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Bimini options for 2013 VLX

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My wife and I are super stoked on the ordering of our new VLX. What blows me away is how many different options and int. and ext. colors etc. we have to choose from vs. when we ordered. our 03 VLX. Also, we paid $42k for our 03 and the 13 is almost twice as much. Crazy.

Here is my problem. That bimini design looks ridiculous. Aesthetically not very appealing and from the looks of it function might be a problem also. Postage sized shade? For such a kick azz boat I am not feeling that bimini one bit.

Are there any other options out there? Has anyone seen or built something custom out there? Is there space to install inside the tower?

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bamabonners

I always felt that the G3 bimini was probably the biggest on any boat. It covers from the front of the back seat up to half the bow. Also, once it is up, it is very sturdy - no flapping and rattling around.

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Cory

There are multiple biminis available. There is the Commercial Sewing bimini (slider), the Great Lakes Bimini (folder), a G3 Z5 Cargo Rack bimini, and even BAKES sells a couple biminis. You need to be clear which bimini you are referring to...

After a lot of investigation into these different bimini a couple weeks ago, I've decided to go with the GL bimini. It was an up-charge over the CS bimini.

Edited by Cory

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Fman

The CS slider bimini according to my dealer has a couple issues. If you fold down your tower it needs to be removed to lay the tower flat. If you use the G3 mirror it interferes with the CS bimini in front.

I am going with the 2012 hinged bimini, my dealer has an extra one. I chose this bimini because it lays flat when tower is collapsed in my garage. My next choice would have been the great lakes.

All these bimini tops imo provide great shade in lounge area. I also like how I can stand up straight and walk under bimini when deployed.

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Cory

The CS slider bimini according to my dealer has a couple issues. If you fold down your tower it needs to be removed to lay the tower flat. If you use the G3 mirror it interferes with the CS bimini in front.

I am going with the 2012 hinged bimini, my dealer has an extra one. I chose this bimini because it lays flat when tower is collapsed in my garage. My next choice would have been the great lakes.

All these bimini tops imo provide great shade in lounge area. I also like how I can stand up straight and walk under bimini when deployed.

Fman,

Those are the same two reasons why I decided to go with the GL bimini. My dealer didn't offer an older 2012 hinged CS bimini, so I went with the GL bimini. Why did you choose the 2012 hinged CS bimini over the GL bimini? How are they different? They seem identical from what I could tell in pictures.

Edited by Cory

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thtrog

When I ordered back in October you could choose from the CS or the GL hinged. I went with the GL mainly because the top was made of Sunbrella. I had the opportunity to check out the GL bimini this weekend and happy to see how easy it deployed. The two front bars are now hinged, slip right over the tower mounts, and the rear hinge pin is easy to insert.

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Chattwake

nm

Edited by Chattwake

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Fman

Fman,

Those are the same two reasons why I decided to avoid the CS bimini. My dealer didn't have an older 2012 hinged CS bimini, so I went with the GL bimini. Why did you choose the 2012 hinged CS bimini over the GL bimini? How are they different? They seem identical from what I could tell in pictures.

The 2012 bimini is hinged and comes apart at the back. I am not sure what model it is, I just know it works good for allowing the tower to clear my garage when stored. I did not want to have to remove my bimini everytime I put the boat in garage.

I still have not seen anything to verify the GL bimini disconnects at the rear to allow bimini to lay flat when tower is collapsed.

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Cory

The pictures below are of the GL Bimini:

IMG_1518_zps64f3e9ec.jpg

IMG_1520_zps53a874e7.jpg

IMG_1524_zps47c663a3.jpg

IMG_1526_zpsede71321.jpg

IMG_1527_zps7a5262fa.jpg

IMG_1528_zps2274cefb.jpg

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IXFE

Here is a video of the new sliding bimini. Initially I like it, but then I brought a boat over to my house with one and it couldn't get the tower all the way down w/out removing the entire bimini, brackets and all. It was a major PITA that required screwdrivers and wrenches.

http://youtu.be/3gO1cd4yEKI

Edited by IXFE

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Cory

This picture is of the former 2012 CS Bimini. You can see that it ties further forward near the anchor light, where as the GL bimini ties in the middle between the anchor light and the rope tie off.

2012CSBimini_zps477e42ee.jpg

Edited by Cory

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Cory

Here is a video of the new sliding bimini. Initially I like it, but then I brought a boat over to my house with one and it couldn't get the tower all the way down w/out removing the entire bimini, brackets and all. It was a major PITA that required screwdrivers and wrenches.

http://youtu.be/3gO1cd4yEKI

This is the new CS sliding bimini, which replaced the 2012 CS bimini pictured above. This spring CS will be coming out with a new easy off mount for the sliding bimini. It will essentially come off the same way the G3 board racks come off, using an allen wrench.

