How to Raise and Lower a Boat Bimini Top

Posted by Author David Lee


Last Updated September 1, 2021

How to Raise and Lower a Boat Bimini Top

Play along with me for a moment and picture the scene: It’s a beautiful sunny day. You’re out with your family on your bowrider. You’re having a great time when suddenly the clouds roll in. It starts to pour down rain. Quick! Put up the bimini top. But you fumble with this, you fumble with that. You can’t get it up and everyone gets soaked, right? Wrong! Because in about one minute, you’re gonna know exactly how to assemble a bimini top.

Step number one – grab the top, lift it up and get your aft support ready to roll. In this case, you just pop it out of that little clamp there and then insert the ball joint into the base. Then you need to add a pin here. You put that through to secure it. That side’s good. On to the other side.

Step number 2: Release the straps. In some cases, your top might have a boot that zippers over this and contains the cloth inside. And in this case, simply unwrap the straps, grab the front support, and swing it forward.

Now with the bimini top in this position, we can affix the forward straps. These give you the forward support. You need to pull down at the front to get some slack into that strap and clip it in place. We’ll do the same to the other side. You’re all set, right? Wait a minute. You might need to adjust the straps a little bit to get the right tension. But in any case, now you can get the family. You’ll stay nice and dry, and you can continue your day of fun boating.

The rain’s gone away, the clouds have broken up, now it’s a nice sunny day again. As you might expect, stowing the top is just the reverse process. First, grab the top, pull down a little bit to put some slack in the line, and remove your clips. And push the front support back. Use the straps to wrap back around the canvas. Again, if yours has a boot with a zipper, now you’ll place it over top to secure the top. Then go back to those lower supports. Pull the pin. Right about now you might be asking yourself why am I banging on these to get them out? These little balls here go into an insert. It’s quite tight. Yeah, that makes it a little bit of a pain in the butt to get them out, but on the flip side, it secures them really well so as you run your boat, you don’t hear any rattling or any clanking coming from that joint. It’s really quite nice.

A couple of final tips. Never forget that in high winds or a lightning storm it can be dangerous to try and put a bimini up. You also want to remember that when you put it down and stow it for the long term, it really should be dry. Let it sundry if necessary, and that will prevent mold and mildew from growing on the top. Finally, when you’re towing down the road, stow your top first. These tops are not designed to take the buffeting of a 60 or 65-70 mile an hour wind. You really should tow with them in the down position.

See also Best Bimini Tops Review

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