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Xticee

Homemade Bimini tops

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Xticee

Let me start off by saying I'm stoked! I just found the site. Man, I thought Wakerides was the end of MBO, I'm glad to have found what seems to be the old crew still intact!

Anyhow, I need a bimini for next season, but can't believe the price of the available options. No doubt they are good products, but does a bimini really need to cost $700+? I gotta believe there's a better/cheaper way to design/make a top on my own. Anyone out there done this or have any sugestions? I have the Skylon Swoop tower and want to mount the bimini to that w/no straps to the boat. So far I'm thinking of a "T-top" design, like you see on big water fishing boats.

Thanks for any help!

Jay

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D-GOOSE
Welcome.gif and glad you found your way over. Have you checked out overton? or a local shop.

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Xticee

Done both. Overtons doesn't have what I'm looking for and what they do have would need to be modified anyhow. I checked w/my dealer today and the gut at the parts desk was pretty useless. Said they don't do much with biminis and had no advice or recommendations to give. Surprising to me, they are a strong, respected dealer here in Michigan. Any how a local canvas shop quoted me $700 for one with straps. Nothing that mounted to the tower directly.

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obski

Welcome (back).

Check out this thread. Slurpee just replaced his bimini with one from towerbimini.com. I'm not sure of the cost. You could check with him, but it is a nice looking product.

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Texasguy

I tried that link, turns out it is towerbiminis.com it needed an s on the end of bimini. It's not rocket science. Try to look at as many pictures as you can and then you will be on the Quest For Parts. Ask around where they get the brackets, pipes etc, and Sunbrella fabric is easy to come by.

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Xticee

Thanks guys! I've done a bit of research already and found this site for parts:

http://www.newjsi.com/bimini_fittings.aspx

Seems to be cheaper than Overtons, plus they will cut & bend tubing to spec.

I had found another site with more fittings and options, but lost the link and can't remember the name. Cry.gif

My local canvas shop will make a 6'x5' sunbrella top for around $100, stills seems expensive, but since I can't sew, I'm stuck. I priced the parts for a Towerbinini type design and it was $175 before tower clamps. Tower clamps about $200 for 4. So that route I'm looking at $475 before time & labor and any screw ups. Would make sense to just pony up the extra cash to get the Towerbimini. GOtta be a cheaper way, it's the clamps that are most expensive. I'm not opposed to tapping into the tower to mount directly w/o clamps. I'm just not sure I've figured out the best design for doing so though.

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Daniel

Another member (rbh98) and I are on the same quest. Our plan is to mimic the tower bimini as much as we can. We are planning on using electrical conduit for our tubing, and having it powdercoated black when we finish. We have people in the family that can sew so that is not a problem. I'm planning on using nylon bimini fittings that I purchased from Bass Pro Shop. The one thing that we are struggling with is how to attach it to the tower. I really don't want something that is going to look half @$$, but we haven't been able to find a decent clamp that is reasonably priced. We've found something else that we may try this weekend, so if it works, I'll post back on here.

BTW, I think I have $20-$25 in fittings, and will have 3-10' sticks of conduit at $3-$4 each. After powdercoating and buying the sunbrella, I will still be WAY under the cost of having one made.

Daniel

Edited by Daniel

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obski

There was someone who made their own bimini on the old MBO that turned out pretty nice. You can see it here.

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obski

Here's another do it yourself job that looks kind of ghetto, but cheap and functional from diytower.com. On the link if it asks for a password just click cancel.

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Chia

here is a couple of homemade bimini's. maybe the ideas can be modified to the titan.

http://bierbower.net/diytower/Todd%20R%20F...ss%20Bimini.jpg

http://bierbower.net/diytower/Sunshade%20Canopy.doc

not sure if you want to copy a design that is being used on a bayliner, but it might give you some ideas.

Here is a set of six tower clamps (for strapless design), not sure of the cost

http://www.proflighttowers.com

These billet clamps are the best deal but it doesn't look like they have them in 2-1/4"

http://www.daymotorsports.com/product/22/c/13#

welcome and good luck, post a pic of the final product.

