Questions and Answers about Carver Bimini Tops

How easy is the Bimini top to remove once I install it on the boat?

Our Bimini tops attach to the boat in 3 places on either side. The main attachment point is the deck hinge. In front of and behind that on either side will be hold down straps* which you can use to simply unclip the Bimini top from the boat. The deck hinge uses a screw to attach the Bimini top to the boat. By replacing this screw with a quick release pin, you can remove the Bimini with ease. Simply unclip the front and rear hold down straps, then remove the quick release pin. Your Bimini top is now disconnected from your boat.

The front and rear hold down straps may be replaced by a brace kit. If this is the case, you would need to insert quick release pins into the brace kit's deck hinge. This will allow for easy removal of the top. We have quick release pins available in our Bimini top hardware section.

Will my Bimini top lay down flat?

You can easily lay your Bimini top down flat by unclipping the front or rear hold down straps. This will allow you to cover your boat without fully removing your Bimini top. If you have replaced your hold down straps with a brace kit, you should simply use quick release pins in place of your screws. Your Bimini will lay to the front if you unclip your rear hold down straps. Unclipping your front hold down straps will allow the Bimini to lie towards the rear of the boat.

Do I have to mount the Bimini top on a flat surface?

Our Bimini tops come with universal deck hinges for mounting. These hinges swivel, allowing you to mount your Bimini at almost any angle. You can mount it on top of the gunnel, on the inside of the windshield, on the outside of the boat, etc. Rail mount adaptors are available upon request, which are made to allow you to mount the Bimini top on a railing.

My year isn't listed. How can I choose the correct Bimini top?

Choosing the correct Bimini top is easy, even if we don't have a particular size applied. To determine what size you need, we need to know the width between the points where you would like to mount the Bimini to the boat, and the height you would like the top from the mounting point up. You can easily measure the width between mounting points and your desired height, then choose your size.

Often, a Bimini top's size will stay the same for a boat model over the years. If you don't see your year listed, you can get an idea of what size you may need by pulling up your boat's model and choosing the year closest to yours. Note the dimensions of the Bimini top applied to the years listed for your boat. Take a tape measure to your boat, and double check the size that is applied.

The size you list for my boat is not the size I had in mind. What do you recommend?

Covers Direct recommends relying on your own dimensions, should your measurements conflict with what we have applied to your boat. Our Bimini tops come with hardware that will allow you to mount them anywhere on the boat; from the inside of the boat, to the outside of the gunnell, to the top of the windshield. With the option for different mounting locations, it is likely that where we recommend you mount your top may be different than from where you intend on mounting it. This is fine as there is no right or wrong mounting location.

As long as you are measuring the width between your mounting points in a straight line, and the height of the frame from the mounting point up, your measurements should be correct. Should you still have concerns about your dimensions not matching what we recommend, just give us a call. We are happy to walk you through it.

I want to install a Bimini top to my boat that's equipped with a tower. How can I do this without drilling into my tower?

Covers Direct offers Bimini tops for boats with towers. The Bimini tops are made to mount to the tower itself. They will clamp onto the tower legs, so there is no need to damage your tower by drilling into it.

Is the stainless steel upgrade worth the extra money?

Our Carver Bimini tops come standard with nylon fittings. The option to upgrade to stainless steel fittings is available. It is $99 to upgrade to stainless fittings on a 3 bow frame, and $109 for a 4 bow frame. Bimini Top warranties are based on the material ordered, so the stainless and nylon fittings will have the same warranty. Both fitting types are very strong. If you experience an issue with fittings during the warranty period, Covers Direct will replace them free of charge.

Stainless fittings will match the aluminum tubing of your Bimini top in color. We do offer stainless frames as well. Click here for full stainless frames with stainless fittings.

When you order a stainless upgrade, the pieces that are replaced with stainless are the jaw slides, eye ends, and deck hinges. While stainless fittings are an excellent Bimini top upgrade, the nylon fittings are also of high quality and should last for years to come.

What makes Carver Bimini tops better than other tops on the market?

To begin with, all of Carver's products are made here in the USA, and 99.9% of their materials used in construction are obtained within the USA. Their factory is located in Landrum, SC. 90% of their employees have been working there for 10 plus years, ensuring they are experienced in their craft. Carver is an excellent manufacturer. Here are a few things that make their Bimini tops stand out from the competition:

Are your Bimini tops "green"?

