How to Make Sure You Get the Perfect Bimini Top For Your Boat
Are you trying to figure out whether you need a Bimini top for your boat? Or, if you already know you need a Bimini top, are you trying to figure out how to choose the top that’s best for your boat?
There are a lot of ways to buy a Bimini top and a lot of Bimini top options to choose from. To help you better navigate the choppy waters, here are 5 Bimini top buying tips so you can make the decision that’s right for you.
1. Do You Need a Bimini Top For Your Boat?
First of all, why do people buy Bimini tops? More importantly, do you even need a Bimini top for your boat?
See if this story sounds familiar:
It’s summer time. The sun is at full blast and it’s scorching hot. You and your passengers have been out on the water for hours and you’re getting worn out. Your skin is starting to look like a ripe tomato. The thought of getting under some cool shade sounds as good as a cold beer… and nothing usually sounds as good as a cold beer.
Worst of all, you’d wanted to spend a full day on the water, but now you’re thinking about calling it a day a few hours early.
Does this sounds like an experience you’ve had? Then you already know why so many boaters choose to get a Bimini top on their boats. A Bimini top:
- Makes boating more comfortable and enjoyable,
- Lets you spend more hours out doing what you love on the water,
- Keeps you from getting dehydrated and fried up by the sun (while adding style and value to your boat, too).
In short, a Bimini top is an investment that boat lovers choose to make so they can spend more time on their boats.
So now you know that you need/want a Bimini top. What’s next?
2. Standard Or Custom Bimini Tops?
If you need or want a standard/pre-sized Bimini top for your boat, your best bet is to find a trustworthy online retailer who specializes in boat covers and Bimini tops. This works well if you have a popular boat model that a Bimini top seller is likely to carry in stock. At Boat Covers Direct, we stock a huge number of Biminis for popular boat makes and models so we can ship the same day you order (and shipping is always free).
If you need or want a custom Bimini top for your boat, you can either: 1) go to a local canvas shop (usually costs more and takes longer to make), or 2) find a trustworthy online retailer who specializes in boat covers and Bimini tops (we might know some folks).
A few reasons that people choose custom or special order Bimini tops are:
- to get an unusual color or pattern (we offer a Camo Bimini top for fishing boats)
- to get a perfect fit and/or customized dimensions
- there are no standard Bimini tops made for their particular boat’s make & model.
We’ve made custom Biminis for every boat imaginable for people living all over the map, so don’t think we can’t put you under a gorgeous Bimini that sets your boat apart on the water. If you have a pontoon for example, we have Automatic and Double Bimini tops which are some great specialty options.
3. Cover the Details
When comparison shopping, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, not oranges. A few details to consider:
- What’s the fabric made of and what’s the oz weight per square yard? Does the fabric have UV inhibitors so it doesn’t fade? Anti-Fungal and/or Anti-Microbial finishes so they don’t mold or deteriorate over time?
- Is the frame made of plastic, aluminum or stainless steel? Most of our customers choose an aluminum frame with stainless fittings.
- Is the hardware made of nylon or stainless steel? While stainless looks super sleek, nylon also performs very well, and is warrantied for the same time period when you buy from Covers Direct.
- What are the connector pieces made from? The eye strap of your Bimini top is the hook which your hold down straps buckle to. This area will receive more stress than any other place on the top. You want something solid, like our heavy duty nickel plated brass snap hooks and eye straps. Wire and plastic is commonly used in this area on cheaper tops, so be careful.
- What speed is the Bimini top rated up to? Our Biminis are rated for travel of up to 35mph while deployed—the highest rating on the market.
- Is the Bimini American made? We’re sure China is a beautiful country to visit, but they don’t tend to make the highest quality, most durable products. Not to mention it’s always a good idea to support American companies!
- What’s the warranty on the Bimini? 3 years? 5 years? What about the fine print? Our Bimini tops come with a 5-10 year warranty, depending on material. And we’re right here standing behind our product if you ever have a problem.