Edited by Cory

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Cory

I thought I had made my final decision on getting the GL bimini, but after receiving this bulletin from CS explaining the difference between their hinge design on the 2012 CS bimini (can still be ordered directly from CS) versus the hinge on the GL bimini, I'm no longer so confident that I made the right decision. I'm certain that the new 2013 CS bimini is not right for my particular needs. I'd love feed back from someone who has a GL bimini as to whether the hinge and lanyard are sturdy and have operated problem free for them. Thanks.

BIMINI_BULLETIN3_zps950f6af7.jpg

Edited by Cory

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Lance B. Johnson

Could you guys post some pics or links on these biminis? I googled a bit and came up empty.

Hmmm. Now why would you be interested in this? :)

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IXFE

I thought I had made my final decision on getting the GL bimini, but after receiving this bulletin from CS explaining the difference between their hinge design on the 2012 CS bimini (can still be ordered directly from CS) versus the hinge on the GL bimini, I'm no longer so confident that I made the right decision. I'm certain that the new 2013 CS bimini is not right for my particular needs. I'd love feed back from someone who has a GL bimini as to whether the hinge and lanyard are sturdy and have operated problem free for them. Thanks.

BIMINI_BULLETIN3_zps950f6af7.jpg

Well, let me offer a counterpoint. I had the 2012 CS Bimini with the hinge described above... it was TERRIBLE. I will order almost any bimini with my 2013 boat... as long as it's different than my 2012 CS bimini. It's kind of ironic to see CS bragging about the superior design of that hinge/pin when in my experience it's the achiles heal of the entire system. Those pins go in pretty easy. But getting them out is a while different story. Honestly, it got so bad that I've had to use pliars to rip them out, which of course destroyed those cute little rings on them. One time I had to use a hammer and an awl to bang them out. While I love that bimini when up (it's big, looks good, etc.), putting it up and down with those terrible pins and the awkward poles up front is the part about my 2012 VLX that I hated most. Grade = D- in my book.

I was so excited to see the new 2013 CS sliding bimini because I hoped it would solve all my bimini woes. I was so anxious to try ANYTHING different than my 2012 CS bimini. Too bad the new sliding one makes the tower impossible to fold all the way down. That's a deal breaker for me. If they really are reworking the mounts to be quick-disconnects, then I'd like to know how soon they'll be available. Anybody know? I'm placing my new boat order in a couple of weeks.

So that leaves me with the GL bimini, I guess. Can anybody talk about / take pictures of the pins and the front support bars?

Edited by IXFE

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thtrog

Well, let me offer a counterpoint. I had the 2012 CS Bimini with the hinge described above... it was TERRIBLE. I will order almost any bimini with my 2013 boat... as long as it's different than my 2012 CS bimini. It's kind of ironic to see CS bragging about the superior design of that hinge/pin when in my experience it's the achiles heal of the entire system. Those pins go in pretty easy. But getting them out is a while different story. Honestly, it got so bad that I've had to use pliars to rip them out, which of course destroyed those cute little rings on them. One time I had to use a hammer and an awl to bang them out. While I love that bimini when up (it's big, looks good, etc.), putting it up and down with those terrible pins and the awkward poles up front is the part about my 2012 VLX that I hated most. Grade = D- in my book.

I was so excited to see the new 2013 CS sliding bimini because I hoped it would solve all my bimini woes. I was so anxious to try ANYTHING different than my 2012 CS bimini. Too bad the new sliding one makes the tower impossible to fold all the way down. That's a deal breaker for me. If they really are reworking the mounts to be quick-disconnects, then I'd like to know how soon they'll be available. Anybody know? I'm placing my new boat order in a couple of weeks.

So that leaves me with the GL bimini, I guess. Can anybody talk about / take pictures of the pins and the front support bars?

I posted some pictures of the GL here http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/41599-2013-malibu-24-mxz-hits-north-carolina/page-4

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IXFE

Haha... After having to have mine specially made, I'm just interested in seeing any new Bimini designs for these towers. I haven't looked at these designs closely (need to get to my computer) but I have yet to see a factory Bimini that actually provides shade. Every picture ive ever seen of the previous biminis (for illusion & G3 towers) shows about a 4' x 4' area of shade that may or may not be in the boat.... Depending on the angle of the sun.

IMO,, you either get shade or you get to stand under your Bimini...... Not both.

Anyway.....Just anxious to see if the manufacturers will solve that problem eventually....

Don't you need Mother Nature to solve that problem (i.e. fix the sun directly above us at all times)...?

mother-nature.jpg

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thtrog

BS, How many days do you have sun in OR anyway??? :biggrin:

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IXFE

Thanks for the GL pics, throg.