Carver Industries has committed to a "green" initiative, making their products and manufacturing processes more environmentally friendly. They have implemented this practice by saving 90% of their scrap material for recycling rather than sending it to landfills. They recycle 100% of their packaging materials including boxes and shipping waste. Carver employees are encouraged to implement the same practices at home and their collective household garbage has been reduced by an estimated 50%.

Who is Carver Industries?

Carver Industries is a domestic manufacturer of boat covers and Bimini tops. All of their products are made in the USA, in Landrum, SC. The manufacturer has over 30 years of experience fabricating boat covers and Bimini tops. Over 90% of their employees have been with the company for 10 plus years. Carver obtains over 90% of their materials used in construction within the US. They pride themselves on delivering excellent customer service. Our company, Covers Direct, has been doing business with Carver since we opened around 10 years ago, and we could not be more pleased with their products' quality and their outstanding service.

Will the Bimini top be sent to me put together? If not, what do I have to do?

As a rule, Bimini tops are not sent fully assembled. Assembly is easy. All tops are sent with instructions, and we have helpful videos online.

While we do have the option of sending the tops fully assembled, an extra charge is involved as the top will have to be sent on a truck. Unfortunately, regular UPS and Fed Ex are not able to accept the Bimini tops when they are assembled because of their large size, so we send them via freight truck (RL, Estes, etc). This shipping is more expensive than the rates we incur using a regular carrier to ship an unassembled Bimini. For this reason, there is an additional charge of $150 to have your Bimini top fully assembled and shipped to you. If you are ordering a fully assembled Bimini top, please ensure the delivery location is sufficient for a freight truck to access.

What does 2, 3 and 4 bow mean?

Bimini tops come in 2, 3 and 4 bow styles. The bows of the Bimini are the parts of the frame that go from side to side over the width of the boat. Bimini tops come with either 2, 3, or 4 main bows.

2 bow Bimini tops are the smallest offered and are mainly for shorter Jon style fishing boats, v-hull fishing boats, and inflatables. Carver offers 2 bow Bimini tops in a height of 42" with a canvas 5'6" long.

3 bow Bimini tops are by far the most common Bimini ordered. This style of Bimini is recommended for V hull runabouts, ski boats, performance boats, and most center consoles. Most 3 bow Bimini tops are 6' in length. Heights offered from Carver are 30", 35", 36", 46", 54" and 60".

4 bow Bimini tops are the largest tops we offer. This style of Bimini is reserved for a larger boat such as a pontoon or deck boat. 4 bow Bimini tops from Carver are offered in heights of 36", 48", 54" or 60". Canvases on 4 bow Bimini tops will be either 8', 9', or 10' in length.

I have a pontoon boat. I see Bimini tops that are offered in "square tube" or "round tube". What is the difference?

Carver offers pontoon Bimini tops in both round and square tubing. Your decision on round vs. square tubing should be made based on the type of railings you have on your boat. Most all pontoons come with square railings. Our square tube Bimini tops are made to match the square tubing on your pontoon boat. In case you are mounting this on a deck boat, or an unconventionally styled pontoon with round tubing, we also offer the option of a round tube Bimini top.

It should be noted that all square tube Bimini tops come with a free matching rear brace kit. Square tubing is 1" in diameter. Round tubing is 7/8" in diameter.

How do I mount a Bimini top on my inflatable if I don't have a rigid surface?

Carver offers a special kit for mounting Bimini tops that will be affixed directly onto an inflatable's Hypalon or Vinyl/PVC. Most inflatable boats have a rigid surface that you can drill a Bimini top's fittings into. For those that do not, we offer this special mounting kit that basically allows you to superglue the Bimini top to the inflatable. This kit includes all the hardware that a regular Bimini would include. However, the pieces (deck hinges and eye straps) that attach to the boat are affixed onto patches. These patches are made to be applied to the boat using the specialized glue that comes with the kit.

I have a pontoon boat and need a Bimini top. You list a few types- what is the difference?

