Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

The Wonderful Malibu Bimini


TallRedRider

Recommended Posts

I was going to come out really swinging on how much frustration the bimini on my 2019 Malibu has given me, but decided to first consult the crew and find out if maybe I am doing something wrong, or there is a better way to set it up and take it down.  

Instead of throwing big punches, I will say this bimini is super amateur and rocks it like it is 2005.  The other modern wakeboats I have been on have far easier to set up and put away biminis.  

Some background...my last 2 boats have been Nautique G23's.  The bimini is a masterpiece.  It takes all of 30 seconds to set up, is rock solid, and plenty big.  So Malibu is suffering a little from me coming from Cindy Crawford...and now it feels like I am with Nurse Ratchet.  

1.  You can barely set it up with one person.  The bimini slides forward and then the entire bimini opens up 16 feet in the air and opens over the tower and lands over the cockpit.  Being 6'9" tall with 38 inch sleeves, I can do it, but more often than not, it sort of slams clumsily over the cockpit unless I am standing uncomfortably extending arms like a stork ready for flight.  There is no way someone 5'9" tall is avoiding it crashing rearward unless they stand precariously on the gunwhale.  

2.  Once you have slammed the bimini down over the cockpit, then there is an arm on each side that slides into a bracket and is supposed to lock into place.  The locking mechanism is the worst piece of $*$&$& I have ever seen, and is the source of most of my frustration, actually. If you were lucky enough to have dainty fingers that can fit between the arm of the support and grasp the microscopic half circle, you can turn it to lock it in place.  If you have regular fingers, it is extremely difficult.  I turned it upside down, hoping that being outside the mount might make it easier, but there is a fraction of an inch between the bimini mount and the upper rack, so it is perhaps a tiny bit better.  I think I am going to buy a pick tool that will let me do this, but I cannot believe that I have to do this.  I also have to have one person put downward pressure on the bimini while I turn it, and having a second person makes this easier.   

3.  Putting it away is the reverse of putting it up.  It was pretty awesome today with a 20 mile wind coming directly from the front trying to lift the rear of the bimini and flopping it forward in the stow position.  The bimini is like a giant sail and required 2 people just to push it down.  This usually results in a nice crash as it falls forward if you are alone, unless you have abnormal body proportions or risk life and limb standing on the gunwhale in the parking lot after done boating.  Or just plan on putting it down before you come into the marina.  

4.  Cramming it into the boot is very difficult with 1 person.  It is tight, as it probably should be, but requires one person to hold the zipper shut and stuff the fabric inside while the other zips.  I suspect most boot contained biminis are this way, so I probably shouldn't complain.  This may not be an issue unique to Malibu, but I remember my 2006 MC being easier.  Maybe I just accepted it then, because there was nothing better.  No I don't put the bimini extension in the boot meant for just the bimini.  

5.  This is laughable.  I bought the bimini extension.  It has a tag that says that it should not be used while the boat is moving.  It really does, picture attached, and also says it has no warranty.    It actually worked fine for a week I had it set up at Lake Powell, but don't sell me crap that has a tag that says it is not intended to be used on a moving boat.  You have to be kidding me.  

 

Here are some pics.  

First pic...just laugh with me a little here.  

Second pic: You see the little ring that sits in the C curve of the support?  You have to rotate that 180 degrees while simultaneously trying not to let the arm slide out.  It rotates easier if you push on the button on the other end of the pin. So turning the ring, pushing the pin and holding the arm in place requires three hands.   Nautique had a pin that you insert there to hold it in place.  It was easy and worked every time.  There is no upper rack in this picture, or you would see the button is a few mm away from the upper rack mount.  

Third Pic: I turned the bracket mount upside down and swapped it left to right.  Notice how the ring is now a lot easier to get to, unless you have upper racks (I now have upper racks on both sides) it again is very difficult to squeeze your fingers in here.  I think my curved pick tool from Lowe's might make this a lot easier.   Is there another way to do this?  

 

Here is a video I found:  My support arms are not like these, and it is obvious they skip the video forward when he crashed it back like I do.   Another video from Singleton Marine made it look easier to deploy, but even with me standing on the seat, it isn't easy, particularly when it is windy.  My 25 LSV may be significantly taller.   The Singleton Marine video is dishonest by not showing him release the ridiculous pins.  And BTW, if I don't engage the pins, the arms pop out.  