Have you actually deployed yours yet? If so I have a couple of questions:

  • How easy is it to insert / remove the pins on the rear hinges? How hard to do you have to pull. Anything less than requiring pliars, hammers, etc. would be nice.
  • How easy is it to get the front supports in place?
  • Are the front supports permanently attached to the bimini frame (at the hinges)? I'm asking because it sure would be nice not to have to store those loose poles in the glove box.

Thanks!

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thtrog

Thanks for the GL pics, throg.

Have you actually deployed yours yet? If so I have a couple of questions:

  • How easy is it to insert / remove the pins on the rear hinges? How hard to do you have to pull. Anything less than requiring pliars, hammers, etc. would be nice.
  • How easy is it to get the front supports in place?
  • Are the front supports permanently attached to the bimini frame (at the hinges)? I'm asking because it sure would be nice not to have to store those loose poles in the glove box.

Thanks!

I have not deployed mine, but did on one of my dealers boats at the boatshow. The pin in the back hinge was easy to insert and remove with no tools, you do have to lift up on the canvas since it goes in from the top. The front supports are great, they hinge open and slip right over the tower brackets. The front arms are perm attached, they also have a velcro strap to keep them in the folded position to stow. I can't not speak of the strength of the hinge as pointed out on the CS brochure, seemed sturdy to me...guess time will tell. I'm really impressed with the heavy weight of the Sunbrella on the GL bimini and cover.

Edit, not sure why my type changes size in a post :unsure:

Edited by thtrog

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Lance B. Johnson

Haha... After having to have mine specially made, I'm just interested in seeing any new Bimini designs for these towers. I haven't looked at these designs closely (need to get to my computer) but I have yet to see a factory Bimini that actually provides shade. Every picture ive ever seen of the previous biminis (for illusion & G3 towers) shows about a 4' x 4' area of shade that may or may not be in the boat.... Depending on the angle of the sun.

IMO,, you either get shade or you get to stand under your Bimini...... Not both.

Anyway.....Just anxious to see if the manufacturers will solve that problem eventually....

ok I gotcha.

I thought the reason started with a "surf" and ended with a "gate". :surprised:

In all honesty I doubt your going to find a bimini that provides the shade yours does. Mine is close actually but only because its mounted low. Its not as long as yours.

Edited by Ruffdog

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gferl

I didn't even realize there was several options. I did like the CS bimini on my 2012 VLX ... was easy enough to deploy, etc, provided great shade and was very solid at any speed. However, I agree with IXFE that the pins for the hinges were a problem. One pin worked perfectly and one was very difficult to put in...easy coming out though.

I had the Z5 cargo rack on a Supra before my VLX and loved the functionality with ALL the stuff that thing could hold ... BUT hated how much time it took to remove the canvas, etc. I just loved how quickly I could put up and down my CS bimini on the 2012 VLX and on those colder morning skis it was great to have the sun shining down on us.

I already ordered my new 2013 23 LSV and I just confirmed it has the "CS Bimini Top and Boot - G3 Tower (Hinged)". Water under the bridge:) I will have to pay more attention next time ...I am still very happy with this though since it met my needs (except for the pins in the hinges).

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bamabonners

My 2012 has the CS Bimini. I find it better than the 2011 since all the pins line up, so I can't complain.

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Fman

I didn't even realize there was several options. I did like the CS bimini on my 2012 VLX ... was easy enough to deploy, etc, provided great shade and was very solid at any speed. However, I agree with IXFE that the pins for the hinges were a problem. One pin worked perfectly and one was very difficult to put in...easy coming out though.

I had the Z5 cargo rack on a Supra before my VLX and loved the functionality with ALL the stuff that thing could hold ... BUT hated how much time it took to remove the canvas, etc. I just loved how quickly I could put up and down my CS bimini on the 2012 VLX and on those colder morning skis it was great to have the sun shining down on us.

I already ordered my new 2013 23 LSV and I just confirmed it has the "CS Bimini Top and Boot - G3 Tower (Hinged)". Water under the bridge:) I will have to pay more attention next time ...I am still very happy with this though since it met my needs (except for the pins in the hinges).

I think this is the same bimini I am recieving. I heard all you need to do is drill out the pin holes one size up and it will take care of the remove and insert problems. My '11 had a different style but I also had issues inserting the pins and drilled it out and it took care of the problem.

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Fman

My 2012 has the CS Bimini. I find it better than the 2011 since all the pins line up, so I can't complain.

Bams that is good to know, sounds like there is hope for a smooth operation. Hoping my 13 has same outcome.

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