Carver Industries offers pontoon Bimini tops in either square or round tubing. The tubing is made to match the railings on the boat. As most pontoons have square railings, square tubing is most commonly ordered for pontoon Bimini tops.

Our square tube Bimini tops come in different sizes and with different features. All square tube Bimini tops will come with a free rear brace kit. Square tube Bimini tops for pontoons are offered in heights of 48", 54", and 60", and in lengths of 8', 9', and 10'.

Carver's square tube Bimini tops come with the option of having a light cut-out added. Bimini tops with light cut-outs come with zippers installed at the bows so you can remove the canvas easily without taking off your Bimini top.

Free standing pontoon Bimini tops are also offered. This type of Bimini top does not have either straps or a brace kit to hold it up in the front, so it is considered "free standing". This makes it easier to maneuver while fishing. Free standing tops are offered with or without a cut-out for a running light. Zippered sleeves are available to allow easy removal of the canvas.

Double pontoon Biminis are available. These are designed for pontoon boats 22' or more in length. The double Bimini is essentially 2 8 foot long tops which zip together in the middle, creating a 16' canopy. Front and rear braces are included with the purchase of a double Bimini.

We also sell buggy style Biminis for pontoons. These are going to have tails of material at the rear on either side that come down off the canvas and clip onto the boat.

Can I replace the fabric portion only on my Bimini top?

As a rule, Carvers Bimini top canvases will only work as replacements on frames that are made by Carver.

However, we do offer a more generalized replacement canvas for pontoon Bimini tops that will work with frames made by different manufacturers.

Carver's replacement canvas is made for pontoon Bimini tops 48" or 54" high and come in lengths of 8', 9', or 10'. The canvas is made to fit a Bimini top that mounts to the boat between 91 and 102". The replacement canvas will come with zippered sleeves so you can easily fit it to the frame without removing anything. It will come with a cut-out for the running light.

*Storage boots do not come with replacement canvases and must be purchased separately.

Can I remove height from my Bimini top?

Carver Bimini tops can be cut down, but not very much as a rule. You can cut the top down up to the first jaw slide, which is usually only about an inch or so.

The exception is the Super Sport Bimini top and the 46" high Bimini top. The Super Sport top can be cut down from 35" to 30", and the 46" high Bimini can be cut down 10" for a final height of 36".

For information on cutting down your Carver Bimini top, view page 6 of these instructions.

What is the difference between a regular Bimini top and a Super Sport Bimini top?

Super Sport Bimini tops are made specifically for low profile ski boats and runabouts. The main difference in this top is that it can be cut down further than our standard Biminis.

Most of our tops can be cut down only about an inch or so- up to the first jaw slide. The Super Sport Bimini top can actually be cut down from 35" to 30" to give the Bimini top a lower profile, sleeker appearance.

When I lay my Bimini top down, where will it land on my boat?

When your Bimini is not in use, you can unclip the front or rear hold down straps and lay it down in either direction. When you lay the top down, it will become longer than it is tall when it's standing up. This is because of the way that the metal bows nestle together. If you intend to fish on the boat with your Bimini top down, or you have other equipment stored in your boat, this could be a concern with space. Below we list each Bimini top height, and how long that top will be from the mounting point to the top of the canvas when it is laying down flat in your boat.

How fast can I go when your Bimini top is deployed?

Carver Bimini tops can be safely used and deployed going at speeds of up to 35 MPH. If you would like to go faster with your top up, we recommend thru-bolting.

How do I thru bolt my Bimini top so I can go faster than 35 MPH with it up?

The first step is, if you have nylon fittings, to replace them with stainless steel. If you have stainless to begin with, you can obviously skip this step.

Next, you would simply thru-bolt the connection points of the Bimini to the boat- the front and rear eye straps, and the deck hinge. To do this, you need a longer bolt that goes completely through the fiberglass and extends to the underside. We recommend adding an extra washer and nut for stability and security

Lastly, you should check the top for stability- make sure the front of the top is angled downward. If it is not, you can pull the front hold down straps tight to change the angle. As always, you should check all straps and fittings for tightness before using the Bimini.

Thru-bolting your top will allow you to go at speeds of up to 45 MPH with the top up. *Be aware of the wind and adjust your speed accordingly. When trailering your boat, your Bimini top should be laying down.