Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Posts
    10

    Default DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Hey all - wondering if anyone has tinkered with adding a bimini top, preferably foldable to the rear, to an older small wood runabout or the likes? Our dual-cockpit runabout gets hot as hades in the summer and it would be really nice to have a classic folding bimini top to pull over - especially as we have 3 children ages 3,4, and 8. Does anyone have any photos of adding a non-factory top to their small going vessel? The good news is being all wood - there's a good solid substrate for working with. The bad news is you don't want to botch it up, haha!

    Hope to see some cool stuff!

    3.jpg



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Armada, MI, USA
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    "Bimini Top" means different things to different people. If you mean a free-standing top over just the rear cockpit, you can buy a ready-made one right out of a catalog. A pair of swivelling sockets holds the main frame hoop while a small padeye at each corner holds the straps that keep the top upright. Easy peasy.
    If, on the other hand, you want a top that fastens to the windshield and extends back far enough to protect both cockpits, that's a whole different kettle of fish. Completely doable, and diy-able, but not nearly as simple or straightforward.
    Nice looking boat. Is that a 1961 four cylinder 50 HP Mercury on the back?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Bartlett View Post
    Nice looking boat. Is that a 1961 four cylinder 50 HP Mercury on the back?
    Thank you for that. In my brain it would have been exactly what you described for the rear cockpit, but large enough to cover both (probably without the windshield bit...but perhaps I need to start envisioning it that way). Really appreciate the information - and you were DARN close on the motor, you just missed it by 5hp. It's a '61 Merc 400 at 45hp. I'm actually having a bit of a dispute over it right now concerning fuel delivery but...I've had enough of that conversation with myself today so let's just ignore it, haha!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,284

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    The three-bow Bimini tops in the $100-$130 range from places like Amazon are actually pretty decent and might be a place to start and see if it works for your situation. I have three of them from three different manufacturers and really haven't had any serious complaints. They use aluminum tubing and plastic connectors with a light polyester canvas fabric covering. A top of the line Bimini would have polished stainless tubing instead, and cast or machined metal fittings and most likely a Sunbrella top which would be lovely, but may cost up to three times as much.

    Mounting is easy. There is a fitting attached to each side of the deck with a couple of screws. The main tubes of the Bimini connect with a single screw or pin to the fittings on the deck. The forward and aft Bimini tubes have another fitting anchoring a strap or line to them. These lead down to a couple of stainless eye straps at deck level, ahead of and behind the Bimini. These hold the top up and in position. Most tops come with straps. I usually replace mine with thin Dyneema line, because I don't like the way flat webbing straps flutter in the wind at high speeds. Most of the three-bow Bimini tops tend to be about six feet long. They won't shade the entre boat, but will do a pretty decent job if you are seated near their centers.

    w1.jpg

    Deck base fitting in lower right corner, right pic.

    w2.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wongawallan Oz
    Posts
    16,633

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Have a look on here, some interesting options on old woodies: https://www.woodyboater.com/blog/201...op-on-tuesday/
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    The three-bow Bimini tops in the $100-$130 range from places like Amazon are actually pretty decent and might be a place to start and see if it works for your situation.
    Yes - this is the price range I could live with in terms of "starting on and seeing real-life." Plus Amazon will take it back even if I run it over with a truck. Perhaps I'll look around for some of these. And it's a 14' total length, the seating is in the 8' to 12' section, so covering everyone all the time would be nice but really the idea is we runabout a spell, then park on a beach and this comes up to keep everyone covered while we hang around. Thanks - really like this idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Have a look on here, some interesting options on old woodies: https://www.woodyboater.com/blog/201...op-on-tuesday/
    I completely forgot about this site. Excellent - thanks for the link and I'll take a good look around here!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,284

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Ocean South even makes an eight foot long, four-bow model. My wife has a little Ocean South three-bow Bimini on her cataraft and it is nicely built. Their tops usually come with extra rear poles which can be used instead of the aft support straps (the Bimini is "up" all the time and all folded back to the rear arch and covered when stowed) or those legs can be removed and replaced with straps or lines to allow the top to fold down flat onto the deck. The coolest thing about the Ocean South tops is that the storage cover is built right into the top, unlike most other brands. You wad it all up onto the rear arch, flip the top flap out and zip it closed. Neat, quick and painless.

    https://oceansouth.us/product-catego...minum-biminis/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    The coolest thing about the Ocean South tops is that the storage cover is built right into the top, unlike most other brands. You wad it all up onto the rear arch, flip the top flap out and zip it closed. Neat, quick and painless.
    This is more than cool. And for $175 really can't be beat. I AM really bummed they don't have a hunter green color as that would nicely match my underbelly but yeah: this is a fantastic option. Bookmarked!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,284

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    That burgundy/red color might look pretty good with all that mahogany. For what it's worth, I originally had that light grey one on the Whaler, figuring that it might be cooler underneath a light color. I recently switched to a blue one and it didn't seem to make any real difference. In any case, it's just nice to be able to get some shade on a hot day.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    That burgundy/red color might look pretty good with all that mahogany. For what it's worth, I originally had that light grey one on the Whaler, figuring that it might be cooler underneath a light color. I recently switched to a blue one and it didn't seem to make any real difference. In any case, it's just nice to be able to get some shade on a hot day.
    I agree - I think it is the one I'm going to go with. I haven't gotten out to measure it (did get my '61 Merc 400 running though! Those guys were REALLY stringent about how to clean the carbs and I clearly did a poor job the first time. Phew!) but will this evening and probably start planning for it's arrival.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wongawallan Oz
    Posts
    16,633

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    I’d have thought beige the obvious choice on a woody???? It’d match the pin striping/inlays on your boat
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    23,664

    Default

    My vote is for forest green, like the seats.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,284

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Some of the other brands do make green tops. They're all using the same basic tubing and hardware and are within a similar price range.

    Naviskin from Amazon -4 bow

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078SPCGVB...nVl&th=1&psc=1

    naviskin 4 bow.jpg

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    I’d have thought beige the obvious choice on a woody???? It’d match the pin striping/inlays on your boat
    Very good point. I think Green is the way to go AND I just discovered the OceanSouth option will not work...it's minimum width is 61" -- I'm at 55" maximum just between the cockpits, so I'm now looking at a 53-54" option, which are bountiful on Amazon...and in green! It's about storage time anyway - we have it scheduled out next weekend to end the year so I'll definitely have some time in the coming weeks to get it installed and photo-op'd anyway!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    970

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    How do Bimini tops do at speed? Is it just a matter of keeping the forward edge down a bit from the rest so that the air passes through without trying to lift the top?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,284

    Default Re: DIY (or mod-to-fit) bimini top for old woody?

    Top speed on my Whaler with a 25 Yamaha is around 27-28 mph on the sonar's GPS function. The Three-bow Bimini tops have had the straps fore and aft replaced with Dyneema cords because I don't like the way straps flap around in the wind. Without worrying much about the angle of the tops, they have always seemed pretty stable at speed. I can't say anything about higher speeds.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •