Bimini Tops for Pontoon Boats: A Buyer's Guide
For many boat owners, nothing spells fun, excitement, and relaxation better than a pontoon boat. While the original version of these boats was merely a simple flattish wooden platform mounted on two columns of steel barrels, modern pontoon boats have evolved to be the epitome of pleasure and luxury. However, if you want to take your boating experience up a notch, you’ll definitely want to invest in a Bimini top for your pontoon boat.
What can you do with a pontoon boat?
How can you enjoy your pontoon boat? That’s a really good question. Basically, pontoon boats are great for a wide range of activities such as day cruising, entertaining, fishing, and watersports.
Pontoons boats are ideal for day cruising, especially on lakes, rivers, and small bays. They can even be used on oceans and seas, but only during calm weather.
Modern pontoon boats are designed for excellent stability on the water; no wonder they make perfect party barges! These boats also have expansive deck space so you can take more than a dozen passengers to party with you wherever you like. Additionally, you can equip these boats with all the amenities you can ever think of and customize them to your heart’s desire.
If you’re looking for the perfect fishing platform, look no further. Due to their stability and comfortable design, pontoon boats have clearly won the hearts of many fishing enthusiasts. Add the fact that modern fishing pontoon boats have all the angling accessories built into the design and you’ll understand why these are some of the most popular fishing boats of all time.
If you usually go fishing alone and only need a small watercraft or don’t want to spend much for one, you can go for an inflatable pontoon boat. These fishing dinghies are usually made of abrasion-resistant PVC bottoms and sturdy nylon tops, have ample storage space for your fishing gear, and are extremely lightweight, customizable, and easy to assemble.
Pontoon boats are also perfect for those who are into watersports such as tubing, water skiing, and wakeboarding. While its impressively powerful motor alone is enough to give you the thrill you’re looking for, the fun doesn’t stop there. Even the smallest pontoon boat can be equipped with all the basic accessories (e.g. inflatable slide, diving board, tow-bits, and storage lockers) you need to enjoy your favorite watersports.
Note: Pontoon boats with two hulls are ideal for day cruising and entertaining, but they may not be enough for those who need more speed and power. Thus, tritoons (pontoon boats with three hulls) are more suitable for those who are into watersports.
What are Bimini tops for pontoon boats?
Basically, a Bimini top is an open-front canvas top for the boat’s cockpit area designed to provide protection from the sun and the rain. You can put it up if you need shelter from the sun or rain and fold it down when not in use. Bimini tops are usually supported by metal frames and can be customized to fit different types of boats.
Why do you need a Bimini top?
Being on the water, with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, can be a lot of fun but too much sun can dampen the experience. How often have you been sunburned after spending time on your boat? While you may think nothing of it, this can have some pretty serious consequences.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, too much sun can lead to premature skin aging, sunstroke, and skin cancer. Moreover, having 5 or more sunburns can double the risk for melanoma, a more serious form of skin cancer.
Aside from the blistering heat of the sun, you may also encounter occasional drizzles and heavy rains. All the more reason why you need a standard or custom Bimini top for your boat.
Aside from the obvious health benefits, there are several other reasons why you need a Bimini top for your pontoon boat.
- It increases your boat’s life span and improves resale value. Without ample protection, your boat can easily be damaged by the elements.
- It provides the protection you and your boat needs without obstructing the view.
- It adds to your boat’s aesthetics.
How do you choose a Bimini top for your boat?
- Pay attention to the size. Determine where you want the mounting points to be before taking measurements. Measure the width from rail to rail, the length of the top, and the height of the frame to establish which part of the boat gets shade. Most boats will be able to fit a generic Bimini top, but custom Bimini tops for boats are always more effective.
- Be choosy with fabrics. Don’t go for anything less than marine polyester since cheaper materials tend to shrink, stretch, or warp with constant exposure to the elements. Marine polyester doesn’t. Additionally, it will not retain water, grow mold or mildew, or hold musty odors.
- Put a premium on durability. You wouldn’t want to throw away your hard-earned dollars for something that’s not worth it, so choose a Bimini top with double-stitched seams. Additionally, make sure that all the major wear points are reinforcement-sewn and not simply glued together.
- It should be easy to use. Bimini tops are meant to be assembled and disassembled with ease.
How do you care for your Bimini top?
With proper maintenance, your Bimini top can last for years. Wondering how you can keep it in great shape? Consider these helpful tips.
- Clean the frame. Use a boat cleaner to clean the frame after every use. Simply mix 1 part of boat cleaner with seven parts of cold water, apply the diluted solution on the frame, rinse immediately, and allow it to dry. Note: Stay away from products that contain chlorine or phosphorus since these ingredients can easily damage the frame and other hardware. You can also apply a mild alkaline solution to the frame to achieve an even better finish.
- Pay attention to the hardware. Use a good quality marine silicone spray to clean the hardware (e.g., zippers and fasteners) and protect them from rust and corrosion.
- Clean the fabric. Many boat owners tend to forget that their Bimini tops need some attention, too. Don’t be one of them. If you want to keep it looking good for years, hose it down after every trip to remove most of the salt. However, if you notice that salt and dirt are starting to build up, roll up your sleeves and prepare to give it a good wash. Put some dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water and hose it down to loosen salt and dirt buildup. Use a sponge or a soft brush to wash the fabric and rinse it immediately with clean water to remove any soap residue. Air-dry the fabric thoroughly since leaving a small amount of moisture can encourage mold and mildew growth.
- Regular washing may compromise the fabric’s polyurethane coating, so apply a good quality waterproofing solution at the start of the boating season. You can be sure that your Bimini top is starting to lose its waterproof coating when moisture starts to seep through the fabric. However, you don’t have to wait to see the sign before waterproofing your Bimini top.
- Keep birds at bay. Boats and birds don’t mix, so if you want to discourage birds from landing and making a mess on your boat, you can use bird deterrent devices such as bird spikes, hanging visual bird deterrents, and other reflective and moving devices to scare them away.
Protect Your Pontoon Boat with a Seal Skin Supreme Bimini Top!
If you need a high-quality Bimini top for your boat, you don’t have to look any further. We have one that ticks all the right boxes. Here are some reasons why investing in a Seal Skin Bimini top can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
- It is made from a highly durable marine polyester that is guaranteed not to shrink, stretch, or warp with constant exposure to the elements.
- It is extremely lightweight yet so you wouldn’t have any problems assembling and disassembling it.
- The material used is 100% waterproof yet breathable. This ensures that the product will not retain moisture, provide good air circulation, and prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Our products are made to last. Seal Skin Bimini tops are double-stitched at the seams and are reinforcement-sewn (not glued) at all major wear points.
- The product is available in different sizes (from 54 to 103 inches in width and 36 to 54 inches bow frame) and colors (grey, navy blue, ocean blue, maroon, and hunter green) so you can easily find one that perfectly fits your boat and your personal preference.
- Seal Skin Bimini tops come with a heavy-duty yet surprisingly lightweight frame and a free storage boot.
- We offer a 5-year direct warranty with every purchase to protect your investment.
When you’re ready to buy a Bimini top for your precious boat, make it a Seal Skin! Call us at 800-915-0038 during our office hours (Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST) if you have any questions about our products, exchange, and refund policies and we’ll gladly answer them for you. We have the best covers and Bimini tops for your boat so give us a call today and we’ll help you find what you need.