I am happy to take all criticisms, both constructive and unconstructive.  Am I the only one to find this engineering to be subpar for a boat of this caliber?  Maybe I am doing it all wrong, but it does not look like it based on the videos.  I have gotten better with practice, but I did not think biminology was a skill I would have to hone.  

 

 

 

 

 

20190504_171424.jpg

20190601_084708.jpg

20190601_213117.jpg

Edited by TallRedRider
Link to comment
22 minutes ago, TallRedRider said:

I was going to come out really swinging on how much frustration the bimini on my 2019 Malibu has given me, but decided to first consult the crew and find out if maybe I am doing something wrong, or there is a better way to set it up and take it down.  

Instead of throwing big punches, I will say this bimini is super amateur and rocks it like it is 2005.  The other modern wakeboats I have been on have far easier to set up and put away biminis.  

Some background...my last 2 boats have been Nautique G23's.  The bimini is a masterpiece.  It takes all of 30 seconds to set up, is rock solid, and plenty big.  So Malibu is suffering a little from me coming from Cindy Crawford...and now it feels like I am with Nurse Ratchet.  

1.  You can barely set it up with one person.  The bimini slides forward and then the entire bimini opens up 16 feet in the air and opens over the tower and lands over the cockpit.  Being 6'9" tall with 38 inch sleeves, I can do it, but more often than not, it sort of slams clumsily over the cockpit unless I am standing uncomfortably extending arms like a stork ready for flight.  There is no way someone 5'9" tall is avoiding it crashing rearward unless they stand precariously on the gunwhale.  

2.  Once you have slammed the bimini down over the cockpit, then there is an arm on each side that slides into a bracket and is supposed to lock into place.  The locking mechanism is the worst piece of $*$&$& I have ever seen, and is the source of most of my frustration, actually. If you were lucky enough to have dainty fingers that can fit between the arm of the support and grasp the microscopic half circle, you can turn it to lock it in place.  If you have regular fingers, it is extremely difficult.  I turned it upside down, hoping that being outside the mount might make it easier, but there is a fraction of an inch between the bimini mount and the upper rack, so it is perhaps a tiny bit better.  I think I am going to buy a pick tool that will let me do this, but I cannot believe that I have to do this.  I also have to have one person put downward pressure on the bimini while I turn it, and having a second person makes this easier.   

3.  Putting it away is the reverse of putting it up.  It was pretty awesome today with a 20 mile wind coming directly from the front trying to lift the rear of the bimini and flopping it forward in the stow position.  The bimini is like a giant sail and required 2 people just to push it down.  This usually results in a nice crash as it falls forward if you are alone, unless you have abnormal body proportions or risk life and limb standing on the gunwhale in the parking lot after done boating.  Or just plan on putting it down before you come into the marina.  

4.  Cramming it into the boot is very difficult with 1 person.  It is tight, as it probably should be, but requires one person to hold the zipper shut and stuff the fabric inside while the other zips.  I suspect most boot contained biminis are this way, so I probably shouldn't complain.  This may not be an issue unique to Malibu, but I remember my 2006 MC being easier.  Maybe I just accepted it then, because there was nothing better.  No I don't put the bimini extension in the boot meant for just the bimini.  

5.  This is laughable.  I bought the bimini extension.  It has a tag that says that it should not be used while the boat is moving.  It really does, picture attached, and also says it has no warranty.    It actually worked fine for a week I had it set up at Lake Powell, but don't sell me crap that has a tag that says it is not intended to be used on a moving boat.  You have to be kidding me.  

 

Here are some pics.  

First pic...just laugh with me a little here.  

Second pic: You see the little ring that sits in the C curve of the support?  You have to rotate that 180 degrees while simultaneously trying not to let the arm slide out.  It rotates easier if you push on the button on the other end of the pin. So turning the ring, pushing the pin and holding the arm in place requires three hands.   Nautique had a pin that you insert there to hold it in place.  It was easy and worked every time.  There is no upper rack in this picture, or you would see the button is a few mm away from the upper rack mount.  

Third Pic: I turned the bracket mount upside down and swapped it left to right.  Notice how the ring is now a lot easier to get to, unless you have upper racks (I now have upper racks on both sides) it again is very difficult to squeeze your fingers in here.  I think my curved pick tool from Lowe's might make this a lot easier.   Is there another way to do this?  

