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Author Topic:   Bimini height on 130, or in general...
Royboy posted 03-08-2005 08:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for Royboy   Send Email to Royboy  
I'm ready to have my canvas made and I'm wondering about what height is appropriate. I've been thinking all along that I'd like to be able to stand up under it, because, at 5'9", I can comfortably drive standing. I've heard some hints that too tall can present a problem for handling on a small boat, and my 130 certainly is that. What say ye, post classic gurus? Oh, yes and I plan to go with Jocky Red or Insignia Red Sunbrella (whatever is closest to "Whaler Red"), any thoughts on that would be appreciated as well.

130 Sport

skred posted 03-09-2005 07:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Royboy, I asked the same question in another thread: still looking for an answer, too. I'm 6 ft. so standing at the helm in my 130 is not really an option. I am - as you - concerned about having a top that's too tall. It not only looks silly, but I'm betting it could act as an airfoil....
Moe posted 03-09-2005 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I'm 5'10" and here's a picture of me under the bimini on our 150 Sport. Headroom to spare.

I've forgotten what the Whaler red color is... William J Mills canvas told me when I ordered the mooring cover, but I forgot. Give them a call. Number is on the website at


sinjun posted 03-09-2005 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for sinjun  Send Email to sinjun     
i had mine made 60" tall and mounted on the gunnels i can stand with plenty of head room for getting from front to the back of the boat. i have had no problems running with it at this hieght. the only issue is that at that hieght u have to fold it forward to put it down. buy the way i am 6' tall.
macfam posted 03-09-2005 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
Here are some pics of a "Classic 13" for reference:
Both with and without top up.
I'm 5'9" or 5' 10" (on a good day)
I can just stand underneath.
I think you'll agree, any higher and the top would look strange.
Hope these pics help.
BOB KEMMLER JR posted 03-09-2005 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for BOB KEMMLER JR    
whats the height on that Mac?I just ordered one for my fathers 1969 13(46" height).hadn't planned on standing under too much,figured the lower it is,the better it will protect.
macfam posted 03-09-2005 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
This is the standard Mills suntop, mounted exactly to their specs. I bet Suzanne at can tell you the height. If not......
Right now the boat has the canvas mooring cover on, and covered with snow/ice and a wind chill of about 0!!
I'd need a blow torch to measure.
This weekend, if the weather cooperates, I'd be glad to measure the height.
If memory serves correctly, I can just stand underneath that top, and I'm about 5'9"
If you get the answer from Mills, let me know, if not, I'll give it a shot on Saturday.
BOB KEMMLER JR posted 03-09-2005 10:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for BOB KEMMLER JR    
thanks for the offer Mac,but stay warm.I saw the weather report from Ny today,had a full body shivver looking at those poor folks bundled up.besides my old man is shorter than me,so i'll be the one who suffers if i got it too low lol (more reason to get my own whaler soon)
Royboy posted 03-09-2005 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Thanks for all the input, and the photos, that really helps. Nice to see the Whaler Red dock lines, Moe; I wondered if I was the only one who did that! I was really only asking about the color in terms of Red over something more traditional, like blue for example. Is it likely to hurt the resale? Does it scare the fish away? (just kidding, it seems to attract 'em). anything else I should know about? I've heard that blue lasts longer because they can put more of the stuff in it that makes Sunbrella sun resistant.

On the handling side, any scary stories out there where Bimini height was a factor?

130 Sport

jhenkel posted 03-09-2005 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for jhenkel  Send Email to jhenkel     
I doubt you'd have any handling issues related to bimini height. Even if it were 10 feet tall, the weight of the top relative to the rest of the boat and its occupants would be nearly insignificant.

As for the airfoil effect, I can't see where height would effect that at all, the shape and attack angle of the bimini will be the same regardless of height so the relative lifting force would be constant.

