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Author Topic:   Bimini on Dauntless 16
skred posted 03-31-2004 11:40 AM ET (US)   Profile for skred   Send Email to skred  
I have a dilemma: I want to put a bimini on the boat, but I don't want to drill holes to mount it. I discovered that I can buy mounts that clamp to the side rails, and can mount the bimini there, and use my front grab rails (not the full bow rails) as the front strap anchors, and the rear seat rail as the stern strap anchoring point. Has anyone done this, or conisdered it? Seems too easy....

Marlin posted 03-31-2004 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
I haven't seen this kind of setup myself, but BugsyG has something very similar on his Montauk. You can find discussion and links to photos at

http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/005384.html

The factory bimini mounts on the gunwales, and uses a strut (used to go aft, lately it goes forward) to hold the bimini up when folded. Mills also makes a sun top for this boat, part # 50-1394-00, which I presume mounts essentially the same way. For what you want to do, you're probably on your own for a bimini, since it will be several inches narrower than the factory (and presumably the Mills) top.

I'm no fan of whacking holes in my boat, but I guess I don't personally see the point of doing a bimini any other way, especially since you're on your own for the engineering of it. The installation is pretty clean, there's preexisting reinforcement backing in all the right spots, and even when you remove the bimini (a 60-second operation, if that) you have very little mounting hardware left to interfere with anything.

In any event, make sure you go with a stainless frame rather than an aluminum one. You get what you pay for (or, as my grandfather used to say, "just slightly less").

-Bob

skred posted 03-31-2004 03:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Thanks, Bob. I know the standard mounting procedure - I've done it on my previous boat. I'm only speculating on the rail attachment idea. Of course it'd be an "aftermarket" bimini, because they're adjustable for width within a certain range. I also appreciate the quality of the SS version - it's just tough to swallow $800 vs. $180 with the difference being the metal used. I figured it might be worth the $12 extra for the rail mounting hardware to try out the idea. If it's a dismal failure, I can still sell the bimini "as new", and go down the correct OEM path (after saving for about 6 months)... Hmmm... maybe a folding T-top.... Now, there's a concept....
Marlin posted 03-31-2004 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Oh, okay, if you're looking to try out something like the Taylor-Made tops "on the cheap" (in a relative sense), and you understand the trade-offs involved, the by all means go for it! I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work for you, and looking at BugsyG's pictures, it could work out just fine.

A folding T-top is an interesting idea. I assume you've seen Perry's pics of his lovely T-top. Sweet, but I bet he paid a pretty penny for it.

-Bob

skred posted 04-01-2004 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Bob,
I really don't like the "cheap" route. The old saying that "it only costs 10% more to go first class" is no longer true, however. It's more like "400%..." I guess I'd feel like I bought a Cadillac, and installed a VW engine if I went with Taylor et al... I'm pretty well convinced I'll save up and go Mills. Just not worth the hassle of second rate hardware.. Thanks a bunch for the info.

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