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Author Topic:   Bimini for Montauk 170
timf posted 05-06-2015 10:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for timf   Send Email to timf  
Any advice or experience anyone could offer on adding a Bimini top [to a Boston Whaler 170 MONTAUK boat]?

The Mills tops look really nice, and I like how the top folds down inside the bow rail and appears out of the way. It looks like the track is right on the top of the boarding step on each side and that doesn't seem too good.

The factory top has the track back out of the way of the step, but it appears the top only stores up and forward, but not laying down.

Can anyone tell me if this sounds right and and any suggestions?

Thanks!

Tim

weekendwarrior posted 05-07-2015 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
I have a 1996 Montauk 170 with a Mills top. The tracks are on the sides near the console, and the top stores forward of the bow rail and out of the way. I really like it.
contender posted 05-08-2015 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
The trick for a bimini top on a 17-foot Boston Whaler boat is to mount it on top of the gunwale in a track. This allows you to slide the top either forward or to the rear when not in use. I can slide mine forward and tie it off to the norman pin to hold it in place. And with another set of eyes mounted gives you another place to set the bimini top up. The other [concern] is height; mounting your top on the gunwale will allow you to stand under it while under way.
timf posted 05-10-2015 07:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for timf  Send Email to timf     
I called Mills and they said it would not fit outside the bow rails. Maybe they stopped making that style. Or, did I talk to the wrong person?
endus posted 05-11-2015 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for endus  Send Email to endus     
The top on our 2004 170 MONTAUK is, I believe, the stock top. It is like the one pictured here.

http://newimages.yachtworld.com/resize/1/82/63/3028263_0_221120101140_2.jpg

The top will fold out of the way to the back, but it can interfere with the motor tilting up back there, it can get dirty, etc. It folds forward, but needs to be tied to the rails to hold it up a bit and cuts across the bow just in front of the forward cooler.

It's a huge, huge pain. Whatever you get, I would make sure it folds forward out of the way. I would eventually like to replace ours with one that's more convenient.

contender posted 05-11-2015 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Purchasing [Wm. J. Mills & Co.] canvas, you are stuck with what they make. I am not saying that they make a bad canvas, but I am saying you are stuck with their size and shape. Try to find a shop that will custom build you a canvas top (Bimini) to your liking (I would do a four-bow) If it is a decent canvas shop they will have access to the tracking, mount it on the gunwale. Now your top can be pushed out of the way either in the front of the boat or the rear, and tall enough to stand under while its up.
timf posted 05-13-2015 01:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for timf  Send Email to timf     
Thanks for the ideas. There is a local shop I have used before and will discuss with them. It seems the tracks are the way to go and folding forward just inside the bow rail.

Any other ideas, please let me know.

jimh posted 05-13-2015 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you buy any off-the-shelf Bimini or other canvas, you are "stuck" (as CONTENDER calls it) with that design. There is nothing about the canvas from Wm. J. Mills & Co. that is particularly unique in that regard.

If you want to employ a local canvas maker to produce a custom design, you will, of course, be able to dictate your requirements. Whether or not the work of a local fabricator will be satisfactory, good, or excellent, remains to be demonstrated.

contender posted 05-13-2015 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Jim one thing you have to admitt, if a person does crappy or substandard work they will not stay in business very long, Also if someone builds you something and it does not meet your specs or what you ordered, you just do not pay...
timf posted 05-14-2015 12:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for timf  Send Email to timf     
The local shop I used before, did great work on a boat cover and I have confidence they would again.

I like the Mills top and just trying to decide what I would want built differently. If you have that cover or a current factory cover, what suggestions do you have to improve on those?

Jefecinco posted 05-14-2015 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
You will probably not want to remove the new bimini from your boat in order to install the boat cover after using the boat. You'll want to use a bit of care in your bimini installation plan to ensure there is no interference between the bimini and the cover when both are on the boat.

When towing your boat with the bimini in the stowed position it would be a good thing to be able to secure the bimini in the stowed position to avoid any damage while towing. I've seen straps with velco used but a strap with a snap buckle is a more secure method.

I believe Boston Whaler OEM bimini tops, at least in the last several years, use stainless steel rather than aluminum frames. Steel is far more expensive but is probably a superior frame material.

Butch

timf posted 05-16-2015 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for timf  Send Email to timf     
"You will probably not want to remove the new bimini from your boat in order to install the boat cover after using the boat. You'll want to use a bit of care in your bimini installation plan to ensure there is no interference between the bimini and the cover when both are on the boat.
When towing your boat with the bimini in the stowed position it would be a good thing to be able to secure the bimini in the stowed position to avoid any damage while towing. I've seen straps with velco used but a strap with a snap buckle is a more secure method.

I believe Boston Whaler OEM bimini tops, at least in the last several years, use stainless steel rather than aluminum frames. Steel is far more expensive but is probably a superior frame material.

Butch
"

Thanks for the advice - I would not want to remove the Bimini top to put on a cover. I was thinking of stainless as it should be stronger than aluminum.

By cover, I meant Bimini and don't have a full boat cover now. I asked Mills and they said they don't have one to fit the boat since it has a split bow rail.

thanks,

Tim

timf posted 06-07-2015 11:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for timf  Send Email to timf     
I ordered the Mills top and expect it to be here in a couple days. I'll give an update once it's installed.

If anyone has any installation tips, I would appreciate hearing them.

thanks,

Tim

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