I have a bimini on my Rage 14 and I can stand underneath it (I'm 5'10").



hardensheetmetal posted 03-09-2005 06:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     

I have an original factory (not sure if its Mills) suntop off the 2001 130 i purchased last year. i never use the top, and planned on selling it this spring. If you are interested, it is blue, and includes all mounting hardware. I have nopt resurched how much they are new, but I would be willing to talk to you about what it might be worth. I am not sue how it would ship though.


sinjun posted 03-09-2005 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for sinjun  Send Email to sinjun     
if its blue i don't think it came from bw they used red until 2004 when they started using black.
Royboy posted 03-09-2005 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
The hardware (bows) must to be shipped by truck, which adds about $150 to the price. Email me though, If the price is right, I might be able to deal with Blue. Does it have any plastic fittings on it? If so, I'm not interested.


where2 posted 03-09-2005 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
The best shipping arrangement for bimini tops that I have heard to date is the underside of a grayhound bus. Truck freight is wicked expensive for such a small volume item.
Moe posted 03-10-2005 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
My wife sewed up a nylon "tent" out of red nylon. It hangs from a bungi, with 7/8" plastic clips on the end, that runs from one side of the bimini to the other, just above where the rear struts attach, and just below the bimini canvas. There are also clips sewn on loops that hold the tent onto the rear strut and the rear bimini brace that goes forward from the strut, making an "A" frame to create a "pup tent." The tent covers the Porta-Potti, which sits sideways right behind the port side of the thwart seat, and there's room in the "tent" for her to change clothes, etc. in the center of the boat. Pretty nice accomodations for a small boat!


Royboy posted 03-10-2005 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Thanks, Moe. That brings up something else I've been wondering about: Since I'm going the custon route, would it be worthwhile to have a few snaps installed along the sides/front/back of the bimini for the addition of 'curtains' later? I also thought about leaving some of the rear bow exposed in a couple of places for rail-mount rod holders. Does that make any sense?


Moe posted 03-10-2005 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Roy, I don't know if I'd put rod holders up there, but I do think that having three 2-3" gaps, one in the center, and one about a foot in on each side, in the pockets for the bows, would sure open up possibilities for clamping things on later.

I've also thought about front and side clear vinyl curtains, but I think I'd sew one side of three big nylon zippers around the three sides of the bimini canvas. The other side would go on the curtains. Can always do that later though.


Royboy posted 03-21-2005 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
O.K., I dropped my boat off at the canvas guy's shop this weekend. I went with 55" tall (measured from the top of the gunwhales). This gives me about an inch of clearance to stand under it. He wants to mount it with rivets, on the outside of the rails. I was surprised to learn that there isn't any wood in any location suitable for mounting this thing on the gunwhales. Apparently, the fiberglass is strong enough to supprot the top, but I wouldn't have thought so. I'm also slightly concerned about the rivet scenario, but as long as they're sealed I'm willing to wait and see how they hold up.

The builder doesn't seem to want to use sliders on this, and instead has suggested using aft support struts instead of straps back there. The idea being that the top will just fold back to just behind the aft seat, much the same as is common on pontoon boats. I think this is a good solution, as it doesn't take away any forward deck space when stowed. I don't think it will be in the way back there for fishing, because I'll be able to step right under it into the aft deck (it will be about head high).

Any thoughts on any of this will be greatly appreciated. I have a little time (about a week) before he actually starts on it.


130 Sport

dittybag54 posted 03-21-2005 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for dittybag54  Send Email to dittybag54     
Roy, I sure am a fan of backing plates; which are there, and not a fan of rivets into the gunwales. It's a shame the shop can't work it another way.
Like you, I am 5'9" and enjoy steering while standing, especially when hitting the rough spots. Not being tall can be advantageous on a small boat.
Keep us posted.
where2 posted 03-21-2005 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
On my 15' Sport (classic), I have both 48" slide tracks, and adjustable support poles. As your canvas guy suggested, I can simply fold the top back, install the boot (bimini cover), and run with the top up out of my way in the form of an arch. The beauty of the sliders and the adjustable support poles is that you can move the shade around the boat, rather than moving yourself to the shade. If you're casting bait in the process of fishing, your top will be in your way.

The beauty of how I set up my sliders and my support poles is that my top lays on top of my side rails when lowered, allowing my mooring cover to be installed without removing the bimini, or tinkering with the support poles. My 48" tracks are held on by 6 screws per side and 5200. They've not come loose in 7 years...

Royboy posted 03-22-2005 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Thanks guys, I think I'm going to insist on sliders, unless he has a compelling reason not to use them. I very much prefer the flexibility vs. the easy-up of a fixed mount. Also the 5200 is not to be optional. I don't want to have to worry about water ingression. The jury is still out on the rivets. Since there isn't much wood to speak of along the gunwhales where the bimini mounts, and none directly opposite each other, apparently it's not a requirement.


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