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Author Topic:   Montauk Bimini Top with Sliders Question
John from Madison CT posted 11-24-2001 07:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for John from Madison CT   Send Email to John from Madison CT  

I'm contemplating putting a Bimini top on my Whaler.( It's gonna be a loonnnggg winter !) Not the real expensive Mills kind but rather the Cabela's or Overtons variety. I would only install it with the slider so that it can be stored forward of the Bow Rail.
My questions are as follows:

1. I understand that a Bimini installed on the gunnels of a Whaler need the angled brackets to account of the downward slope of the gunnel. If so, does anyone here who uses a Bimini with a Slider know if you also need angled brackets that fit in the slider?

2. Regarding the height of the Bimini. Most off the shelf Bimini's seem to come in a 54" high variety. Do you guys know if this is sufficient?

Any other tips or advice is much appreciated. I'll even take color suggestions.



kingfish posted 11-24-2001 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I installed a Mills bimini (suntop) on one of my Montauks and a Taylor bimini on the other. Here are some comments I hope are helpful:

1. I used sliders on both; I don't remember the gunwales having much slope, certainly not enough to necessitate angled brackets. I did not use angled brackets in the sliders for either top on either boat.

2. I think 54" is the height I used on my Taylor. Measure the height from your deck to your gunwale, add that the 54" and see how that compares to your height and/or the height you want to achieve. If your deck to gunwale height is 20" (I can't remember what that dimension is on a Montauk, but I'll bet 20" is close), you wind up with a net height of 6'-2" (74") from the deck. Not bad for a 17' boat.

3. Keep in mind that the bows are bent differently on a Mills top than on a Taylor. The Mills is narrower at the top of the vertical legs than it is at the bottom where the slides are, so while it nests for stowing outside the front rails, it still follows the lines of the gunwales as they narrow towards the bow of the boat, and consequently the stowed top does not protrude outside the hull anywhere. The Taylor is about as wide across the top as it is at the gunwales; so if/when you stow it forward of the rails, it hangs over the sides of the boat at the bow. We wound up buying adjustable aluminum bimini support poles to replace the rear hold-down straps and then we sometimes stowed the top folded back but held up by the support poles so we could walk under it, or we slid it back in the rails so it would stow just forward of the motor. Neither solution worked as well as the Mills stowing forward of the front rails. Due to the width of the Taylor top, we never even tried to stow it forward.

Good Luck-


csj posted 11-24-2001 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for csj  Send Email to csj     
another suggestion if your local dealer suscribes to mesco, they carry a bimini top made for the montauk. the rails secure on top and the bimini can go forward, in front of the bow rail or at the stern. blue in color
John from Madison CT posted 11-25-2001 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

Thanks for the help guys. I really want this thing to fold forward of the bow rail, but also don't want it to look lousy either.
Any other help (i.e. length of sliders?) would be great.

Take care,


csj posted 11-26-2001 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for csj  Send Email to csj     
First off let me correct my spelling "subscribes" from the previous reply, anyways ref length of slide I believe mine are 36 inches, which came with the bimini. I would measure but the boat is at the parents house up for sale. Just bought a 22 revenge
kingfish posted 11-27-2001 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Mills will send you a track with their top if you order one from them; having said that, I wound up installing a longer one because I wanted shelter a litle further aft than their track provided, if I set it far enough forward to allow the folded top to stow forward of the rails.

I would suggest getting your hands on whatever top you decide on, and with the help of one or two other sets of hands, open the top and position it where you want it to be when it is flying (top should be about parallel with the deck, or a smidgeon lower in front). Mark where the base of the main bow rests on the gunwale(s) as one end of the track, then fold the top and lay it down where you are going to stow it (in the actual position it will be in when stowed), and mark the place where the ends of the main bows now are, and that is the other end of the track. Measure the distance between them and order or buy your tracks 6" longer. You can cut them to length when you actually have them in hand and are convinced of what you are really going to do.

There are acouple of different ways to lock the sliders both in the flying position and in the stowing position in the tracks. Let me know if you need any ideas in this regard.


dgp posted 11-27-2001 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
kingfish, is it the fly top that mounts and stores inside the bow rail?
daverdla posted 11-27-2001 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I put sliders on my bimini this past summer. It allows me to slide the top even with the vertical bow rail supports so I can use my mooring cover. With the mooring cover on, the top sits on top of the bow rail. When underway I can slide the top in front of the rail. It simply sits between the bow light and the rail. Look at the montauk "170" pictures on the website. They show a montauk with the bimini on sliders in the stowed and raised positions.

The top came with the boat but it was installed without sliders. It was a terrible arrangement. It sat on top of the aft rails in front of the engine.


kingfish posted 11-27-2001 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
dgp - yes; flytop inside, suntop (bimini) ouyside.

Dave, John, et al - The Mills suntop stows forward of the bowrails on the gunwale deck, within the exterior outline of the boat. The Mills mooring/trailering cover is notched for the bowrail stanchions so it does not go over the bowrails, and thus does not present a greater surface to the wind when trailering. At the same time, the Mills mooring cover will and does install right over the stowed suntop. I found these things to be of significant value to me when trailering for any distance.


daverdla posted 11-27-2001 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I don't have a mills bimini, unfortunately. The mooring cover is mills. No way would the mooring cover fit over the stowed bimini, I tried.

I was told by the previous owner never to tow with the mooring cover on the boat (I don't think he ever used the mooring cover). Do you tow with the mooring cover on? I secure the bimini to the aft rails when towing.

kingfish posted 11-27-2001 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I did, when I still had a Montauk. I now have an Outrge 22 that follows me around.

I upgraded the Mills mooring/trailering cover for long-distance ludicrous-speed trailering by replacing the motorwell scoop sunbrella fabric with heavy vinyl fabric and a couple of grommets to bungee it down so it didn't flap itself to death, adding vinyl "flaps" on the stanchion slots that velcroed closed after the top was in place, and then bungeeing the top to the trailer with 2 bungees (45 degrees each way) at each tie-down. It was a very tidy package, and it allowed me to use the Montauk like a trailer on trips, carrying luggage, fishing gear, toys, food, etc., all protected from the weather and out of sight of would-be scoundrels.

John from Madison CT posted 11-27-2001 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     
You guys are great! Thanks for all your help.
At this point I'm not sure what to do. While I really like the idea of the great fitting Mills Bimini, I'm not sure I can pallet the cost.

Keep the input coming.

Thanks again,


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