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vette-ski

Sorry I can't help w/ the bimini, but I just wanted to say welcome from someone just down the road. What lakes do you normally hit? I'm a stones throw from Woodland, but trailer all over. We'll have to all get together next summer. Sadly, my season ended a few weeks ago. There's others on this site from Howell too.

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chathamsolutions

Welcome to the site.

I've got a friend who has a bimini that he got from the factory (Great Lake Company), and it's supposed to be OEM for his tower.

IT'S BEEN A NIGHTMARE! Scratches all over his tower, becuase it didn't fit just right, and a nightmare using it.

I can totally appreciate working to save a buck, but think about the potential issues you'll have with a piece of equipment that will probabaly look hokie and work marginally.

My $.02

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SacRiverRat

Maybe if you can duplicate an existing bimini that would fit would help with the risk of having to make trial and error. Bending tube is pretty tough to get it just to the right place, and keep things parallel etc..

Best of luck -

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Daniel

In my situation, I'm fighting an uphill battle. My wife doesn't even want a bimini top, she goes to the lake for the sun, so $700 for a bimini just ain't gonna happen. Plus, I like doing things myself.

If it looks hokie, it's not going on my boat. I'm cheap, but I'm anal.

Daniel

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chathamsolutions
had another look at this pic. it might work for the titan (assuming that is what you have) if you made it kinda like a beanie cap to fit over the top and down the sides. Wouldn't have to go down too far to give you the effect. You are just using the tower as your frame.

http://bierbower.net/diytower/Todd%20R%20F...ss%20Bimini.jpg

OK, that's a cool idea.

But the OP has a swoop. I don't think it would work.

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trace

my tower is very much like a swoop, and i modified a standard bimini for it about 3 seasons ago. i bought a standard 6' long Sunbrella bimini and some fixed rear support legs from some place online. i'm pretty sure i bought the narrowest or maybe second-narrowest size bimini to fit between the tower legs at the height i wanted. i cut about 8" off the bottom legs to achieve that height. figure out the height you want first, because the higher it is the less sun it blocks. the also just look better when lower IMO. i can't stand up straight under mine, but it shades a LOT of the interior, and looks good.

i riveted clevises on the back legs for the rear supports, and cut the supports to a length that put the bimini at the angle i wanted. i made the lower mounts, but you could easily rivet some lower mounts in place as well. look at the bimini hardware on westmarine.com for some ideas.

the front is held down by straps double-wrapped around the lower hoops of the tower. i considered hard-mounting the front too, but the double wrap allows me to pull the top REALLY tight with minimal effort.

also, FWIW, clamps are nice, but i thought the rivets looked much cleaner. also, rivets are absolutely the best way to attach things to a blind hole - WAY better than screws. the SS ones will support surprisingly heavy loads, even in tension. i wouldn't use rivets to mount speakers, but i have full confidence in them for pretty much anything else.

here's a pic, and there are several more here:

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tracetrimble/album?.dir=bd9f

bimini.jpg

Edited by trace

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Daniel

Trace, that looks good.

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rbh98

As far as homemade here it is. These are some pictures i took with my phone, but I think you can make it out. This is the rear hoop that connects to the tower I am working on the front hoop that will attach to the front legs of my tower. Right now I have about thirty dollars in it....ps everything I used came from Lowes...

abi7sy.th.jpg

abim3pt.th.jpg

abimi0ww.th.jpg

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itch

rbh

Looks great I will need to do that we could afford the boat just not all the accessories.

Keep taken pictures I might need em this winter while the boat sits in th garage.

itch

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rbh98

I just finished my bimini top. (As far as framework goes) I picked up some material at a local fabric store its kinda like sunbrella, but it will need to be waterproofed. For six dollars a yard I think it will be fine. All in all I've got about sixty dollars in it!

I'll try to post pics later..

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commodore

Bumping this thread up from wayy back.

Anybody done this before? Worth it?

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ColinP

I'm pretty good with my hands and I learned from experience that making a bimini that looks legit is not an easy task because it really is an artform!

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Bill_AirJunky

I came up with a design, even bought some parts. But haven't pulled the trigger yet. I currently have a below the tower bimini & four 8" speakers on the tower. Thinkin of removing the tower speakers & going with an above the tower bimini.

Heres a mockup of what I'd go for.... top to bottom, before, naked & after:

bimini3.jpg

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