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Installing new Bimini Top Full Enclosure

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    Installing new Bimini Top Full Enclosure

    Hey Guys,

    So I'm searching for someone to do a bimini top full enclosure for me. I have it narrowed down to a few, but I had some questions before making the final decision. Leta's Shop in Arlington, Wa will ship me the Bimini, and I will have to install it myself or have it installed. I'm very new to boats, and Bimini tops, so I apologize if these questions are a little silly, but I would rather look silly to you all, and not to someone I'm about to do business with. First question, when you order the Top, is it just the canvas and vinyl, or is it the frame as well (this i was concerned was a silly question). I'm assuming the frame as well, but I want to make sure there are no surprises. If it does include frame, what is generally the material used, and is there a preferred material ie aluminum? Finally, is installation of a Bimini top appropriate for a newbie to do their selves? Or is it beyond a newbie, and better left to professionals? What is involved with the install? Thanks for any information and help.
    Last edited by Jim_Gandee; 05-25-2019, 08:14 PM.
    2001 Cierra 2855 Moored at Hylebos Marina, Tacoma, WA. Retire Army. Works at SeaTac International Airport.

    Eddya, we all started out new to boating. Good questions which have a variety of answers. I regularly attend "YTU" YouTube Univ. and study several videos and then feel comfortable tackling things myself. First Bimini's can be ordered as canvas only, frame only (or frame parts) or complete units so always enquire since total price and shipping will be affected. Leta's takes a lot of the measuring guesswork out of the equation. From what I hear she has most of the original patterns and templates, as does Kim at CanPlus ( orig upholstery, etc) since they both worked at BL.

    Did your boat have a Bimini at some point or will this be a new install? If it had one there should be fittings where the frame would attach. If not just take your time and once assembled have a friend or two help hold things in place and make some measurements. DO NOT DRILL YET! I'd (if you haven't already) click OWNERS LISTS from the forum drop down menu and find the owners group for your particular model. Enquire there what their measurements/ spacing are You can lay 2" masking tape down and mark it during the fitting process so that when you drill there'll be no OOPS es. It's not really all that difficult Just do research and get the knowledge before starting. Alum/ stainless frames. Depends on budget and level of strength and durability you want. Salt eats away aluminum and is weaker. Consider the environment you'll be boating in. The canvas. ask around in your area and on here as to weight and pro's/ con's of materials other than canvas. Just noticed you posted this in May so no doubt you've already discovered that A Bimini and full enclosure can be pricey! Used offers a solution for here and now, as well as giving you time to budget in canvas and you'll already have a frame so.....

    The canvas usually ships with snaps included but NOT installed that way the owner (who often times is replacing a worn top) can install them in alignment with the receiving parts already mounted to the hull. Easy job with a tool that's like a pair of pliers.
    Restoring/ upgrading: 1990 Ciera Sunbridge 2655 ST, "One Particular Harbour"
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha 1 Gen 1 (my floating retirement villa if it doesn't kill me first)
    1995 SeaPro 210 C/C "Hydro-Therapy"
    Mariner 150
    Towing with:
    2002 Ford F 350 7.3L Super Duty
    Near High Rock Lake, N.C.


      I installed a top and side curtain that Leta's made for me. It was just the canvas and curtains. I used a snap locating kit from Sailrite that had a female snap with a pin on it. You put the snap on your mounted male snap then force the pin through the canvas to hold it in place. You get about 25 of these "snap pins" so you can pretty much mount a panel without setting a snap for a test fit. Then use the tool to place a permanent snap at the pin location on the canvas. It's not hard but you must take your time and get things even and hanging right.

      Do you need the bows also, I'm not sure if Leta's can manufacture those for you, but you can ask, she may be able to or have a source for them.

      2004 Bayliner 285 350 MPI Bravo III
      2007 Bayliner 192 Discovery 3.0 135HP (sold)
      2000 Ciera 2455 sold
      Redmond, Washington
      The one on the Left (Wet) Coast


        "HueyCrew" post=827384 wrote:
        I regularly attend "YTU" YouTube Univ. and study several videos and then feel comfortable tackling things myself.
        LMAO!!! I'm all over that! YTU! I may never graduate, but I'm definitely a student!

        Thanks, HueyCrew, I needed that, ...and I may use it too!

        I digress. Back to the OP.
        "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
        MMSI: 367637220
        HAM: KE7TTR
        TDI tech diver
        BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter


          Leta used to be able to supply aluminum bows. I do not know if she still has the bending tools at her new location. I had aluminum bows from Leta on my last boat and never has=d an issue with corrosion in the 7 years that I owned it.

          Leta will not install the snaps because the factory snaps on Bayliners vary in location; no two boats are the same. She will supply high quality snaps and an installation tool with the canvas. I never saw the need for the Sailrite snap pins. I've always located snaps by pressing the canvas against the boat snap and marking with a felt tip pen. I start in the center and install the snaps on the canvas as I go along. This way the canvas stays put as I continue.

          eddya, is your boat on a trailer? If so, consider taking it to Leta in Arlington. She can do the complete installation at her shop. Call her first because the space is limited. An alternative is to see if she will come to Dagmar's or the Everett Marina. If she will, you can take the boat there.
          1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
          2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
          Anacortes, WA
          Isla Verde, PR


            Try Sailrite on the internet for do it yourself bows. Garchar
            1988 2655
            2009 Volvo Penta 5.7 300 hp DP F3s
            Twice Past Commodore
            Northwest Outboard Trailer Sailors, Eugene,OR


              I had Lonnie to do my Full fly bridge enclosure and all of my interior upholstery. He did a great job and he does everything.

              He's in Tacoma.

              Lonnie Westerbur

              The Canvas Loft

              253 359-7486

              [email protected]

              Tell him Burr Hope recommended him to you.

              Good luck

              Attached files

              Burr & Francie
              1989, 3288 Motor Yacht "Kokomo"
              1961, Cal 20 (sailboat) "Deja Vu"


                Anyone know which way a bimini top stows on a 98 1802? Toward the front or back. Thanks.