Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

A conversation among Whalers
Ahab
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2024 8:51 am

Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby Ahab » Wed Feb 21, 2024 9:33 am

I live in the Mobile Bay and Gulf of Mexico area. My boating will be in the intra-coastal water way, or near the coast, or in rivers, or in Mobile Bay, and I plan to be cruising or angling--but not too far off shore. I am in my retirement years.

For a boat, I am searching for a center console boat. I have focused on the Boston Whaler 250 DAUNTLESS as the boat for me. The design of the 250 DAUNTLESS to me screams mixed use. My brain says the 250 DAUNTLESS is for in-shore charter use and for angling from an open boat--that means no T-Top--with a Bimini top if any crew wants to have shade when the boat is beached at a sand bar.

Q1: why is a T-Top so popular?

In my analysis a T-Top offers really very limited use for creating shade, and it will be in the way when angling for fish. And a T-Top creates a fixed height restriction that limits access to places like your garage or your car port or under trees or under mangroves.

Q2: is a T-Top [really] popular?

I am asking because I do not see many boat on the [local] waters with a T-Top, nor do I see [boats with T-Top on the showroom floor] at [boat] dealers.

Jefecinco
Posts: 1597
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Feb 21, 2024 10:39 am

Some boaters like T-Tops because they offer a convenient place to mount a RADAR antenna. Others like T-Tops because they have become something of a status symbol. And finally, many boats are equipped with T-Tops because dealers order so many stock boats with them installed.

I prefer Bimini Tops.

A reason not many 250 DAUNTLESS boat are seen on our waters is their expense compared to many other makes and models. A 25-foot boat can be a handful at the launch ramp for some folks and require a 3/4-Ton pickup truck for towing. To see a 25-foot boat fishing on the [Moblle] bay with more than four anglers aboard is unusual. Four anglers can comfortably fish in a smaller boat, and that smaller boat will be easier to tow, easier to launch, and easier to maintain.

A 25-footer is a nice size for family cruising and on the sandbar.
Butch

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby jimh » Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:00 pm

From my perspective—most of my time spent boating I am closer to the North Pole than I am to the Equator—a Bimini Top is much preferred over a T-Top. Essentially, the purpose for either a Bimini Top or a T-Top for me is to create shade from the Sun. That is the basis on which I judge the two choices. For boaters who live on the Equator or in the Tropic of Cancer zone, a T-Top may be more functional at creating shade than it would be at my lattitude.

Ahab
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2024 8:51 am

Re: Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby Ahab » Thu Feb 22, 2024 8:05 am

Thanks for the replies.

ASIDE TO JEFECINCO—I agree, a 25-foot-long boat is large for trailering. I am lucky to live on the water and have a dock. A trailer will be for the repair shop. I have a 3/4-ton truck—old but reliable.

fno
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:01 pm

Re: Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby fno » Thu Feb 22, 2024 7:16 pm

Gulf of Mexico, get a T-top if you plan on fishing. Get a good one that has about 1/3 more square footage than most boat manufacturers provide. Whaler is one of the better T-top suppliers as their tops are larger and provide more shade. Other boat makers skimp on the T-top and they become worthless.

Masbama
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:33 pm
Location: Mobile, Al

Re: Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby Masbama » Sat Feb 24, 2024 8:13 pm

Ahab wrote:I am asking because I do not see many boat on the [local] waters with a T-Top, nor do I see [boats with T-Top on the showroom floor] at [boat] dealers
Here in Mobile I see T-Tops on about 80-percent of the boats.

Jefecinco
Posts: 1597
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re: Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Feb 25, 2024 10:36 am

Mas - I agree but would say 80-percent of the center console boats 20 feet and over.
Butch

Masbama
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:33 pm
Location: Mobile, Al

Re: Choosing between a T-Top and a Canvas Bimini Top

Postby Masbama » Sun Feb 25, 2024 10:58 am

You are correct Butch. Thanks for the clarification.