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2018 Bimini Options


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Went to my dealer yesterday to spec out a 23 LSV, and he asked if I wanted the extended bimini top. He didn't know much about it. He also asked if I wanted the flip down bimini. Anybody have any insight on these options? 

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I have spent significant time fooling with both biminis. Basically there are two bimini options, and there is an extended bimini option. I have pictures to comliment each option and pros vs cons.

Blue Malibu 25 LSV: This is my family's boat, we opted for a bimini that folds on a central pivot point. At the top of the tower, you can see the circular pivot, you cannot see that it has 2 pistons each side to release the front/back of the bimini.
Pros: easiest bimini in the world to store/unfold. Solid bimni, can be towed at 90mph on the trailer (towing with bimini up past 45mph voids warranty). 2x rope storage, 2x board storage
Cons: no extension available - I need to fact check this for 100% accuracy

Green Malibu 21VLX: This boat has the other bimini option from Malibu, which requires 2 poles to be inserted into designated spots on the tower after unfolding the bimini and working it in to place. When moving bimini into use from a stored position, as pictured, the bimini glides forward until the 2 small arms can reach their connections on the tower. You must get in the boats and look at both biminis to understand fully how it operates. 
Pros: fairly easy to set up/take down, extension can be added if desired
Cons: slightly more difficult to store/unfold than the above bimini, 2 loose arms connect/disconnect to the tower

2018 Charcoal Malibu 23LSV: This boat has the same bimini as the Green 21VLX. In addition this boat is equipped with the new for 2018 extended bimini. There is a ~2foot section added to the rear of the bimini. This section can be stored even when the main bimini is in use, or can be extended and covers to the back bench seat nearly. This feature is simple to operate, it has a strap that links to the tower/tow point, and 1 button on each side of the bimini to release the extension to move backward. Again, you need to visit your dealer and test out each bimini to fully understand how they operate, as they are all VERY EASY once you take a few minutes to understand them.
Pros: more coverage, less sun. Does a great job of covering the vinyl on those 90+ degree days on the water. 
Cons: one more set up/fold down step at the beginning/end of each day. It is really easy to hit your head on the bimini when stepping in to the boat because of how far back it extends.


I hope these answers give you a little more confidence next time you visit your dealer, I have set up / tore down these biminis more than I could count this year. They are not difficult, just takes time to understand while new. If you have any questions, or would like me to clarify anything please ask it here or shoot me a message. 

***The green 21VLX and charcoal 23LSV belong to Inland Boat Company and I am borrowing photos from the company.

Edited by AndySC
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All I have to add is that the bimini selection probably varies based on which tower (G4 or G3) will be on your boat.  Also, if you will need to fold your tower for storage, you may need to verify that the tower will completely fold with whichever bimini you select.  I have a 2015 22 VLX with a G4 tower and the original bimini hardware did not allow me to completely fold my tower.  So, I would have to remove the bimini from the brackets so I could fold the tower to store in my garage.  I ultimately purchased the G4 Pistol slider retrofit kit to swap out the original hardware.  The Pistol slider hardware is awesome and allows me to unhook my bimini and spin it under the G4 tower which allows me to completely fold my tower and store in the garage.  No more having to remove the bimini to completely fold my tower.   The G4 retrofit kit is part number MAL10219-RETRO and cost $650.00 (well worth the cost) and was purchased from Apex Canvas Company.  I was able to swap out the old hardware in about one hour and it worked perfectly.  So, confirm the tower type and then see if you are able to fully fold the tower with your selected bimini.  Good luck.

Check out this video to see how the G4 Pistol Slider works:


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I have a 2015 23LSV and struggle sometimes when deploying or storing the bimini to push the folded poles back towards the tower.  I have to slam it pretty hard a few times with my hands.  Does anyone have any pro tips about lubing the arms to make them slide more easily?  What product would you recommend to help them glide better?  Thanks in advance for any tips.

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On 11/9/2017 at 1:01 PM, jammer said:

I have a 2015 23LSV and struggle sometimes when deploying or storing the bimini to push the folded poles back towards the tower.  I have to slam it pretty hard a few times with my hands.  Does anyone have any pro tips about lubing the arms to make them slide more easily?  What product would you recommend to help them glide better?  Thanks in advance for any tips.

I don't have any tips on a product to use, just a tip on use. Sometimes, pushing it back in is a little hard. It is easier sometimes to just pull the two pulls on each side (toward the rear of the boat), instead of pushing the bimini boot back. Hope this helps!

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  • 3 weeks later...

After speaking with my dealer and him sending me pics, Im going with the Great Lakes Flip Bimini with surfboard and roap storage on my new order.  I hated dealing with little braces that CS slide Bimini has.  My wife could not deploy or stow on her own, which is no bueno.  The GL flip Bimini looks super simple and I’m told it has the nicer, softer sunbrella material and should last much longer then the CS.  Ive heard the same thing about the extended Bimini, that you can hit your head easily. 


Edited by SCMike
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Just a note on the new extension Bimini, it is not designed for use while the boat is under way.  It is meant to be pulled out (extended) while just floating, at the dock, where ever, but meant to be stowed while under way.  There is a tag on the extension that says this as well.


I've gone with the GL flip Bimini on my last two boats, much easier than the slider Bimini.  And, it does not interfere with tower mirror arms

Edited by wakebrdr94
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