How to Choose the Right Bimini Top for your Boat
Your boat is a huge investment so you want to be sure that it’s protected. That’s what brought you to this blog. You’re either trying to decide whether you want a Bimini top, or want to know how to choose the right Bimini top for your boat. Whatever the case, you need to make the most informed decision possible.
Most boat owners consider a top to be the most crucial accessory that they can invest in for their boat. In most cases, the goal is to provide protection so that you can spend more time out on the water.
Decide Whether your Boat Needs a Bimini Top
Think about it for a moment. If you are out on your boat with the sun blasting down on you with no protection, then you’re not going to last very long. So you’ll end up making port much more quickly than if you have protection. The real question here is how much time do you plan on spending on the water? Most boat owners want to be able to spend an entire day out so they need protection from the sun. If that sounds like you, then you need a Bimini top.
Know the Size of the Bimini Top you Need
The next decision is to decide what part of your boat you want to cover. Tops are available anywhere from 5’ to 10’ in size. You need to measure your boat to make sure you don’t end up with the wrong size. This can be done as follows:
- Decide where you are going to mount the top to the frame.
- Measure the distance between the mount point from port to starboard. This tells you the size of the top.
This will get complicated if you own a sports boat or if the mount points are not clearly identifiable. In this case, you might have to do a little research.
Details are Important
When shopping for a Bimini top, it’s important that you pay close attention to the details. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:
- The first factor is the material. Does it have UV protection so that the color doesn’t fade when exposed to the sun for long periods of time? Does the top have a finish designed to prevent molding?
- How durable is the frame? In most cases, you are better off choosing a Bimini top with a stainless steel or aluminum frame.
- What hardware is used? Stainless steel is the most aesthetically pleasing but nylon tends to perform better.
- What material is used to make the connectors? For example, the eye strap of a Bimini top is a hook that is used to connect the straps. This area is always under a lot of stress so it needs to be durable.
- Make sure that the Bimini top you choose is rated high enough to withstand the speeds your boat will be traveling.
Make Sure it Matches your Boat
Your Bimini top is much like your outfit. You do not want to become the laughing stock on the water by having a top that is a mismatch to your boat. Imagine if you were to buy a top that is too large and makes your boat look like it’s bloated? You want your boat to stand out, but not in that way! Make sure that your Bimini top matches the appearance of your boat. The pattern, color, and dimensions should all align.
Pricing is Important
Your budget will ultimately decide how high you can go, but the problem with going too cheap here is that you’ll end up with a low quality top. Trust me when I say that you will pay for it later. Eventually, you’ll spend far more money on low quality tops than you would if you just bought an amazing one right out of the gate. Never try to save money by sacrificing quality.
Learning how to choose the right Bimini top for your boat is going to be an important decision. It’s seen as the most important boat accessory so you’re going to eventually have to make this investment. Just make sure it’s a sound one!