crew contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and reported debris in the water. The race boat didn’t need assistance once the rigging was cut away, Dieball said. They made certain nothing was wrapped around the propeller and Usual Suspects spent the next three hours motoring back, arriving about 5 a.m.

No one was freaking out, Dieball said. “It was all business.”

The costly damage prevents Usual Suspects from racing the Bayview Mackinac race from Port Huron to Mackinac, which starts Saturday.

Fast Tango fights DeTour

Tim Prophit , of St. Clair Shores, owner and skipper of the 40-foot Fast Tango, didn’t get slammed by the storm, but his nine-member crew prepared by making sail changes and reefing the main sail for better control.

“All of a sudden, the waves felt different, a different pattern, a different height. And the temps dropped,” he said Sunday while racing. “We were paying very close attention to the weather.”

Fast Tango won its class and placed second overall in the Chicago to Mackinac race last year, and was the overall winner in the Port Huron to Mackinac race.

This year, Fast Tango is battling the 34-foot DeTour, owned by Chuck Stormes, of Grosse Pointe Farms, no stranger to winning class and overall trophies.

Christy Storms said early Sunday afternoon she couldn’t look at the tracker to see how her husband was doing. It made her crazy. She didn’t know there had been a storm, she said, thank God, or she would have been worried sick.

“This is the first year I’ve been trying to not stalk him,” she said. “It’s tough looking every minute. It just makes me crazy.”

Family members are known to sleep with their phones under their pillows, call and text each other every hour through the night until the race is finished.In years past, Christy Storms said, “it was like crack. It just make me so anxious.”

So, she went online, noticed he was doing great, took a snapshot of the tracker, put her phone down and went to bed with their 11-year-old dog Striker.

Early Monday, Prophit confirmed that Fast Tango won first in class against 11 competitors. They crossed the finish line in 41 hours, 59 minutes, 47 seconds.

Chaos on other boats, too

Following the storm, 15- to 20-knot southerly winds continued to propel the 247-boat fleet north, Muma said in the race update.

While mast loss made headlines with sailing reporters, other boats had serious issues that went unreported. And they kept going, hoping for the best.

Mark DenUyl, of Marysville, Michigan, owner and skipper of the 34.5-foot Good Lookin’, watched his carbon fiber bowsprit snap in half during the high winds right about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Now it’s held together with electrical tape and sail tape.

Crew member Brennan Churchill, 22, texted his dad at home in Kimball, Michigan, with an update on the damaged equipment used to extend the sail, so it captures more wind.

“He knew better than to tell his mother,” Tracy Heany Churchill said Sunday. “He knows I go into freakout mode.”

Ron Churchill always sails with his son, who won his first Mackinac race at age 15, but Ron couldn’t leave work as a senior operations manager for a natural gas storage facility to do both the Chicago and Port Huron races to Mackinac.

“I feel like I’m lost right now. I just feel like I’m supposed to be there,” Ron Churchill said Sunday.

Brennan Churchill described the boat tipping so far to one side that the crew was in waist-deep water, his father said. “Everybody stayed on the boat. Water was washing over them.”

The sudden gust of wind created such force that it likely flexed and snapped, he said. As a result of the damage, the crew held steady until daylight to try and figure out what to do, Churchill said. “They did a good job with just staying composed and keeping the boat moving well.”

On Monday morning, Good Lookin’ crossed the finish line in third in class against a dozen other J/105 boats despite damage to critical equipment.

Cara DenUyl and her 19-year-old daughter, Riley, woke up at 5:30 a.m. Monday to watch online the Good Lookin’ finish. “It was a nail-biter. It was close between second and third. They were in second place at 2 a.m. Sunday, when that storm hit. Then they fell back all the way to seventh place. At the time, we didn’t know the storm had hit. Somehow they got everything fixed enough to keep going, thankfully. I feel relief that they made the podium.”

‘Breathtaking’ speed

With storms come great wind. Or, in sailor speak, great air.

Winn Soldani, race chair of the Chicago to Mackinac race, said this weekend’s storms brought “epic” conditions that weather models predicted, which is important for safety.