4. Style: Don’t Be That Guy…
Want to know how a woman feels when she’s picking out a bikini top? Once you start to buy a Bimini top for your boat, maybe you’ll start to understand the opposite sex a little better.
Nobody wants to be that guy out on the water with the ugly, mismatched misfitting Bimini top. You don’t even want to tie up next to that guy because the ugly might infect your baby.
When you’re selecting a Bimini, you want something which fits your dimensions well and a color that matches the details of your boat. Boat Covers Direct has virtually unlimited color options for our custom Bimini tops and we even carry 20 plus colors on our standard, stock Biminis that can ship the same day you place your order.
So, don’t be that guy out on the water with the ugly Bimini top.
5. Price Out Your Bimini Top
Imagine if a friend asked you, “how much does a boat cost?” The first thing you’d probably say back is “it depends on what you want.”
There’s a big difference in price and quality between an old Jon Boat and a new Bayliner. The same principle is true when you’re buying a Bimini top.
If you choose to buy a “cheap” Bimini, you’re going to end up paying the true price later down the line. The top might be loose and floppy. The frame is more likely to bend or break. The fabric is probably going to tear, mold and fade. The nuts and bolts are going to snap. Etc, etc.
Then, you’re going to be back in the same boat (no pun intended) shopping for another Bimini top that’s actually high quality. So instead of buying one Bimini, you’ve bought two. Did you really save money? Nope. But you did put a few bucks in the pocket of the Chinese sweat shop owner instead of the wallet of an American worker.
So why not just start with something quality that’s going to look good, work well and last for the longest time possible while carrying a solid warranty with an American company standing behind it?
Now, depending on your boat’s make and model, what you should expect to pay for a good Bimini top is going to vary. If you want to start running some numbers, you can use our helpful online tools to get a price, or you can even call one of our in-house experts toll free at 866-626-8377 and let us work out the numbers for you.
Oh, and we have a low price guarantee, so if you just so happen to find someone else that’s offering the same Bimini top for less than we are, give us a ring and we’ll beat the price.
Whatever you do, don’t get fooled into paying the high price of a “cheap” , low quality Bimini top.
What Do Boat Covers Direct Customers Have To Say About Our Bimini Tops & Service?
Anyone can make a claim. Only a few can back it up. At Boat Covers Direct, we aim to fall into that second category. And judging from the thousands of grateful calls, letters and emails we’ve gotten from our satisfied customers, we think our aim is pretty good.
Here’s what a few of our customers have said about our Bimini tops in their own words:
“Couldn’t have been better. Every phase of the shopping and installation experience was excellent. As we were installing our new Bimini I literally mentioned to my wife what a pleasure it was (for once) to work with quality hardware.”
“The web selection process for my BIMINI was very easy. This is also the only company that I could find that makes a BIMINI for my small JON boat. I have sent back photos showing the finished product mounted on my boat. It’s great! As I was putting things together, I noticed the stitching and metal work showed excellent workmanship. This is a Quality company!”
“Boatcovers web site and ordering was easy. Follow up on delivery was very attentive. The product, my Bimini, is fantastic and makes my on the water experience safe from sun exposure and enjoyable – plus it looks great and adds value to my boat.”
“Used my brand new bimini top for a straight week on the lake and it was great. Looks like it will last a long time. Easy to set up and install. I recommend it.”
“I ordered on a Monday, and my bimini was delivered the next day! Installed the next Saturday which went very well and I didn’t need the frame. (Replacing a 21 y/o cover) Called on Monday to see if I could return the frame which was no problem. Money was credited to my cc by Thursday. Super satisfied with the entire process.”
“After buying a cover for my Boston Whaler a few years ago and having it fit perfectly and hold up very well to the elements, I decided to buy a Bimini top for my boat this year. The top arrived on time, installed very quickly and looks to be of excellent quality. The boat has been out in heavy winds and a lot of chop and the top is performing exactly as I wanted.”
We hope you found these 5 Bimini top buying tips helpful! If you want to get a Bimini top for your boat from Boat Covers Direct, you can order online here or give us a call at 866-626-8377 (between 9am – 5pm EST).