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Author Topic:   Westland bimini for 170 Montauk
whaler1234 posted 02-17-2005 03:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for whaler1234   Send Email to whaler1234  
I will be purchasing a new 170 this week and wanted to know if anyone has installed or used a Westland brand bimini top. Any recommendations vs. Mills or the factory top?
bigjohn1 posted 02-17-2005 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Have been happy with the factory top I opted for when I bought my new 170....fit and finish are great. Be prepared though to leave it at home when you use the boat to fish as it will get in the way on a 170 when fishing.
whaler1234 posted 02-17-2005 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaler1234  Send Email to whaler1234     
I do like the factory tops look. I heard it can fold down flat against the front if you remove the two forward support bars. Is this more nuisance to do so every time you fish or is it easier to take it off completely? If it can't fold flat, I think it would undermine the use of a center console for fishing.

The westland bimini was recommended to me by my local dealer because of price and its ability to be used while under full speed. I have not seem this brand in this forum before so I wanted to know if it was worth the savings...

bigjohn1 posted 02-17-2005 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
You can fold it completely down either forward or aft - or you can also stow it tilted slightly forward (up and forard) and wrap the thing in the provided zipper "sock" cover. When its folded down all the way forward, there is more stress placed on the mount which is mounted (screwed) into the gunnel so I don't like that. When stowing either all the way forward or aft, you need to wrap two bungy cords around it (one on each side) and fasten that to the front/rear side rails o therwise, it will chafe your gelcoat - ouch!

To clarify my earlier statement that I don't like to use the top when fishing, this is because I troll alot in rough and fairly windy conditions and the darn thing rattles alot under those conditions. Also, there is a natural human tendancy to "grab" whatever you can when the boat is piching and rolling in big water. I don't want a fishing buddy to grab the rail of my bimini and bend it all to crap. Moreover, using the bimini when ocean trolling just cuts way down on the ability of your boat to be used as 360 degree fishing machine. I lost three Mahi two weeks ago when I had to pause to get my rod around the bimini. When used in a calmer lake or river, it might be different but these are my personal experiences.
Big John

whaler1234 posted 02-17-2005 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaler1234  Send Email to whaler1234     
Curious... is this how your top lays on the bow? I noticed these supports are on the outside of the front rails. Was there a design change for 2004?

http://www.caico.com/170/slides/1%20bow_view.html
http://www.caico.com/170/slides/1%20forward_rod_holder.html

bigjohn1 posted 02-18-2005 12:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
That is not how my top stows forward...the legs run inside the perimeter of the front rails, not outside as your photo shows. My boat is an '05 but I am not familiar with how previous bimini's were.
SteveFC posted 02-18-2005 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
This is a dealer installed Mills top on a 2004 Montauk 170.
[url]http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/whaler65/detail?.dir=b396&.dnm=18b0.jpg&.src=ph[url]
It lays flat and out of the way inside the rail. It even has an attached strap that can go around the bow cleat to eliminate bouncing in rough water.
It appears that there may different bimini configurations for the Montauk 170. So whaterver the brand, it's probably a good idea to see one on a boat before you buy.
SteveFC posted 02-18-2005 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
Maybe that url was too long
[url]http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/whaler65/my_photos[url]
Joe Kriz posted 02-18-2005 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
Steve,

You forgot the [/ before the url]

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/whaler65/my_photos

Joe Kriz posted 02-18-2005 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
Whaler1234,

It appears that your top can go further forward and rest on the bow of the boat instead of the railing kinda like Steve's.

bigjohn makes a point though. There needs to be a slight bend in the railing near where it mounts to the slider so there is no stress on the slider or the mounts.

Here is a photo of an older style Montauk.

http://users.sisqtel.net/blewis/Montauk/montauk.html

The top stays out of the way when fishing. I used to have basically the same setup on my prior 1978 Montauk. The top is completey out of the way when down because it is basically not in the boat.

whaler1234 posted 02-18-2005 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaler1234  Send Email to whaler1234     
I really like how cleanly and far foward the Mills top fits on the bow.
Is this how clean and foward the factory top sits as well?

I am looking for a top that will take as little fishing room as possible for my 2004 170.

Thanks everyone for sharing your personal experiences. It's the small things that come up like "fish strikes bending your hardware" that you never think of when making a big investment.

Joe Kriz posted 02-18-2005 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
whaler1234,

From your photos, it looks as though your top will go forward more and go down over and in front of the bow rail. You would then slide it back until it hit the bow rail standoffs and then put a bugee cord around your bow cleat and around the sun top to keep it secure.

Let us know if that works for you.

Knot at Work posted 02-19-2005 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
My 2003 came with the factory Sunbrella top. I love it. No issues and it folds forward or back. The Stainless steel rails are superior and have not shown any corrosion or fatigue. The top can be put up in 10 seconds in a rain squall and dries rapidly. It matches the piping of the boats logo and it does a great job of providing shade on lazy summer days.

When folding for mooring cover or Garage, a set of bungis work. I bungi mine Forward and tie off to Bow rail

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