“We’re watching boats going 20 knots, or about 23 mph, and it’s breathtaking,” Soldani told Shifting Gears from the finish line near the Mission Point hotel on Mackinac Island on Sunday.

“When the squalls hit, the wind changed direction very rapidly, from out of the south to out of the west, at 33 to 35 mph,” he said. “Some of these sails are the size of tennis courts. They’re huge. So this changes pressure on the mast.”

That’s what causes masts to snap, Soldani said. Strict safety protocols protect the 2,200 sailors racing this year, and that’s why they’re required to wear special tracking devices on their bodies at all times.

Storm winds create record-setting conditions

As a result of the strong winds, this race broke the speed record.

The 80-foot Maverick finished in 22 hours, 24 minutes, 23 seconds, breaking a record set 22 years ago by 66 minutes, 11 seconds. 

Sanford Burris, of Kirtland, Ohio, sailed with his sons and friends on the carbon fiber Andrews 80 they have spent the past three years upgrading, according to Muma. The 20-person crew included Rodney Keenan, founder of Evolution Sails.

“The team celebrated briefly as the Maverick team crossed the race to Mackinac finish line between Mackinac Island and the Round Island lighthouse … and then kept on sailing,” said the Chicago to Mackinac news release.

Maverick is one of 25 sailboats registered for this year’s “Super Mac” race, a combination of the Chicago Mackinac and the Bayview Mackinac races, which means they will continue into Lake Huron, heading south to Port Huron, for a total of 565 statute miles (495 nautical miles).

More: Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Co. sells to Florida billionaire

Phoebe Wall Howard, a Free Press auto reporter for nearly seven years, now writes a column on car culture, consumer trends and life that will appear periodically on  Freep.com  and in print. Those columns and others will appear on her Substack at  https://phoebewallhoward.substack.com/about  Contact her at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race: Storm snaps masts, tosses sailor into Lake Michigan

Sagamore, a 65-foot sailboat owned by Tone and Laura Martin, broke a mast during the 115th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust that began on Saturday, July 13, 2024.

  • boat accident

Good Samaritan pulls 4 from water, but 1 missing after tugboat submerges, Coast Guard says

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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Authorities are searching for one person who went missing after a tugboat flipped over in east Harris County waters on Friday afternoon.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, five people were aboard the tugboat when it flipped over just before 3 p.m. at the 16500 block of Peninsula Boulevard near San Jacinto Boulevard.

Four out of five people were recovered from the water and stabilized.

A Coast Guard helicopter and boats are searching for the missing person with a Harris County dive team.

The USCG credited a good Samaritan with helping recover the four rescued passengers.

For news updates, follow Luke Jones on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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Called to get 10% military discount, guy on phone, thank you! Fabric good

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    Bimini's. A bimini for your sail boat is the perfect protection against the elements; wind, rain, sun or mosquitoes. Be comfortable in your yacht at anytime, anywhere. ... Hallett Zip Top Sail covers are integrated to a lazy jack system to allow the mainsail to drop into the cover, then zip the top up and you're done. It's that easy!

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    Bimini Tops. Add comfort to your time on the water by choosing the best bimini top for your boat. Bimini covers for boats add coverage, shade and protection from light rains to your helm while retaining air flow and visibility from the cockpit. Before you buy, make sure you measure your space and know what materials will suit your needs best.

  4. Bimini Tops

    The iboats.com BiminiFinder - the best way to find the right bimini top for your boat! Welcome to iboats.com, the largest online retailer of quality boat bimini tops. We carry durable, made-to-order biminis and ready-made tops. Each top is crafted with your choice of marine-grade fabrics, such as canvas, polyester, vinyl or Sunbrella®.

  5. 6 Best Bimini Tops for Boats

    6. 4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover. An advantage of this 4 Seasons is its anodized aluminum frame, which is proof that the structure is sturdy and durable. If you want to replace the poles with straps, you can do it. However, keep in mind that it is the poles that provide extra stability.

