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wakeboarder3780

Help Identifying My Bimini

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wakeboarder3780

Hey guys I bought my boat used and it came with the bimini pictured below. I can't seem to find a way to install it on my rack such that it folds up in place. Does anyone recognize this bimini just by looking at it? Does anyone know if it's possible to install it in such a way that it folds up? Feel pretty stupid posting this, but I'm giving up trying to figure it out on my own. I'd like to actually use it this season if possible, but need to be able to fold it up for trailer travel / cooler days.

IMG_1025.JPG

IMG_1024.JPG

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SunriseH2OSkier

Looks just like mine, same tower too. Mine was made by Great Lakes Bimini. You are going to need to shorten the main bow legs (telescoping legs, clamps at the mid point of the main bow) each time you want to stow it. You should be able to stand it up under the tower, and strap it to the cross members that attach the front hoop of the tower to the rear hoop.

edit: just reading your post again, not sure you'll be able to stow it "in place". I have to disconnect mine from the front tower hoop to stow it, as the rear bow won't fold forward and fit between the front tower hoop.

Edited by SunriseH2OSkier

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wakeboarder3780

Sunrise. If I understand you correctly, to stow you would do the following:

1) Loosen telescoping leg on bimini by turning the black plastic dials.

2) Remove the thumb screws holding the bimini to the front tower hoop.

3) Shorten telescoping legs to collapse all bimini hoops together, then lift bimini to the point where the front and rear *tower* hoop meet.

4) Strap the bimini to this point on the tower.

If this is correct I have 2 questions.

A) On my bimini, I tried loosening the black plastic knobs on my bimini and it didn't seem to want to move. I then noticed what looked like a pop rivet that looked like it was pinning the bimini in place. Do you have this rivet? I will try more forcefully to move it tonight, but I'm wondering if someone didn't get tired of the telescoping functionality and decided to rivet it in place?

B) How do you "strap" the bimini up in that location? Do you have some sort of straps that came with the bimini or did you purchase something aftermarket? I don't currently have any straps, just a zippered sleeve to hold all of the metal bimini hoops together.

Edited for clarity

Edited by wakeboarder3780

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Love2Ride

Hey man. I have the same bimini also. I'll see if I can get a few pictures and upload them tonight. My telescoping poles were a little difficult at first (I had to remove one completely and essentially sand the inside cause a burr or something was not allowing it to move).

I'll see what I can get you here soon.

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SunriseH2OSkier

Sunrise. If I understand you correctly, to stow you would do the following:

1) Loosen telescoping leg on bimini by turning the black plastic dials.

2) Remove the thumb screws holding the bimini to the front tower hoop.

3) Shorten telescoping legs to collapse all bimini hoops together, then lift bimini to the point where the front and rear *tower* hoop meet.

4) Strap the bimini to this point on the tower.

Yup, that is exactly what I do.

If this is correct I have 2 questions.

A) On my bimini, I tried loosening the black plastic knobs on my bimini and it didn't seem to want to move. I then noticed what looked like a pop rivet that looked like it was pinning the bimini in place. Do you have this rivet? I will try more forcefully to move it tonight, but I'm wondering if someone didn't get tired of the telescoping functionality and decided to rivet it in place?

B) How do you "strap" the bimini up in that location? Do you have some sort of straps that came with the bimini or did you purchase something aftermarket? I don't currently have any straps, just a zippered sleeve to hold all of the metal bimini hoops together.

Edited for clarity

A) I'll have to look at my fittings when I get home tonight, but I don't recall a pop rivet being there. IIRC, the telescoping clamp fitting is secured to the bimini bow with a set screw. It can be a little bit difficult to collapse/telescope the legs given the angle that each side of the bimini is at. You do have to push a bit to get it started, but generally I find that once it is sliding, it moves pretty easy.

B) My bimini has a cover that zips on. The cover has integrated nylon straps with quick-release buckles. Those straps happen to line up perfectly where the front and rear tower hoops meet.

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wakeboarder3780

Thanks for all the help guys. I'm pretty on the fence whether I want to keep it installed. I didn't use it at all last year (took it off since I didn't know how to collapse it) and the only time I missed it was the family weekend we have up at the cabin where I drive for people all day for 2 days straight (get a little sun burnt on those days).

How often do you guys use your bimini? Another thing I noticed last night when I had it up that it didn't even cast a shadow on me, but it was at night time so obviously the sun wasn't high in the sky. For you folks that have bimini's when you use them are they a super nice option? If you were me what would you do seeing as how I will likely only use it once a year?

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Love2Ride

Thanks for all the help guys. I'm pretty on the fence whether I want to keep it installed. I didn't use it at all last year (took it off since I didn't know how to collapse it) and the only time I missed it was the family weekend we have up at the cabin where I drive for people all day for 2 days straight (get a little sun burnt on those days).

How often do you guys use your bimini? Another thing I noticed last night when I had it up that it didn't even cast a shadow on me, but it was at night time so obviously the sun wasn't high in the sky. For you folks that have bimini's when you use them are they a super nice option? If you were me what would you do seeing as how I will likely only use it once a year?

We use ours a good bit. The only beef I have with our bimini setup is that it is so low. I wish i could fit it up closer to the speakers so we weren't hitting our heads on it all the freaking time!

