1992 Montauk Bimini top extension

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Lucas M
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:51 pm

1992 Montauk Bimini top extension

Postby Lucas M » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:10 pm

Hi, we are new to world of boating and picked up a 1992 Montauk in November after a lot of searching and determining it was the boat that best suited our needs and budget.

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Montauk with Bimini top
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Have taken out the MONTAUK a few times this season and really enjoying it. Next year, there is talk that we might want to try the run from Lake Champlain down to New York over a period of around one week (with two small kids), and if at the end of this season we think we can do it we will start planning. One of my concerns was having some protection in rainy weather. The boat came with a Mills top (aluminum frame) and I thought that if I could get some kind of clear screen with fabric out maybe towards the front rail (enough for two people to ride relatively dry at lower speeds in rain) and out to the sides that would be ideal. Something that could attach and roll out from the existing top. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with a pretty simple solution, that at the same time would fold away easily when not in use? I know that there is the Mills Forward Shelter but with a price of around $2,000 (and very few used) that would be out of our range at this time.

Thanks

jimh
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Re: 1992 Montauk Bimini top extension

Postby jimh » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:38 pm

Welcome to boating. A Boston Whaler MONTAUK is a great boat to choose.

One thing to learn about boats: weather canvas is like boat jewelry. It is expensive. The Mills weather canvas system is a great system, and, as you discovered, it is expensive. The options are limited.

One alternative to Mills weather canvas will be to fit some off-the-shelf pre-made canvas to the boat. This is generally possible with Bimini tops or mooring covers, which can be used on a hull even if not custom designed for that specific hull. But for items like a forward shelter or dodger, I don't think there are too many other Montauk-specific options available other than the Mills canvas.

Another approach is to just make your weather canvas from some generic boat canvas or even from camping tents. This is not going to have a nautical appearance, but it can keep you dry when it rains.

Or, if you can find a local boat canvas artisan, have some custom-made canvas sewn and fitted. Generally this won't be particularly cheap, either. In popular boating areas there will usually be a few canvas shops. The best ones will typically have a backlog of work stretching out for months, and they will charge accordingly. For example, I had a custom-fitted mooring cover made for my boat (22-footer); it wound up costing $1,100. The shop had a four-month backlog of work. They did a great job, and I love the cover. I use it all the time.

Now for something you might only use once or twice a year and only if it rains, you can probably come up with something that will work for less that the cost of custom-made. Go to a good camping supply store and see if there is anything that could be adapted. And having someone in the family that knows their way around a sewing machine could be a big advantage.

jimh
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Re: 1992 Montauk Bimini top extension

Postby jimh » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:42 pm

Re the "Mills top": is there a sewn-in silk label on the underside of the top that clearly says "Wm. J. Millls & Co, Sailmakers"?

It seems unusual that the frame is aluminum. Generally all the Mills Flying Tops have stainless steel frames, and they are a little smaller than the top shown in your picture.

OldKenT
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Re: 1992 Montauk Bimini top extension

Postby OldKenT » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:16 pm

I was told by Mills that it used aluminum frames for some time prior to switching to stainless steel. I have a forward shelter, flying top and windshield on an aluminum frame with Mills labels on one boat and a forward shelter, flying top and windshield on a stainless steel frame on another. One was manufactured in or about 1985 and the other in 1999. Both used Sunbrella fabric.

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Phil T
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Re: 1992 Montauk Bimini top extension

Postby Phil T » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:28 pm

Most of my time my time on the water was under less than sunny conditions. I even trailered 600 miles south to transit Manhattan island in the pouring rain with 60 other owners.

I had a bimini on my last boat and to be honest, it is better at providing shade then rain protection. I would invest in serious rain gear. Once I did that, I enjoyed the rain, snow and stormy days. I still have it.

Remember to wear your PFD under your rain gear.

While my preference is Gill, Offshore level gear, there are several brands that are more reasonable cost and very good.
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

Lucas M
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:51 pm

Re: 1992 Montauk Bimini top extension

Postby Lucas M » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:21 pm

Thanks for feedback, will keep looking for a used Mills dodger and consider options for something custom, I just missed one earlier this year for $200. There is a boat shop nearby that does custom work, maybe I will bring it to them for an estimate when the time is right. I was really just looking for something simple to keep us dry and out of wind in the more miserable weather when on a trip with not much option to stay on shore. Good rain gear will be part of the solution, but even on the colder fall days or early spring, getting out of cold wind could be a nice break as well. The sewn Mills label is actually on my top, the previous owner never used it so it is probably original with the boat, maybe back then they used aluminum.