  6. Premium Sailboat Bimini Top Stainless Steel

    The Oceansouth Stainless Steel Sailboat Bimini is a robust and high-quality canopy designed for yachts, sailboats and larger motorboats. With its trim design and Ø1" 316 stainless steel frame, this Bimini provides robust yet reliable shade and protection for your boating adventures. Advanced Materials: Durability Guaranteed.

  7. Bimini Tops

    We stock 2 and 3 bow round tube bimini tops and 4 bow square tube biminis all with a focus on durability, long life and style. There is simply no better boat canopy available today. Please call us if you need help selecting your bimini, our fit experts are happy to help! 800.616.0599.

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    When searching for a boat Bimini top, you'll also need to decide what area of the craft you want to be covered. Our Bimini top for boats selections come in a variety of sizes, ranging from five to ten feet. Six-foot long tops are the most common length in use. To measure properly, find the midpoint of the area you want to be covered.

  9. Shop Bimini Tops For Boats + Free Shipping

    A Bimini top is a folding canvas or fabric canopy that is supported by an aluminum metal frame and attached to the upper structure of a boat or yacht. Typically, Bimini tops are positioned over the helm or seating area to provide protection from the sun, light rain, and other elements.

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    Beyond functionality, our Bimini Boat Tops boast a sleek and modern design that complements any vessel. The aluminum frame exudes a contemporary look while seamlessly integrating with your boat's overall aesthetics. Choose from our selection of sizes to find the perfect fit for your maritime companion.

  11. Boat Bimini Tops

    Below we list each Carver bimini top height, and how long that top will be from the mounting point to the top of the canvas when it is laying down flat in your boat. 30" Tall (5' Long) Bimini Top - 50" long when laying down. 36" Tall (6' Long) Bimini Top - 55" long when laying down.

  12. Bimini Boat Tops

    4 Bow Bimini Top - 8ft. From: $ 150.99. Select. Stay shaded and comfortable with our Bimini Boat Tops. Find a variety of durable and stylish options for your boating needs.

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    SKI TOWER BIMINI TOP; T-TOP; BIMINI CANVAS; BIMINI BOOT; BOAT COVERS; Boat Biminis. Change Selection: GO. Boat Biminis 72" LONG, 36" HIGH, Fits 54"- 60" WIDE. please wait... REVIEWS. 156K+ 98% of customers rate this company 4-or 5 stars Phyllis L. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Verified Customer. Very easy, glad we went with National. Sonny S. ★ ...

  14. Amazon.com: Bimini Tops

    KEMIMOTO Bimini Top for Boat, 3 Bow 4 Bow Bimini Tops Cover 600D Marine Grade Canvas Boat Canopy with 6-8ft Length 54" - 96" Width, Includes Mounting Hardware, 2 Straps 2 Rear Support Poles. 4.6 out of 5 stars. 273. $134.99 $ 134. 99. FREE delivery Fri, Aug 2 . Add to cart-Remove

  15. Taylor Made Boat Parts & Accessories

    Bimini Tops. Looking to upgrade your shade? Our complete lineup of bimini tops features multiple configurations and sizes to match any boat. All Taylor Made bimini tops are made from marine-grade canvas and come in a variety of colors. From complete kits to replacement bimini tops and hardware, Taylor Made premium shade solutions have you covered.

  16. Top-Quality Custom Bimini Tops

    Sunbrella Bimini Tops- Built to last. Quality has always been a key consideration for us, be it our upholstery, boat covers, or any other offering. Sunbrella fabric is well-known for its exceptional quality and performance. It offers a ten-year limited warranty, giving you the assurance that your investment is protected for the long haul ...

  17. Boat Covers & Bimini Tops for your Boat or Pontoon

    Carver Industries has over 30 years of experience producing custom covers for boats and Bimini tops. All of their products are designed and engineered in Landrum, South Carolina and production takes place in Carver's state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. They are an industry leader in quality, performance and customer service.

  18. Bimini Tops 61"

    Quality Bimini Tops for your Bimini Tops 61" - 66" Width x 56" - 60" Height boat. Save 40% or more at iboats.com. Wide variety of colors and fabrics for all climates. Our bimini tops offer superior protection and are built to last.