 

Here is a video I found:  My support arms are not like these, and it is obvious they skip the video forward when he crashed it back like I do.   Another video from Singleton Marine made it look easier to deploy, but even with me standing on the seat, it isn't easy, particularly when it is windy.  My 25 LSV may be significantly taller.   The Singleton Marine video is dishonest by not showing him release the ridiculous pins.  And BTW, if I don't engage the pins, the arms pop out.  

I am happy to take all criticisms, both constructive and unconstructive.  Am I the only one to find this engineering to be subpar for a boat of this caliber?  Maybe I am doing it all wrong, but it does not look like it based on the videos.  I have gotten better with practice, but I did not think biminology was a skill I would have to hone.  

 

 

 

 

 

20190504_171424.jpg

20190601_084708.jpg

20190601_213117.jpg

Kinda sad but it appears Malibu is still putting the brackets on the wrong side. Move your brackets from one side of tower to other and then the half moon thing to turn will be where it should be. On the bottom so you can turn it. 

Link to comment

Also suggest that you have the dealer check the fit.  On my 2016 the dealer had to make some adjustments to make it slide and fold easier.    I also put a bit of dry silicon lubricant every spring on the slide.  Makes it very easy to slide.  My used to stick.  

Link to comment
1 hour ago, spikew919 said:

Kinda sad but it appears Malibu is still putting the brackets on the wrong side. Move your brackets from one side of tower to other and then the half moon thing to turn will be where it should be. On the bottom so you can turn it. 

When it is on the bottom, there is very little space between the top rack and the ring, and really doesn't make it easier. I did that as you can see in one of the pics I posted.  

Link to comment
12 minutes ago, ORMailbuboater said:

Also suggest that you have the dealer check the fit.  On my 2016 the dealer had to make some adjustments to make it slide and fold easier.    I also put a bit of dry silicon lubricant every spring on the slide.  Makes it very easy to slide.  My used to stick.  

It slides OK, not great.  I forgot to mention that it does sort of bind up.  I usually have to give it a strong tug on one side, then the other.  If I am really lucky, I can get it to slide from the middle, but usually I have to thump one side, then the other to get it to slide both forward and back.  That is yet another PIA.  I will get some dry silicon lubricant.  

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, lerch said:

@spikew919 bingo! I have had two Malibu’s with the receiving brackets reversed. Makes a big difference for that deployment element. 

And I did point this out to my sales guy and he said they all come with the ring on top.  But again, if you have upper racks, it is very difficult to get to the tiny ring to twist it.  I have kept them with the ring on the bottom, because it makes it a fraction of a percentage point easier.  

Link to comment

I feel like I've got the process down fairly well after using this bimini last summer but your complaints ring true enough with my experience to make me laugh. High winds and/or watching new folks use this bimini are something to catch on video. 

Of the two 2019's I'm on this year, both have had issues with the arms sticking or brackets coming off, so I'll put in a vote for a better system too.

Reverse the receiving brackets too - wow, that would be a nice simple fix I never thought of. Until then, if I give the arm that goes into the receiving bracket a good shove (or hit), I'm able to spin that pin from the bottom without touching the D-ring that's hard to reach.

Link to comment
52 minutes ago, TallRedRider said:

When it is on the bottom, there is very little space between the top rack and the ring, and really doesn't make it easier. I did that as you can see in one of the pics I posted.  

Yeah I see that in the pic. Really sucks.only one set of racks so didn’t have any issues with brackets after. Had same issue on my 2017 with g4 tower. My frame was warped also. And used dry silicon and it helped a lot. And Malibu sent a whole new Bimini with everything included. And that was the fix. 

Link to comment
ahopkinsVTX

I agree, it could be much better. I’ve found if you pull down on the bimini frame just slightly then push the arm forward the release pin frees up a lot and is much easier to spin to release the arm. Still not great, but better. Mine probably isn’t as big as the 23 or 25 biminis but I don’t have much of an issue folding it up or down, or wrapping the boot around it. So I assume it’s not as big. 

