Frequently Asked Questions - Bimini Tops
Q: I have a Taylor Made bimini top which needs replacement parts.  Where can I buy the specific parts I need?

A: Taylor Made does sell bimini replacement parts direct. You can contact a customer care rep at the following numbers. 

           Phone: 800-628-5188 
           Fax: 518-725-4910 


Q:How do I clean my bimini top? 

A:Wash bimini top with mild soap or detergent. Shake out dusty bimini skin or use a garden hose to rinse dirt off. Use compressed air for stubborn dirt. DO NOT use a scrub brush. DO NOT  put into the washer or dryer. DO NOT use bleach or harsh astringents. DO NOT USE CHEMICALS OF ANY KIND. Line dry. 



Q:I need a replacement pole for my bimini top but am unsure what the specific part is called? 

A:Most of the requests we receive for bent poles are either type A, B, or C. Please see the diagram below to see which one you need befor calling a customer care rep.



Q:How do I Select the  Bimini Top that’s right for me? 

A:The combination of height & length determine how much shade your Bimini BoaTop will provide. Think about how you use your boat & what you want to shade; for example, if you want to shade yourself and your children in the back, you probably want the longest Bimini available in a medium height. If you are out fishing by yourself most of the time, you probably want the smaller, taller bimini; to provide shade but allow you to walk and maneuver under the top. If you’re a skier or wake boarder, you need only shade the driver & spotter, so a short, lower bimini is in order. The mounting location on the boat will sometimes play a role in the decision on top size also. 

1. Determine the length: 4 ft. 6 ft or 8 ft. How much of the cockpit area do you want to shade?

2. Determine the height: 36” 42”, or 54” . This is the Maximum standing height under the frame; from the mounting location. ie: if the top is to be mounted on the gunwale, the frame height will be the distance from the boat floor to the top of the gunwale PLUS the specified height of the bimini. 

3. Determine the width : This is the measurement from the mounting point of the top (where top attaches) on one side of the boat, to the same location on the opposite side of the boat. This is not the same as “Beam width” or boat width.
Widths of the Bimini BoaTops are specified in increments of approximately 6”; since the aluminum Frame has a degree of flexibility, it can safely be mounted over widths that vary slightly. Choose the width that most closely matches to your mounting point measurement.
60-66”, 67-72”, 73-78”, 79-84”, 85-90”, 91-96’, 97-103”.



Q:What is the Frame of the Bimini Top made from? 

A:Our BoaTop frames are a combination of ¾” OD x .058” wall thickness (centers) and 7/8” OD x .058 wall (A,B,C Bows) Bright Dip Anodized, drawn aluminum tubing.  The anodizing process treats the surface of the tubing to protect from oxidation and provide protection from the harsh marine environment. The drawing process is secondary to the extrusion process and adds hardness (strength) to the tubing and provides additional dimensional stability. Aluminum is the chosen material for the frames as it has a high strength to weight ratio. 

All of our frames are designed as “knock-down” frames; meaning that the frames are made up of sections that snap together via double-sided snap buttons. This design provides for a UPS- able package and also allows the customer to dis-assemble the top for more compact off-season storage. 

3-Bow or 4-Bow: This refers to the number of bows that make up the frame. 3-bow for the 4 Ft and 6 Ft length tops and 4-bow for 8 footers.
 

Other Frame Options:
• Full Frame: The bows and centers are made from a single piece of tubing. This provides a slight improvement in frame strength (minor clearance required for snap button design) and reduces assembly and installation time. Disadvantage is that full frame Bimini tops require truck shipment at great additional expense.
• Stainless Steel Full Frame: Same design as Aluminum full frame, except the frame is produced from 302 polished stainless tubing and includes stainless steel mounting hardware. These frames are much heavier and significantly more expensive than aluminum; but are sometimes desirable for salt water applications.
• Pontoon Top Frames: frame is knock-down design, but made from 1” square aluminum tubing, to match the aluminum playpen railing used on most OEM Pontoon Boats.
• Bimi-Tee Stainless steel frame, removable  T – Tops for center console boats.
• 2-Bow Aluminum frames; designed for use on small basic fishing boats and inflatable sport boats and dinghies.



Q:What are the Fabric choices for the Bimini Tops? 
   
