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  Adding center bow to Mills Flying Top?

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Author Topic:   Adding center bow to Mills Flying Top?
commodore posted 02-14-2002 08:06 AM ET (US)   Profile for commodore   Send Email to commodore  
My 18' OR has the Mills Fwd. Shelter and Flying Top. I would prefer to use the Flying top as a Bimini Top, but would need to add a 3rd center bar to crown the "convex" shape of the flying top. Anyone done this?


padrefigure posted 02-14-2002 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for padrefigure  Send Email to padrefigure     
It is not an easy job, but doable. You will need to get the hardware--availble at West or Boat US. Next the tubing--any industrial metal supplier will have 7/8 polished and wrapped stainless steel tubing. Cost should be $40 to $50 for a 24 foot piece. Next make a bending jig. I edged glued several pieces of 2 X 6 and then used one of the other bows to trace the arc. Cut out the arc with a jig saw or band saw. You will need a handle to on the jig to bend the tubing--stainless steel is tough. The trick is to leave the legs a little long and adjust the length to give you the head room that you will need once the arch is bent.

Another option is to call Mills and buy a replacement bow (about $60). You can cut the legs off to the length that you need. The problem with this is freight--It has to go by truck and freight can be twice what the part costs.

Good luck.

commodore posted 02-14-2002 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for commodore  Send Email to commodore     
Thanks! I'll contact Mills first and get a freight quote. My other option is to use aluminum vs. stainless tubing.
JohnNorthEast posted 02-20-2002 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnNorthEast  Send Email to JohnNorthEast     
Is it not possible touse the flyingtop as a sun cover without the forward shelter or windshield?

I just purchased a used flyig top (Mills) for my 18 foot whaler but was hopeing to postpone buying the forward shelter. I have the canvas windshield and understand I can not use the windshield with the flying top until I have the forward shelter but imagined I could use the flying top as a "small" bimini, in its own right. Is this not possible?

Tom W Clark posted 02-20-2002 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

What are you talking about?! You don't need an extra bow to use your flying top as a bimini. Any water up there drains off laterally just as it does when the forward shelter and windshield are set.

commodore posted 02-21-2002 07:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for commodore  Send Email to commodore     

You are correct, I just prefer the crowned look of a 3 bar top. Maybe not worth the $$ or effort, though.

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