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Author Topic:   Montauk bimini conversion
johnny beee posted 04-29-2003 12:25 AM ET (US)   Profile for johnny beee   Send Email to johnny beee  
Have just acquired a 1985 Montauk...
The bimini (sun top)is an original Mills top. It is mounted to the inside wall of the hull, (not to the top surface of the "step" as I have seen elsewhere.) The main poles on each side make a quick bend inward to clear the bow rails when the top is stowed forward. The top stows inside the bow rails.
I would definitely like the top to stow outside the bow rails.
...I noticed when I removed the top that it is under tension and the poles spread outward.
...I laid the top in position outside the railings and it did fit. (still have to put pressure to get end of poles back in to gunwale)
...but..that is lying flat.
...if i put slide rails on the gunwale like the new models, I am afraid that I will not have clearance when raising/lowering.
... my vision says that it will clear the bow railing with a little rub. (once up it would of course be fine)
...however I want it to work and may be lying to myself. I would hate to drill holes and not have it work.
Thanks for any advice for my saltwater whaler.
Gene in NC posted 04-29-2003 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gene in NC  Send Email to Gene in NC     
ur top and objective sound lke my '87 except I think my top is a cheapo and not the BW which came with the slides and stores fwd of bow rail. Will coop this project w U. Suggest two people to hold mount point while u shift it around to determine clearance. Be surprised if top sized to fit inside rails will fit outside w/o unacceptable overhang of bow.
whalersman posted 04-29-2003 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     
Most of the newer models came with about 3' sliders. To lower it you slide the top forward enough to clear the Bow rail and then slide it back against the Bow rail and tighten the thumbs locks.
To raise the top, loosen the thumb locks, slide the top forward enough to clear the Bow rail, slide it back into the upright mounting postition and there you have it...
I recently added sliders on the gunwales of a friends 1977 Montauk and it works great. Looks just like the newer models now and the Bimini stores outside, and in front of, the Bow rail...
johnny beee posted 05-01-2003 01:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for johnny beee  Send Email to johnny beee     
saw a pic on this site where the guy undoes the mount (thump screw)...moves it forward and over the rails to the outside for stowing. The poles are out of their mount and he straps it down.
This won't work for me...the top goes up and down too much.
His poles appear straight and without the immediate bend inward that i have.
Yes ..i think 3 people...2 holding 1 on the bow.
My buds all have 1-3 year olds and aren't too helpful.
Poles are aluminum.....maybe a shop can straighten that bend???
????? If I took off the bow rails I could put a slider on the side wall and not on the gunwale. (cleaner look and easier on the bare feet)
Maybe I'll run the boat for a while with the bow rails off and see how it is.
Maybe start a post on this topic...No bow rail impressions....?
All I know is the bimini stowed on the deck held moisture and started rotting the teak when the previous owner had it.........AND most importantly........I need room up there for a bow cushion and a couple of bikinis!
johnny beee posted 05-01-2003 01:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for johnny beee  Send Email to johnny beee     
regarding your 87.
I dont think they had the sliders yet.
My 1985 poles are aluminum and the top has a very thin white vinyl edging.
Also has the two adjustable stabalizing cords that attach to an eye on the center railing above windshield.
And......to confirm....there is a Mills label sewn to the canvas.
chorescanwait posted 05-02-2003 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for chorescanwait  Send Email to chorescanwait     
I have an 89 with the mounts inside on the sidewall. One became loose and I had to remount. Thought about remounting on top with slide rails. After carefull consideration I decided the original mount was the best bet. Let me know what both you guys decide I would love to see pictures. I'm still open to modifing mine.
johnny beee posted 05-02-2003 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnny beee  Send Email to johnny beee     
scratch taking the bow rails off the boat...
I was out in the gulf yesterday and the bow rails are way too important for wedging your thigh/hip against to help maintain balance while fishing.
I sometimes even lightly sit on them...is this bad??
Cruiser posted 05-03-2003 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cruiser    
Johnny,

I don't think thats bad. It keeps them from rattleing.

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