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Sun Shade and Serenity on the Seas.

SY "Josephine" in the Hara marina
SY "Josephine" in the Hara marina

Choosing the Right Bimini Top for Your Boat.

The sun is your friend on the water, but sometimes, too much of a good thing can leave you feeling fried. That’s where a bimini top comes in, offering a much-needed shield from the sun and creating a cool, shaded oasis on your boat. But with so many options available, choosing the right bimini top can feel overwhelming. Fear not, fellow boaters! This guide will help you navigate the waters of bimini selection and find the perfect fit for your vessel and needs.

Step 1: Measure Twice, Shade Once

Before diving into styles and materials, grab a measuring tape. You’ll need to determine the length, width, and height required for your bimini top. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Width: Measure the widest point where the bimini will be mounted, usually across the gunwales. Mark these points down using masking tape.
  • Length: Measure the desired coverage area, typically from the windshield/sprayhood or a designated mounting point to the stern.
  • Length to mounting point: Measure the distance from the both ends of coverage area to the mounting point.
  • Height: Stand inside your boat and measure the desired clearance from the floor to the top of your head for comfortable standing or sitting. Then take measurement from the floor to the mounting point.
  • Mark all the measurements down.
  • Extra measurements on sailing boat: On a sailing boat put the boom on the lowest position and make sure the bimini is clear from all running rigging.
  • If backstays are “going through” the bimini you need to measure the distance from the front edge of the bimini to the backstay. In case of 2 backstays measure the distance between them.

Step 2: Size Matters, But So Does Style

Now, let’s talk styles! Different tops cater to different needs:

  • Traditional Bimini: The classic option of 2 arch bimini, offering basic sun protection and a simple design.
  • Walk-around Bimini: Provides wider coverage and allows walking around the boat with the top up. All models of 3 bar and 4 bar biminis.
  • Bimini with Extension: Attachable extensions offer additional shade when needed. Extensions are affordable and easy to install.
  • Folding Bimini: Convenient for easy storage and deployment. All our bimini frames are folding. However, the add ons, like rigid solar panels or handrails, can turn the folding bimini into fixed.

Step 3: Material Matters: Durability and Comfort

The fabric of your bimini will impact its lifespan, functionality, and aesthetics. Popular choices include:

  • Sunbrella: A high-quality, UV-resistant marine fabric known for its durability and colorfastness.
  • Masacril by Sauleda: Offers good UV protection and durability, but can be heavier than other options. Masacril is used in all our standard biminis.
  • Polyester: More affordable option, but may fade and wear faster than other options.

Step 4: Don’t Forget the Extras!

Customize your bimini with additional features like:

  • Clear panels: Allow light and visibility while maintaining shade.
  • Side curtains: Add privacy and wind protection.
  • Full cockpit enclosure: Extend your season adding full enclosure.
  • Handrails: For safer boating.
  • Stainless steel struts: Support your bimini with struts instead of straps. This upgrade is a must if you want to add solar on top of your bimini.
  • Strapless bimini: Less ropes and stuff on board is always better. Check our strapless bimini conversion kit. This kit can turn any bimini to strapless bimini.
  • Rigid or folding solar panels: Be more self sustainable with extended solar power.

Bonus Tip: Consider Adding a Bug Screen

Short Scandinavian summers are precious, so make the most of your boat time! Annoying flies can ruin a relaxing day on the water, but don’t worry! Add a bug screen to your bimini top, like a magic shield against those pesky buzzers. Think breathable mesh that lets the cool breeze in while keeping the flies firmly out. Picture this: a peaceful lunch under the shade, no swatting needed, just the sound of water and maybe some happy seagulls. Now that’s a Scandinavian summer dream come true!

Remember: Don’t hesitate to seek help from experienced marine professionals! They can assist with measurements, suggest suitable options, and ensure a perfect fit for your boat.

With the right bimini top, you can transform your boat into a haven of sun-kissed comfort, making your time on the water even more enjoyable. So, grab your measuring tape, explore your options, and get ready to shade yourself from the sun and embrace the serenity of the sea!

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