3. Mount the Deck Hinges
Place pieces of masking tape on the mounting surfaces and use the deck hinges to mark the mounting holes for each. Before drilling the mounting holes, be sure the underside is clear of items such as hoses and wires. After drilling, chamfer the holes with a countersink to eliminate gelcoat cracking, and then remove the masking tape, bed the surface with a marine polysulfide sealant and screw each deck hinge into place (use nuts and bolts where possible), cleaning up the excess sealant with a rag dampened with solvent.
4. Install the Top and Eye Straps
Bolt the bases of the main bow to the deck hinges and erect the top, extending the fore and aft web straps in line with the legs of the bows to form an M-shape on each side. This will tell you where to mount the eye straps. Mark, drill, chamfer, bed and mount each pair (fore and aft) with self-tapping screws at the same position on each side of the boat. The eye straps work best when mounted horizontally. Attach the snap-hooks to the eye straps and use the buckles to evenly tighten the top.
Quick Tip: Pin Pal
If stowing the top is a problem, mount a second pair of deck hinges and use quick-release “grenade” pins. This way, the top can be moved aft to where it folds out of the way.
Adjustable Aft Stays
Instead of straps, some Bimini tops use telescoping aft stays, attached to the boat with deck hinges, to secure the main bow. Forward web straps keep things taut. A big advantage of this system is that you can fold back and store the Bimini in an elevated position, so as not to interfere with seating or deck space. With this system, it’s best to secure the canvas in a zippered boot (starting at $51.99, iboats.com) when not in use.