A:We have raised the standard for Bimini Top fabric with our Ultima tm material. We are the only manufacturer using this 100% polyester with urethane coating, material with superior characteristics VS any other top fabric. Ultima is solution dyed – meaning that the yarn is dyed prior to the weaving process, meaning that the color will stay bright and vibrant for years. Ultima has urethane coating on the underside that makes the fabric greatly water repellant. The polyester material is a synthetic, so mildew & mold will not attack it like it will natural fibers. Perhaps more importantly, Ultima has less than 2% stretch, so it will not sag & bag (with the wet/dry cycle) as acrylics do. 

For the more traditional, we also offer 24 oz/sq-yd white marine vinyl. This material offers the OEM look and a time proven record as a marine fabric. The vinyl also is easily cleaned and incredibly strong.



Q:Are there other Options and Accessories that I may desire for my Bimini Top?

A:
1. Storage Boots: Zippered storage boots for bimini tops provide a means of keeping the top neat and clean when being stored or not in use. Boots feature a full length separating zipper for easy on/off. Ultima Tops come standard with color matched storage boots, marine vinyl boots are offered as an option.

2. Support Poles: Keep your Bimini Top up, off the gunwale with a pair of bimini Support poles. Use the poles to replace the rear straps and keep the top in a fixed position when not in use. Poles are available in an adjustable version, that allows various positions for the top; or a fixed length style that keeps your Bimini in a single upright location. Note – poles should not be used to replace the front straps and speeds should not exceed 35 mph.

3. Slide Assemblies: This option allows the bimini to be re-positioned (when folded down against the gunwale) either forward or to the stern from its normal mounting point when in use. This may be desirable to move the placement of bimini behind seats or to a more out of the way location when down.



Q:What type of Mounting Hardware Options do I have?

A:
1. All of our Tops ship standard with Black nylon 66 mounting hardware. (jaw slides, eye ends, deck mounts etc.)  These fittings are high density, non-corrosive and offer good strength and light weight.

2. Chromed Zamak fittings are the next step up in strength and appearance. Chrome plating over diecast zamak has long been a popular option for marine applications. This product has the polished look and  the ability to withstand saltwater environment.

3. Stainless Steel fitting offer the ultimate in appearance and function. 



 Q:What types of Mounting & Installation Tips do you Have?

A:Where to Mount The Top:
- Based on the length of the top, determine the center (mounting point) and be sure that you are locating it, where shade is most desired.
- See where the top will lay down against the gunwale (when folded down); to be sure it doesn’t interfere with seating etc.
- Determine which type of mounting hinges that will best suit your application. Both horizontal & vertical deck hinges are included with the top – for flat surface mounting , use the horizontal; - for angled surfaces, use the vertical mounts.

A:For Ease of Mounting :
- Pre-Drilling the holes for deck hinge mounting is required. Drilling into Gelcoat is best done with a sharp drill at lower RPM – Take care when fiberglass is penetrated, not to allow the bit to drop too far into the gunwale. Another tip to help ensure that you don’t crack the gelcoat edges when installing the screws, is to put a slight bevel on the drilled holes. 
- When installing the attachment screws, apply some clear (or white) silicone RTV to the holes – this will provide a water tight seal under the deck hinges.

A:For a Good Looking Fit:
- Have someone help when determining the location for the eye straps (follow drilling hits there also)for the tie down straps. The straps should be placed as far out as practical so that the top spreads out when the tiedown straps are tightened – but be sure that there is enough adjustment in the straps to loosen & tighten.
- Tighten the adjustment buckles on the straps until the top is taut and does not sag. Adjust the bow straps (under the top between the bows) by pulling the adjustment buckles, so that the center bow is approximately 2” higher than the front & rear bows.
- Step back & look at the top. If it does not appear centered on the frame, pull the top to the side & center it, front & rear.
- If you still have some “sagging” Try tightening the tiedown straps some more. It may be easier to have your helper gently pull down on the four corners of the top while you apply more tension to the straps.
- If you still have sagging, repositioning the “C” bow may be necessary. Loosen the set screw on the back of the c-bow jawslide & raise the jawslide 1”-2” & retighten the set screw. Repeat for the other side of the top – moving the same amount. Once the bow is repositioned, retighten the two bow straps from underneath
- These steps should ensure the proper adjustment for the best function & best looks for your top.



Q:Where Can I buy a Taylor Made Bimini Top?
A:  At a dealer or Marine retailer near you.
 
 Website, images and associated files ©1998-2005, Taylor Made Products, a member of the Taylor Made Group. All rights reserved.