  19. Amazon.com: Sunbrella Bimini Tops For Boats

    KEMIMOTO Bimini Top for Boat, 3 Bow 4 Bow Bimini Tops Cover 600D Marine Grade Canvas Boat Canopy with 6-8ft Length 54" - 96" Width, Includes Mounting Hardware, 2 Straps 2 Rear Support Poles. 4.6 out of 5 stars. 273. $119.99 $ 119. 99. FREE delivery Tue, Jul 30 . Add to cart-Remove.

  20. 73"

    A Center Console boat will need a taller bimini top, while a Ski Boat needs a shorter bimini top for a sleeker look and ride. A boat with 30" side rails and a 48" tall bimini top would provide 78" of clearance. Select Your Bimini Top Height: 30" - 36" Height Bimini Tops. Ideal for:

  21. Kemimoto 4 Bow Bimini Top and Boat Bumper Review

    Kemimoto 4 Bow Bimini Top. Keminoto Boat Fenders. OR…you can head directly to their Amazon store and check out all their great products from Off-Road, On-Road and Marine to specialized clothing ...

  22. 15 Ft ROW BOAT WITH BIMINI TOP

    Row Boat in great condition with Bimini Top Fiberglass boat I do have few motors if you want to put a small Yamaha or Tohatsu on the back Please see photos for details comes with ropes, floats, oars and oarlocks perfect boat for any lake, creek, or river top capacity is 5 people I have title for skiff and can write you a bill or sale

  23. Bimini Tops for Boats

    Bimini Tops. Add comfort to your time on the water by choosing the best bimini top for your boat. Bimini covers for boats add coverage, shade and protection from light rains to your helm while retaining air flow and visibility from the cockpit. Before you buy, make sure you measure your space and know what materials will suit your needs best.

  24. Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race: Storm snaps masts, tosses sailor

    Maverick is one of 25 sailboats registered for this year's "Super Mac" race, a combination of the Chicago Mackinac and the Bayview Mackinac races, which means they will continue into Lake ...

  25. Amazon.com: Bimini Tops For Boats

    KEMIMOTO Bimini Top for Boat, 3 Bow 4 Bow Bimini Tops Cover 600D Marine Grade Canvas Boat Canopy with 6-8ft Length 54" - 96" Width, Includes Mounting Hardware, 2 Straps 2 Rear Support Poles. 4.6 out of 5 stars. 271. $89.99 $ 89. 99. FREE delivery Mon, Jul 8 . Add to cart-Remove +6 colors/patterns.

  26. Amazon.com: Seamander 4 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover Sun Shade Boat Canopy

    Bimini top cover made from marine-grade 600D canvas that comes with a PU coating, providing the best protection from the weather, UV rays, dirt, and debris ; To provide maximum support, the framework is constructed from 1inch diameter aluminum. The aluminum is rust resistant and durable, enabling it to resist the weather and rough conditions ...

  27. Harris County water search: 1 missing, 4 rescued after tugboat flips

    A Coast Guard helicopter and boats are searching for the missing person with a Harris County dive team. ... Top Stories. Houston lawmaker, US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, has died at 74.

  28. Select Bimini Top by Boat Style

    Boat Bimini Tops Selection, boat bimini top, pontoon bimini top, ski tower biminis, bimini replacement canvas CALL 800.616.0599 - OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 0

  29. 2024 Sunchaser Vista 18 Fish

    8' 5" Bimini Top Aluminum 5 Step Ladder Low Back Helm Seat ****BOAT PICTURED MAY HAVE OPTIONS SHOWN NOT INCLUDED STANDARD IN BASE PRICE. CALL OR TEXT WITH ANY QUESTIONS** FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CALL ====Derek 503-957-9859==== We offer financing and welcome trades!

  30. 15 Foot SKI ROW BOAT WITH BIMINI TOP

    Row Boat in great condition with Bimini Top Fiberglass boat I do have few motors if you want to put a small Yamaha or Tohatsu on the back Please see photos for details comes with ropes, floats, oars and oarlocks perfect boat for any lake, creek, or river top capacity is 5 people I have title for skiff and can write you a bill or sale