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Author Topic:   170 Bimini
Divedog posted 02-09-2004 07:01 PM ET (US)   Profile for Divedog   Send Email to Divedog  
After reading many threads on this site, including Tabasco's great Cetacea submission, I'm still left with some questions. I e-mailed Whaler inquiring about factor tops and it appears they've corrected the rear-folding dilemma by stowing the suntop in a "forward arch position". I'm wondering if anyone has a current photo of a 2004 top in this position. I haven't had time to run down to the dealer. The reason I'm considering this option as opposed to a Mills top, is that the Mills has a track running across the gap between the two side rails. I don't like the idea of having a rail in this location.
Marsh posted 02-09-2004 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
I have a 2004 MT170, and the bimini will NOT stow in the forward position. It must be stowed folded aft. And then it rubs the gelcoat of the gunwales, unless you are very careful. I removed my bimini, and have it stored in my garage, perhaps indefinitely. I would have been better served not to have bought one to start with. I'll try to post pics of my scarred gunwales later, for all to see.


Marsh posted 02-09-2004 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
BTW, mine is a factory top, and it has the track running across the gap between the forward and aft rails. The reason it won't stow forward is that it contacts the forward rails.


Maximus posted 02-09-2004 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
Opted for the Mills bimini instead of the Whaler version. Slider location is right where the no-skid steps are but it has not been an issue.

Looks like Mills has the solid supports aft and Whaler has them forward, FWIW.

How many months til boating season?

Divedog posted 02-09-2004 11:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
Thanks for the input. I'll have to get in touch with Whaler again. I specifically asked about stowing the canopy in the upright position. From the pictures of the 190, it looks like they have a solid forward stanchion to support the canopy. I assumed the changed the 170 canopy to the same system. One way or another it sounds like I might want to go custom. I don't have the boat yet but I'm hoping to take advantage of off-season prices.

The reason I don't want a track running across the gap at between the two rails is due to wear getting on and off the boat. During docking one would step right on the rail. More importantly to me, scuba entries would occur between the rails. With heavy NW gear (Seattle) I would anticipate doing a back entry and don't like the idea of scraping the back side of my drysuit on an aluminum rail.

Any one else have suggestions????

Divedog posted 02-10-2004 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
Also, this thread has some good discussion which in part raises my question to Whalers comment about vertical bimini storage:
The answer may be on Barney's site.
I like the top but would like to see the forward attachment point move slightly further towards to bow.
Still very interested in others comment/thoughts.
Rick Dewees posted 02-10-2004 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Rick Dewees  Send Email to Rick Dewees     

The homepage on Knot at Work's profile may have the photo that you want:

Divedog posted 02-10-2004 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
Thanks Rick, that's what I was after. I sent Knot at Work an e-mail asking if the top was facgtor or after market.
Barney posted 02-10-2004 06:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Knot has the same factory top as mine. To enter the boat you can release the forward support and swing it back, snap it out of the way for grandma to get in. It may be my particular installation but the top will stow down to the front and also to the back. It does not touch the rails.


OzWhaler posted 02-10-2004 07:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for OzWhaler  Send Email to OzWhaler     
I feel I have to join in on this thread...I will be getting a 170MT later this year in Australia now all the questions of importing vs local agents and price have been finally sorted out.

I definitely would have a real problem with the types of biminis(?)I have seen on this forum on a 170MT - it would be better without one and a bigger sun hat and sun screen !

There seem to be some really switched on practical engineering types coming onto this forum - I am only a humble Architect... I have a few criteria for a top for the 170MT - I must be able to walk right around the boat with a big game fish hooked on light tackle without dodging frames and stays; the top must fold down to top of windscreen height when not in use for storage clearance and travelling long distances; the top must be full boat width for protection.

I have considerable experience with boat building, albeit with larger yachts, and an excellent s/s fabricator friend. I have designed and had a working session with the fabricator on a fold down T-top for my future 170MT. Essentially the T-top comes backwards 45 degrees and is secured and simply propped when not in use. This makes covering easy and any electronics on the roof can also be arranged.

If anyone is interested and would like to make contact I would be more than happy to email a JPEG of the design sketch for comment. Bit of work to do yet but I think the principles are clear....

erik selis posted 02-10-2004 08:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
I am interested OzWhaler, please e-mail the drawing. Thanks!


Rick Dewees posted 02-10-2004 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rick Dewees  Send Email to Rick Dewees     

The top shown on Knot's boat looks exactly like the ones I saw at the Whaler booth at the Houston Boat Show a couple of weeks ago. I'm told that the OEM tops are now made by Great Lakes and no longer by Mills. They are SS, very sturdy and rigid and in my opinion are a superior frame to my Mills. The canvas, like everyone's is Sunbrella.

The ones I saw were attached on a slider, but I don't see any reason why a normal horizontal deck hinge wouldn't work.


Divedog posted 02-10-2004 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
Thanks again for all the great feedback. I hope I can contribute in the future.
bsmotril posted 02-10-2004 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
My '91 Sea-Ray Laguna had the exact same type of top mounting and storage (imagine that ;-) ). The downside of this storage is that while trailering, or underway, the top shakes side to side and puts a lot of stress on the mounting points. On my searay, it was enough to spread and crack the mounting tabs on the gunnels that accept the hinge pins for the top. I rigged up a piece of 1 inch PVC pipe with velcro straps on each end to diagonally brace the top and stop the side to side sway. The nylon straps running to the center console help, but they have enough stretch to even aggravate the sway and cause a harmonic oscillation in some cases. My brace worked fine for trailering, but was in the way for running the boat. Not much of a problem as we had the top up 90% of the time while running. BillS
RonB posted 02-11-2004 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

I got a few pics of a 2003 MT170 with the factory bimini. Here's one or you can see them all by checking out the link in my profile.


Divedog posted 02-11-2004 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
Thanks for the pictures. Nice boat! I think I'll run down to the dealer and check it out. There has been much discussion about Mills v. BW Factor tops. I'm starting to lean towards BW factory. It's a great have this resource to get 'real life' opinions before laying your money down.
Divedog posted 02-11-2004 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
Sorry about the typo's in my last post. The fingers are working faster than the brain.
I like the mounting locations on Ron's top. In some of the other photos I've seen, the front bracket is in the space between the two side rails. From Ron's photos, it looks like that is no longer the case. Again, thanks for all the replies.
RonB posted 02-11-2004 01:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

Your very welcome.

Be aware of one thing, with the setup that I had, you had to position the rubber clamp on covers on the bimini posts to be between the bimini post and the side rail or you would have a rub and a jitter when you ran the boat. Wave action could create side to side movement hence the bimini rail would bang into the side rail. The rubber clamp on covers prevented and chafing between the two stainless steels and also prevented any noise. BTW, I no longer own that boat, it's with my dealer and for sale (on the East Coast, New York). Less than 20 hours on the 90 HP Merc ELPTO.


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