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Author Topic:   How difficult to attach Bimini/Sun Top
ghwillis posted 02-13-2002 09:07 PM ET (US)   Profile for ghwillis   Send Email to ghwillis  
I have a 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk hull outfitted with the interior console and seating from a 1972 Katama. (Previous owner damaged hull in fire and replaced)
I would like to purchase a Bimini or sun top from Mills with stainless hardware. Does any one see problems with the hull/seating arrangement and the hardware top attachment points to the hull? The boat has a bow rail as well. I would like to do the install myself. How is the hardware anchored to the hull? Is this a tough or complicated job? All help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Thanks, George

JohnAz posted 02-13-2002 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
It's easy if you dont mind working with epoxy any place you put a screw into a Whaler that there isn't wood behind you have to "dowell" and epoxy then put the screws into the dowell wood,,,thats what i do,,some others do it differently
jimh posted 02-14-2002 12:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The problem I foresee is that ordering a Mills Sun Top for a Montauk will give you a frame designed to be tall enough to permit you to stand under it, but with your Katama console I assume your normal helm position is seated. That will put the top rather far above your head.

The Mills products are engineered to attach in places where there are backing wood inserts. As pointed out, you can augment the attachment points with some additional material.

Samars posted 02-14-2002 06:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Samars  Send Email to Samars     

Jim, you bring up a good point and perhaps I can get some advice from you or others. I am planning a new Bimini top for my 67, 13 footer...and have all the measuremnets, but one. At what height do others have for the top. I am 5"5' and routinely stand up while fishing. I also have a friend that is around 6 what height is appropriate?
jimh posted 02-14-2002 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You get the most shade from the top when it is just above your head. The farther above your head the top stretches, the less shade it casts.

On the lower freeboard boats like the 13 and 15, I have seen installations with very tall tops, high enough so that you can stand under them, but to me they do not look quite right.
I wonder how much shade they create when you are sitting.

Perhaps it depends on your lattitude, but since most of my boating is north of 45-degrees-N lattitude, the sun's azimuth is never higher than 61 degrees, and there only for a few hours around local noon. If I had a really tall sun top and were sitting in my 15-Sport, most of the shade it cast would fall off of the boat!

Someone in the Bahamas might feel different about it, as the sun is much more likely to be overhead than it is up here.


ghwillis posted 02-17-2002 06:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for ghwillis  Send Email to ghwillis     
All good advice. I hadn't thought about the height issue. That's what I love about this forum..... I may forgo the suntop till I can do more research this summer. In Erie, Pennsylvania we are about lat. 42 degrees and most of the summer the sun isn't that high. Thanks


kingfish posted 02-17-2002 07:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
George (and Jim)-

I had a Montauk with a Mills bimini (suntop), and wanted to clarify a couple things---

Firstly, in regards to height, I'm sure there are exceptions out there, but right at the moment I am unable to recall seeing a bimini on any open boat like a Montauk or Katama that wasn't designed and installed with enough height to allow passengers to walk underneath it. I've forgotten the accurate head height of a Mills suntop for a Montauk, but a 5'-6" guy like me had no trouble walking under it; I would guess it was about 6' high, and it afforded *lots* of protection from the sun. For what it's worth, the greater majority of the boating I did with the Montauk was in latitudes North of 42 degrees, and I was glad to have the protection I got from the sun with the Mills top.

Secondly, is there much difference between the seat height of a Katama and a Montauk? There's probably some, but there can't be much. My point is that a Montauk reversible pilot seat is primarily designed to be sat in, and at least in my case, while I did stand or kneel on the seat under some conditions, I was seated probably 80% of the time. So the largest difference between Katama seating and Montauk seating in regards to top height and sun shade, is that the pilot sits closer to one side in the Katama. I wouldn't think that would be too big a big deal, and the bimini is often flown for not only the protection of the pilot, but also the passenger(s).

Thirdly, if you shorten the height, you start working against the engineering and design that goes into giving a Mills suntop the ability to be easily stowed forward of the bowrails when not in use.

Just some thoughts, and George, the Mills suntop attaches to slides that are installed on the top decks of your gunwales, so it would not interfere with any seating when it was up or down.


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