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Author Topic:   150 Sport Bimini Top
sportroyalwulf posted 03-30-2004 01:11 PM ET (US)   Profile for sportroyalwulf   Send Email to sportroyalwulf  
I am looking at installing a bimini on my 2003 sport 150. After reading jimh experience with a bimini I want to be very careful. Has anyone had experience with bimini tops from Boat Covers Direct ( I bought a canvas towing/storage cover from this company and was very satisfied. They have a bimini unit with sunbrella fabric for under $300 with an additional $60 for stainless steel fittings. Since the bimini involves drilling etc. I am looking for any other opinions that may be helpful.


arnereil posted 04-01-2004 07:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
I just bought mine here:

Included 4 stainless jaw mounts for the railing (clamp on railing, no drilling), stantion poles, top/cover for $358. Supposedly they make oem tops for several boat mfgrs.. I bought from them because of the large size selection.

Techmage posted 04-06-2004 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Techmage  Send Email to Techmage     
Im looking to get a Bimini on my 2003 150 Sport as well. Can you give what size you bought, how it fits, and if you were going to do something different what would it be?
arnereil posted 04-08-2004 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
oops... mine is a 13 footer... I did a bunch of measuring and it is being mounted on the rail, using jaw clamps, no holes in the rail... and it is in the garage, not mounted yet... also, got a stantion kit and will mount it towards the front so I can get in and out more easily...
sportroyalwulf posted 04-09-2004 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
Thanks arnereil for the information. I particluarly like your idea about a lower level for the top of the bimini. Even though you have the 130, the idea of "no drilling" mounts on the rails is very appealing. I have just the side rails but want to see if I can make the rail mount bimini work. Do you have any idea where the folded down bimini will rest (bow or stern). And how much it will reduce your space?
arnereil posted 04-11-2004 08:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
Since I will have to drill no holes, I will experiment with storing fore/aft.. but will start with fore. The pivot for the bimini will be on the rail next to me, and if it leaned aft (with the stantion holding it up in place), it would be awkward getting in and out at the dock... have it tilt forward should make that easier.... The stantion, hopefully, will also give more support for the top while running....

The big thing is, my whalers is only 13 feet long, so I don't have a lot of space to play with. As far as usable space, if I do it right, I think it will be easy to work around once mounted correctly and I get used to it being there.... Probably 90% benefit, 10% pain in the butt once in a while.

And, the top will only be 15" above my head when opened, for max sun protection. I see people with bims 3 feet over their head, or even taller, but that reduces sun protection unless the sun is directly overhead..... I like being outside, I just don't like the sun beating down on me all day.

Moe posted 04-11-2004 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Tombro put a Mills bimini on his 150 Sport. In some ways, I like it better than the factory bimini.


tombro posted 04-12-2004 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Correction...mine *came* with the Mills bimini. I have owned a number of other boats (non-Whalers) with biminis...and they don't hold a candle to the quality of the Mills. Both the fabric and the hardware is top-notch. Mounted conveniently, too. I likes it!
Techmage posted 04-21-2004 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Techmage  Send Email to Techmage     
Tombro, does your bimini attach to the inside or outside of the rails, and how does it fit the way you have it? I cant figure out what size I want for my 150...
arnereil posted 04-21-2004 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
Here are some bimini fittings:

Moe posted 04-22-2004 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Since Tombro hasn't responded yet, here are three pictures of the Mills bimini for the 150 Sport from the Mills website.

Note that the Mills bimini frame can slide in tracks AHEAD of the motor controls. In this way, it is superior to the new Whaler top for the 150 in two ways.

One, the frame doesn't rub on the fiberglas bump-up behind the motor controls when folded forward and down.

Two, when the bimini is folded forward and down, it's all the way in front of the bow cushion, where the Whaler bimini is actually behind the bow cushion, unsupported in the middle!

Three, the Mills cover can be put up so that the rod holders can be used. The factory Whaler cover is so far back it makes the rod holders useless except for the shortest rods.

The factory bimini struts that let the top fold back like a radar arch are neat in some ways, but attaching to the gunwales WAY back behind the railings, they get in the way when fishing, so the Mills bimini is better there too.

Hope this helps.


Moe posted 04-22-2004 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Oops... third picture should be:

And obviously, I wound up with more than two advantages for the Mills bimini.


tombro posted 04-23-2004 08:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
What Moe said. Inside the rails and ahead of the motor controls. It lays rather far forward, and doesn't impede access to the anchor locker or front cushion seating. Clips to the bow chock for towing tie-down.
sportroyalwulf posted 01-25-2005 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
I am reviving this thread because I did not install a bimini but am still interested. It appears to me that the differences between the mills and the whaler bimini are as follows.