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SunriseH2OSkier

Depends on the sun. If we are going to be out on the lake for more than an hour during a hot, sunny day, we absolutely use it. We find it provides a nice place to get out of the direct sun for a bit of a break - especially for the kids. It doesn't have the greatest coverage, but I find it is more than sufficient. I like the looks better than an Over-the-top bimini, but I will say I have hit my head on it a couple times - which ain't a lot of fun.

One other question for you - do you have the quick connect mounts at the rear legs of the bimini? These ball/socket mounts make it very convenient to remove the bimini when you don't want it. Pull a pin on each side, and the top comes off. Sort of renders the question of whether or not to keep it installed moot.

If you are thinking you might try to sell it, I'll just caution you that it is not a terribly easy accessory to move. This type of top tends to be very dimensionally sensitive. Just because it fits your Titan 3 does not mean it will fit everyone's Titan 3. Unless someone else has the same boat/tower, it probably won't fit. Shipping is generally gonna be ugly, because you end up with a fairly big box. As a result, you won't get nearly as much for it as it would cost you to replace it, should you ever decide to do so.

My recommendation whether you use it or not would be to keep it. If it isn't collapsing because of some rivets, I'd work to fix that - shouldn't be a lot of money to do so, and you should find it to be much more convenient to use. In the end, having the bimini will add value to the boat if/when you go sell it.

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jk13

IMG_1025.JPG

Here:

And looking at your picture with the bimini in place it looks like you will have to be careful not to overtighten the rear straps to keep from bending the new poles once they are installed.

Trying to help locate replacement tubes today--otherwise maybe call Great Lakes and see if they will do anything for you?

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BG2085

if you dont decide to keep it i may be interested in buying it from you. anyone think i would have a problem mounting it to a titan 1? thanks

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wakeboarder3780

Here:

And looking at your picture with the bimini in place it looks like you will have to be careful not to overtighten the rear straps to keep from bending the new poles once they are installed.

Trying to help locate replacement tubes today--otherwise maybe call Great Lakes and see if they will do anything for you?

You the man J! good call on the straps, I'll make sure that aren't too tight. Let me know if you find anything locally, I was going to call around tonight when I got home as well. Probably finish cleaning the interior and put my batteries back in tonight. I can see some open water! I'm getting antsy!

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jk13

You the man J! good call on the straps, I'll make sure that aren't too tight. Let me know if you find anything locally, I was going to call around tonight when I got home as well. Probably finish cleaning the interior and put my batteries back in tonight. I can see some open water! I'm getting antsy!

My guy doesn't have anything like that. Call the local boat dealer or Great Lakes. Otherwise I found this, which is the same diameter and wall thickness as your bent ones. Figured I'd put it here in case anyone else needs some:

http://www.sailrite.com/Tubing-Aluminum-3-4

Open water? I don't think your boat could turn around in the 50 yards of open water I see from the bridge. Might be time to invest in a winch if your that antsy. :lol:

Gonna snow again anyway. It always does. :(

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SunriseH2OSkier

The bimini should fit any tower between the specs below..

68"-73" front spread from tower mount to mount

80"-85" rear spread from tower mount to mount

That does't jive with my experience, Brett. The front bow of this type of bimini has to be closely matched to the width of the tower hoop given the way the mounting system works.

I bought my bimini from another member here. As I recall, he had a TIII on a Sunsetter, which had a wider spread on the front hoop than my RLXi (I don't recall the exact difference in dimensions, but I don't recall it being 5" bigger, probably more like 2"-3"). When I contacted Great Lakes Bimini with the specifics of the two boats/towers, they wouldn't commit that the bimini would fit due to dimensions. I decided that based on the price break (it was a new, never used top, price was half what I would have had to pay from GLB), I decided to take the chance anyway.

I was able to make it fit, but I had to remove 3" from the center of the front bow to do so. It mounts a bit awkwardly to the front hoop legs, and the bimini material is somewhat bunched at the front, but not too bad. Interestingly, I have to spread the rear bow to the limit to reach the width of the rear tower hoop - probably due largely to the 3" I had to take out of the front hoop.

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Ndawg12

The original post sounds similar to me about 3 years ago. I have replace the telescopic poles that connect to the rear tower legs 3 times!! I still don't have this thing figured out but can off the following. #1 make sure your set screws are not too tight on that middle black plastic fitting (they will gouge the interior telescoping tube and make it hard/impossible to move in or out) and #2 then make sure none of that tubing is bent. There should be no rivets anywhere except for the fittings on the rear tower leg tube.

As for stowage, you need a boot with straps and your speakers are there you probably have to attach it to the forward tower hoop similar to this:

bimini3.jpg

bimini4.jpg

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wakeboarder3780

Man ndawg if you bent the legs 3 times I wonder if I shouldn't be looking for something thicker? Have you ever considered trying a thicker tube?

Thanks again for the help J, I'll give the local shop a call and then go with that link online if nothing else. Got a rivet gun ordered today :D

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Ndawg12

Man ndawg if you bent the legs 3 times I wonder if I shouldn't be looking for something thicker? Have you ever considered trying a thicker tube?

Thanks again for the help J, I'll give the local shop a call and then go with that link online if nothing else. Got a rivet gun ordered today :D

No, I finally figured out that a set screw was too tight and gouging the tubing. Replacements are cheap, call a boat cove/bimini shop and see if they have any extra 3/4" tubing.

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