If you have recently purchased an open-top boat, you are probably looking forward to heading out on the ocean or a lake so that you can enjoy the water. However, what many people who purchase an open top boat don't consider is the intense heat of the Australian sun. Being out on an open-top boat without any shade can actually be pretty uncomfortable and could even lead to sunstroke, dehydration or severe sunburn. The best way to combat these potential problems is to invest in a Bimini cover for your vessel. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about buying a Bimini top for your new boat.
The type of fabric
Bimini tops were traditionally made using vinyl. Vinyl is a very strong fabric which will provide sun protection as well as offering protection from rain showers. However, if you are conscious of how good your boat will look with the Bimini top in place, you should be aware that Vinyl tops are only available in a very limited range of colours. You may also find that with use, the colour of the vinyl begins to fade as it is exposed to the UV rays of the sun.
In recent times, Bimini tops made using polyester which has been coated with acrylic. Although these types of top are typically more expensive than vinyl tops, they do offer a number of advantages. Firstly, you will notice that polyester Bimini tops are available in a wide range of colours, which means you can match or contrast the colour of the top to your boat perfectly. Secondly, polyester tops are resistant to UV rays so they will not fade after exposure to the sun.
Ease of use
Finally, you should examine the way in which each type of Bimini top is erected. Some tops feature magnet poles and clips which make them very easy to put up, while others are bolted onto the hull of your boat and take longer to set up. If you are planning to leave your Bimini top in place year round, then one fixed with bolts may be best. However, if you plan to put up and take down the top as you need to, you may wish to opt for one with magnets and clips.
Next, you will need to consider the dimensions of your boat and the size of the area you wish to protect with a Bimini top. Bimini tops are produced in a range of sizes which should fit different classes of vessel. However, if your boat has a unique shape, you may need to have a bespoke Bimini top produced.