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Another Bimini question.

Started by MinUph, April 17, 2014, 01:36:31 am

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Well maybe a couple Bimini questions here.

  I'm going to attempt my first Bimini tops for our own Pontoon boat soon. I'm very good at patterning most anything but never did a top. I'm looking for some tips and tricks here. I looked on you tube and only found a guy doing windows. It was an excellent video over an hour long and he did a great job but it want a Bimini.

  What I have is the main top and a rear top that attaches to it with zippers. Like you guys and gals are saying, two zippers ending in the center. Also will do the zippers in the pockets. I'm thinking like this and please tell me if I'm wrong.

  Do you recommend the double sided tape?

  Patterning one side from center and running the pattern a couple inches around the sides of the framing to allow it to run on the side that much. The just cut here and finish with binding.

  My main concern is where the two tops come together at the zippers. Do I allow anything or just bind and add a zipper here like Mike explained above. I'd like tho have like a flap that covers the zippers but cant picture it (making it).

  Also do I have the frame a little loose and tighten it after the install? Or should I just make the top tight on the frame as it will end up?

  I do have these two tops existing so I can look at them while doing this and they are made very well. But I don't want to take them apart for patterns as I want to keep them.

  So throw out some needed tips on how to proceed. And thanks in advance.

  I might have more questions later :)

Minichillo's Upholstery


patterning paul on the frames firt I used blue painter tsape as it will come off easy then 2 sides tape on the blue, then I pull my clear 6 mil plastic from home depot ( thanks june) and mark were I want my seamon a 35 degree to the front of the forward frame  not dead center in front and not on top but if you follow on    a 45 *. I cut my top pocket and flap at once after I cut out my top pattern I lay it on my canvas leaving the front edge of the pattern  8" back from the edge of the canvas .
once I cut the leading edge of the canvas I slide it over the unused canvas 5 inches trace the curve to make the matching shape for the pocket, the the flap is cut from the remaining 3"..
the lay the flap on the outside of the canvas top then the pocket on top all with the curves all even. the zipper is added to the pocket first, after you sew the flap and pocket onto the top now turn them over and topsew the seam   and last turn the whole top over and lay the pocket flat and sew the opsite edge down to the top

sorry I don't have any diagrams anymore but fell tree to stop over and ill show you :)


Another tip that I learned is to use a couple of eight foot 2x4's that I have mounted deck hinges and hardware to. Then I can take the frame off the boat, mock it up on the 2x4's and pattern the top in my basement or garage. No wind to deal with and everything is pretty much at eye level.

We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction.
Douglas MacArthur


I add some pole allowance to any middle pockets, that is sew the pocket into the seam then lay it down flat ready to sew  the other side, then move it inwards / backwards towards your first seam, either 1/2" or 1" depending on how big your poles are.
We some discussions on 'push' some time ago, I think it was peppy that started it.
If you sew your pocket zipper into the pocket first, then cut & bind the edges the zipper should be covered by the bound edge.
Where the zippers come together in the middle, you could add a small flap to keep the zipper tags from dangling, just sew a piece one side of the pocket & velcro / pop to the other.



Like suzi said i add the push also to the main pocket to get the weam on the 45* as i noted. Holding the main po ket flat when sewing would want to make he sea 50 50 on the cront center of the frame not the top angle.   Og ya and sew the conneting zippers on the flap


Thanks everyone,
  I will have more ??? when I get stared I'm sure.

Minichillo's Upholstery


It's been so long since I did any patterning and boat top work I've forgotten a lot. 

I love the blue painter's tape idea (the shop where I did patterning didn't use it and cleaning the sharpie marks of the frame was very important).  I'm a big fan of "double stick" tape! first shop used clamps... took more time and added more chance for poor fit.  It's been nearly 15 yrs. since I did any patterning of that sort. 

Pockets:  the general rule was 4 1/2"F; added 1/2" allowance for each side.  Split down the centre and bound to accommodate the zipper insertion.  We "backed off" the front and rear pockets 1/2-3/4" on the parts that rounded the curves of the bows, faring the adjustment gradually to bring it into the desired seam line.  We would cut off the extra pull for double pulls or use a single pull slider.  Usually, the binding would keep the slider neatly tucked away.  And we always used 2 zippers on the front and rear bow pockets... they started on the outside and pulled to the centre!

Jeez! it's been a long time since I did any of this stuff.  Thanks for the memories and I hope something I've offered will be useful. 


Mike, so you cut the fitted flap for both the fore and aft pockets? I'm doing a bimini with enclosure; the forward bimini will connect with another bimini for the aft half of the boat, and there will be another set of side curtains and an aft curtain. So what kind of flap should the aft bow of the first bimini have, fitted or straight?



as I cut the top curve and the pocket curve and flap all from the same curve depending on how you lay the flap curved matching the top or opposite way when you sew and then top sew one way the flap will angle down at a 45* perfect for a front window or a aft curtain flip it with the curve laying the other wat and after sewn it will stick straight back allowing a good fit from the forward to to the aft top