I will say, it’s still the best looking bimini deployed or not deployed in my opinion. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment

I like my Malibu and my dealer SO much more than my Nautique that it’s almost hard to say anything negative about my boat, but everything you’ve said @TallRedRider is spot on. I too had a G and  miss the Bimini. So easy to put up and take down, it was almost a joy. I will have to try the lubricant on the rails. Mine is hard to slide forward without two or three different pushes on each side. I also like to never got the latches unbuckled when I had to take it down to haul to the dealer for the fuel pump fix. I’m going to try turning it around too. Thankfully it stays open on the lift most of the time and don’t have to mess with putting it up and taking it down very often. I do like the look and the size of it when it’s up. Like @ahopkinsVTX said, it’s probably the best looking bimini out there. I’m very pleased with it in that regard. 

Link to comment

Nothing beats the bat wing going up or down with tower in one motion ,the folded sides not only look good but act like your car sunshade down snd over to side window ,form with  function in use or taking it in and out of service , boot is real easy

Link to comment

My 2019 24mxz came with the bikini with the cylindrical brackets. Just fold over the front and lock that's it. Secure with velcro straps. Done. 

Link to comment

Wow, that looks similar to my Apex/Commercial Sewing slider bimini on my '15 23 LSV and the bimini on my father-in-law's brand new '19 VTX, BUT I've never seen attachment points like that before. It's late, and dark, so I can't take a video right now, but I haven't had any issues like what you describe with my bimini. I'd never seen the directions or video for my bimini, so I made my own way to set it up & store it. Yes, I have to drop the rear hoop back or forward depending on what I'm doing with the bimini, but I haven't had any "crashing" issues. I can also slide the frame forward and backward fairly easily, but I do need to move to each side of the boat at least twice.

I'll record and post a video in about 10 hours, as well as provide some pictures of the tower mounting hardware. As someone else stated, it looks like the mounting points were put on the wrong side of the tower. Mine are inboard, but yours look like they're outboard. I also have a different kind of socket for the rod ends that is much easier. Something isn't right on your bimini frame.

Link to comment

Heres my redneck tech tip for the day. Get a zip tie that will fit through the small pins. Pull it tight and then leave an inch or two tail hanging out. You now have something easy to grab onto if you are blessed with bigger hands than the average teenage girl. You can thank me later now that you wont be fighting those pins for minutes on end.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I have a 8ft long bimini on my boat, it was an option from the factory. It is by sewlong. Works great. I can do it myself, but have to stand on the gunnel to do it. Dont like that. 

Link to comment

I'll take my Axis bimini any day. I never liked how the G3 Malibu bimini looks stowed, I think it should follow the profile of the tower. Also the limited experience I have with it, it was a pain to get deployed, binding up and such.

Link to comment

Everything @TallRedRider says is true; I’ve experienced it all. That said, like all things, some copies of the G3 Bimini are easier than others. I’ve had good ones and bad. It all comes down to tolerances of the moving parts. 

I’ve had some where the slider works effortlessly and others where you have to bang it and work one side at a time. I’ve had some where the ball slides into the bracket easy and others where it’s real work. 

When unfolding the Bimini I stand on the seats and help the back side come down gently.  I don’t let it slam down, although I don’t see any harm in it  

This year my Bimini is kind of a pain, but I just leave it up all the time. I also have the extended Bimini.... sitting in my garage 😂

Edited by IXFE
Link to comment

Hahaha - great read and unfortunately all too on point.  I am 5’8” and there is no way for me to deploy it alone, and the D ring ball/pin setup is crazy ridiculous to try to get right.  I opened mine in April and I will leave it open forever (or until I have to tow it).  This is the hardest bimini I’ve ever had to get set up.

Link to comment
12 hours ago, dreamlifeoc1 said:

My 2019 24mxz came with the bikini with the cylindrical brackets. Just fold over the front and lock that's it. Secure with velcro straps. Done. 

You probably have the Great Lakes flip bimini, which is what I have.  It is maybe better than the slider they are talking about, but I find I still usually need two people to move it as when I unlock one side then go to the opposite to unlock the pin so the whole thing can move, the first pin typically locks back into place.  

My buddy’s slider slid like butter.  The one on my 2016 I would often have to work it side to side, etc to get it sliding.  

Link to comment

I'm legit surprised they don't have retractable-awning style power bimini options on these boats.  That'd be awesome to be able to deploy with the push of a button and customize your amount of shade.

Link to comment
7 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

I'm legit surprised they don't have retractable-awning style power bimini options on these boats.  That'd be awesome to be able to deploy with the push of a button and customize your amount of shade.

That's what I have on my new pontoon - but there's no tower in the way so it has freedom to move.

It is nice.  Push a switch and it goes up or down.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...