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Author Topic:   Best bimini for a 170 montauk
mikeyairtime posted 06-01-2004 10:57 PM ET (US)   Profile for mikeyairtime  
I'm looking for a bimini that will fold forward and lay inside my bow rails, preferably it would follow around just inside the rail in front of the bow pad / anchor locker when stowed. I've seen some that run into the bow rails and block walkways and I want to try and avoid that. If you know of one the brand and model number would be most apreciated. Thanks in advance, Mike J.
Joe Kriz posted 06-01-2004 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
I believe the one you are looking for is going to be the Mills Bimini or Sun Top.

Check out these photos and information:

Camuyano posted 06-02-2004 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     
I have a Mills top on my '04 Montauk that the dealer installed but when you fold it forward (even with the legs all the way forward on the slide) it does not rest well on the gunnels or the foredeck or the rail. Instead it fits in between the gunnel just barely and does not reach the foredeck, which causes it to hang precariously between the gunnels where I'm affraid it will scratch the finish.

Up to now I have kept it folded back onto the support struts but it shakes quite a bit while trailering and when I jump a wake and land hard it makes an awful noise. Check out the following link to see my installation:

I've seen pictures of Montauks with a longer slide or the silde further forward and that seems to make the top rest on the fordeck, over the rail or the gunnels. Did the dealer mess up my installation?

I would like to hear what other Mills top owners have to say. I've been meaning to call Mills but haven't had time.


bobeson posted 06-02-2004 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

Imanuel, it does sound like your dealer didn't install the slides in the proper location. My Mills bimini sits nicely on the bow, inside the bow rail, when it is as far forward as the slides allow it to travel. You should look into moving your slides forward a bit. I added some rubber standoffs to my bimini rails to keep the rails from hitting the bow gelcoat, which had made a small chip already. It's the same sort of rubber rail clib used to hold the anchoring light on the gunnel.
Camuyano posted 06-03-2004 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     
Well, they did install the top in the wrong place. I called Mills and they faxed me a diagram. The track should be 87.25" from the transom well into the gap between the bow and side rails, Mine doesn't stick out beyond the side rails. Now the question becomes, do I make the trek to the dealer and risk them messing it up again or do it myself? If anybody wants the diagram, let me know. I can scan it and post it somewhere.


Moe posted 06-03-2004 11:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Actually, Mills shows the track mounted both ways:

On the gunwale railing step-through with the bimini at the rear of the track when deployed:

Behind the gunwale step-through with the bimini at the front of the track when deployed:

Would you rather have people stepping on the track when boarding, or would you rather have the bimini folded further forward when completely down?


Camuyano posted 06-03-2004 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     
You are right, Moe. It is shown both ways. Now I'm really confused! I agree with you that it is kind of a pain to have the track right in the middle of the step-through; however, I would sure like to be able to fold the top forward.

It is actually pretty unobtrusive when folded back onto the support posts but I wish the darn thing wouldn't shake so much while underway or when trailering. My fear is that the achoring harware will evetually rip out of the gunnels and/or crack the gelcoat with all the shaking. I will have to look at it some more before I start drilling any holes.


Moe posted 06-03-2004 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
We have the same problem, only probably worse, on our 150 Sport with the Whaler bimini. The main mount is behind a bump-up in the gunwale behind the motor control on the starboard side. This not only keeps the frame from fully laying down forward on the gunwale on that side, but it pulls the whole bimini to starboard, causing the frame on the port side to fall down inside that gunwale and rub on the gelcoat. When down, the bimini is a good six inches behind the bow locker. Really poor design. The main mount needs to be mounted on 1-2" blocks to clear that stupid bump-up.

I've now mounted a cooler that's taller than the gunwales just behind the bow locker, and it, rather than the gunwales, supports the bimini frame, in the middle while trailering. Perhaps you can move the cooler forward while trailering and use it to support the bimini.

Keep in mind that while underway, you could fold the bimini forward, then remove the pins and release it from the main mounts, slide it forward, and use Velcro straps or those bungi's with balls to hold the ends up on the railings. Or even buy of the same type main mounts I have (no track), and install them forward of the walk-through, to pin the ends of the bimini to when it's slid forward.


Barney posted 06-03-2004 03:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I have the factory top on my 170 Montauk. I also let the top down onto a cooler, but one that is at the stern. Moe had suggested coolers for storage and I purchased a 94 quart. Keeps the folded top from banging into the fiberglass and stores stuff, dual use too. Jim
Moe posted 06-03-2004 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
From a fishing perspective, I really like the way Barney's folds forward, but it sure seems they should've made those front support arms longer so they could've mounted well forward of the step through, rather than in it.

How 'bout that 94 Qt cooler, Barney? Do you think you could squeeze two of them back there in the width inside the gunwales?


Barney posted 06-03-2004 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Moe, I don't think I could get two coolers in there, but the single is great. On the bimini storage, I think the forward supports on the factory top could be left attached and release everthing else , the top would store all the way forward. I will have to experiment. JimB
Moe posted 06-04-2004 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Great idea, Jim. Let us know how that works out.


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