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Author Topic:   Montauk 170: Wobbly Bimini
montaukman posted 03-27-2005 11:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for montaukman   Send Email to montaukman  
Hi everyone,

During my demo, it was very choppy and the bimini was wrapped up but attached to the gunwhale. It was wobbling side to side and while it was secure, i know after time wear and tear will cause it to either come loose from its hold or bend.

I know there was a thread about how the bimini can lie when not in use and that position depends on the manufacturer of the bimini but has anyone figured a way to keep it from wobbling side to side when underway and raised, but not open?


Alan Camhi

jimh posted 03-27-2005 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the design of your canvas system calls for the stowed position of the Bimini top to be in an upright position, I don't see much opportunity for stabilizing it in an athwartship direction. It is going to wobble a bit.

One of the great details of the Mills Canvas system on the classic Boston Whaler Outrage is that it stows forward and collapsed in the bow. When it is erect and in position over the console, two small tension lines attach to the shepard's crook top to stabilize it. That takes all the wobble out.

There are some pictures of 170 Montauk canvas on that show some options.

Does your canvas have the fixed struts?
If so, are they rigged forward or aft?

montaukman posted 03-28-2005 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for montaukman  Send Email to montaukman     
Thanks Jim,

I am unsure as to how it is to be stowed when laying flat. I am not even sure if it is meant to lie flat either on the stern or aft but i do recal many saying that since it is a non-mills bimini, it would stow aft when laying flat. I guess when i get the boat back, i will play around and see.

I know what you are describing with regards to the two tension lines attaching to the shepard crrok and yes, this bimini has that but I they are only deployed when the bimini is not stowed. I don't know if they can be accessed when the bimini cover is applied.Maybe someone else can confirm that.

Not sure what you mean by the fixed struts. I am just a wealth of knowledge here...sorry. I will check the manual. It has been painful to even look at my manual due to the dealer prep problems i am having.

Thanks again for your help.

All the best,


bigjohn1 posted 03-28-2005 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Alan, my 6 month old 170 came with a non-Mills bimini (made by the Great Lakes Company). When you go back to the dealer, simply look at the underside of the canvas on the bimini and there should be a tag that lists who made it. If it is a Great Lakes product, it will not stow flat on the bow but you have a few options on how to properly stow it for the ride home - or anytime you are trailering the rig for that matter:

1. Lay the top down aft (in its zip-up boot) and secure each side by wrapping bungie cords around the arms and then to the aft grab rails.

2. Lay the top down forward and complete step 1 but bungie the arms to the forward grab rails.

3. Lay the top down aft on top of a cooler to provide support for it. I would only recommend this for when the boat is at home and not when trailering as the cooler will slide around and you may loose that support when it does.

Whatever you do, if it is a Great Lakes cover, do not drive away from the dealership and trailer your rig with the bimini un-supported. I did that and by the time I drove 15 miles on rough island roads, the channel mounted to the gunnels that hold the main support legs had gotten bends in the track - a situation I had the dealer rectify for free since the dealer told me it would ride just fine like that. If you have a Mills top, forget everything I just said and listen to someone with that top.

Goosedog posted 03-28-2005 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Goosedog    
Montaukman, the boot on my 2004 170 factory bimini has two holes to allow the straps to run to the console clip when the boot is on and stored upright. It holds fast.
nydealer posted 03-28-2005 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for nydealer  Send Email to nydealer     
You should be able to use the ani sway straps to the center console. All New Montauk 170's are equipped with them. They can be used when the top is open or closed. If you adjust them a little shorter then what it appears they should be, Grab the top and pull it towards the Center clip. This will allow you to get the sway straps nice and tight and will reduce movement of the top tremendously. I hope picking up your boat tomorrow goes well.
170whalermonfan posted 03-28-2005 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for 170whalermonfan  Send Email to 170whalermonfan     
When in the rearward stow position (colapsed and laying on top of the gunnels), I used bungie cords. I soon found that along bumpy routes, the play in the bungies allowed undue strain on some of the top's componenets. I now use two nylon dog collars with quick disconnects. Easier to connect and disconnect than bungies. I also found that the rings on these collars made a usefull attachment point for the rear tie down straps of the factory bimini. This freed up some space for me to pull in some big wahoo along the side of the boat.


Maximus posted 03-28-2005 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
I found out quickly that my Mills bimini did not like to be stowed upright while underway. I lost two screws from the wobbling.

Locktight fixed the problem, but I only run with the bimini fully up or stowed forward.

bigjohn1 posted 03-29-2005 07:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Darn Goosedog, as much as it pains me to admit this, I never realized the openings in the boot where for strapping down the bimini when it was stowed upright. On the few ocasions when I ran with the bimini stowed up, I simply endured all that wobbling.

170whalermonfan: That is a superb idea on the dog collars and much safer to the eyes than bungie cords. If you can, go into a bit more detail on using the rings in the collars to free up more space for fighting fish. I have all but given up on the idea of ever using my bimini again while fishing. I troll four rods (all on rail-mount rod holders) and that top has caused me to lose more fish than I care to admit. I normally leave it at home when we fish and just glob on the spf 50 and wear a large floppy hat. Still, the top would be great in this friggin tropical heat.

montaukman posted 03-29-2005 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for montaukman  Send Email to montaukman     
Hi Everyone,

I would have responded faster but for the life of me, i couldn't get onto this site last night.

Thanks for all the help on the bimini wobbling. I knew something just wasn't right. I am surprised the dealership didn't know to attach the straps. Actually.....based on what has been happening, i am not surprised.

Anyway, I will try it when i get my 170 back, if i get it

Thanks again.

P.S. I like the dog collar ideas. I bet i can find lots of color coordinated styles to match the bimini.

All the best,


Sheila posted 03-29-2005 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
Alan, make sure any collars you buy are colorfast. They should be, but double check. When my dogs were pups a friend gave me some collars as a gift. Stained their coats until the hair grew out. I don't think you'd want that on your gelcoat...

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