1. Mills has one mount on the slider and the top is held in position by straps at the front and rear of the frame.

2. The whaler unit can be rolled back in the upright position (like a roll bar). This is a better arrangement for mounting an antennae (like Moe).

3. The mills unit has to be either open completely or folded down in the front of the boat.

Does anyone have any other experience in installing any other brand of bimini on the 150 sport?

Moe posted 01-25-2005 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
You might want to contact Mills. They may have rear struts vs straps as an option. West Marine also carries struts for biminis.


Royboy posted 01-26-2005 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I'm glad to see this thread. I looked at all of the available biminis for my 130 Sport, and in the end have decided to have one made (because I got an excellent recommendation and a great price).

It is helpful to consider all these various options before I take my boat to the builder. I definately don't like the idea of losing any seating (or any other functionality for that matter) whether the bimini is up or down. The sliding tracks seem to allow the most flexibility here, although I did see a Montauk this Summer that had her bimini stowed aft with struts, and it apparently wasn't in the way for fishing becuase that's what her occupants were doing when I saw her. Seems like the struts must have been adjustable?

Since I don't have rod holders on the back of my seat, I may be able to get away with stowing the biminion struts like that. Sportroyalwolf, I don't remember if yours has rod holders back there or not. Anyway, If I can stow it forward without losing anything, that sounds like the way to go. If the 150 is anything like the 130 (and I'm pretty sure it is), getting into the back of the boat is athletic enough without raising the hurdle even higher with a stowed bimini back there.!

I'm also a bit perplexed as to mounting on the rails or not. It seems like it might be asking the rails to do more than they were designed to, but it's also hard to imaging a bimini fitting between the rails and the throttle (although I know they do). The pictures were a big help Moe. I'm not going to fully decide until I talk with my builder, who says he has quite a bit of experience with Whalers. Anyway, if aft struts turn out to be the best solution, then mounting on the rails makes a lot of sense, if I'm going to stow forward, then mounting on slides on the gunwhales looks better, and I can then try out where I really want to stow it after all is said and done. Am I making any sense here, or am I just prattling?

130 Sport

sportroyalwulf posted 01-26-2005 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
I do have the rod holders behind the passenger seat. That may have to go or be relocated. I may be able to work around that if I mount the top accordingly. I am still searching. The mills unit and the whaler unit are similar in price. I am also looking at boatcoversdirect. I bought a storage/mooring cover there and it is a good product. There prices are a a little better. Their tops also give you many options such as:

upgrade aluminum to stainless steel frames and hardware

add sliders instead of fixed mounts.

But best of all you can have a choice of straps or struts for rear support. This allows you to fold the top back out of the way without laying it down in the boat.

Moe posted 01-26-2005 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
The problem with the 150 Sport (don't know about the 130) is the bump-up in the gunwale behind the motor throttle/shifter, easy to see in this picture:

You'll note that Mills has the track ahead of this. That means that it's real easy to slide the folded forward bimini all the way to the front of the bow cushion, however, the bimini doesn't go as far back when up, to cover those sitting on the main seat as well as the Whaler bimini.

The Whaler bimini mounts behind the "bump" and thus covers those sitting on the main seat better from sun a bit more towards aft. There are two problems with this. One, when the bimini is folded forward, it's actually about 4-6" BEHIND the bow cushion, with no support in the middle.

There are rubber donuts on the frame that are supposed to rest on the gunwales to support it when folded forward, but the "bump" pushes the frame toward starboard, and the donut on the port side frame falls down inside the port gunwale.

Our solution has been to mount a 50Qt Ultra Igloo cooler right behind the bow locker, using two of the four "corners" in the Igloo mounting kit, on the cockpit sole, up against the bow locker. This much weight, this far forward costs us about 1.5 mph at WOT because the motor has to be tilted out quite a bit to fight the weight at the bow. OTOH, this weight being forward eliminates me from having to use bow-down trim at 20-23 mph in chop and and I can trim the motor vertical. When on calm water, I put the cooler behind the pilot seat and use the tie-downs to connect it to the hose loops under the seat.


Moe posted 01-26-2005 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I meant to add to the above that the cooler supports the bimini while trailering.

Royboy posted 01-26-2005 03:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
The 130 also has the "bump" next to the throttle. That's an interseting solution, Moe to put a cooler up there in front. I have a 32 quart up front (although mine is bungied to the front thwart) that I use for dry storage. It also has pair of plastic rod holders screwed to it. We have a 72 Quart aft (with a cusion and four more rod holders)that's for fish/drinks. I have been picturing a bimini resting on one of these, although I'd like to avoid that if possible. I'm really thinking the sliders are the way to go, not only for stowage, but also to put the shade where we need it: on the boaters.


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