From bimini tops to mooring covers, knowing the different types of boat shade tops and covers is critical in protecting your investment.
Disadvantages of Installing a Hard Bimini Top
Bimini tops for your boats are excellent for shading you and your passengers, but hard Bimini tops could be costly. Learn their disadvantages here.
Bimini tops for your boats are excellent for shading you and your passengers and add a layer of design to your watercraft that makes it stand out. A bimini top is designed to protect you from above. Other boat tops, like dodgers, can provide additional side protections but give up some flexibility. Bimini tops are popular for a good reason, and in this article, we will explore the types of bimini tops and how you should make your selection.
Types of Bimini Tops
- Hard Top: Non-fabric-based bimini tops, typically made from polycarbonate, fiberglass, and sheet metals.
- Collapsible: Designed to be taken down when not in use.
- Portable: Small and designed to be removed entirely from the boat.
- Soft Top: These are made with metal frames and specialty fabrics.
Hardtop vs. a Soft Top Bimini
- Weight: Regarding boating, you know that weight matters. You add extra weight you may not want with a rigid bimini top.
- Size: Hard bimini tops are limited and may not cover the desired area completely. You can extend the fabric with a soft top over larger boat areas.
- Cost: Though less versatile, hard bimini tops can be much more expensive than fabric solutions.
- Cracking: Hard bimini tops can crack from stress, punctures, and other aspects of regular use. If the hardtop material cracks, fixing it can be problematic and require complete replacement.
Keep in mind that by comparison, soft-top biminis are excellent choices for your watercraft because they are easy to clean and maintain. Cracking won’t be an issue, and the fabric of the soft bimini top is light and designed to withstand the elements. Most of the Bimini top marine fabrics are developed to be waterproof, UV ray resistant, and more. Plus, soft top biminis offer a variety of colors, patterns, and size options. Soft top biminis can be curved, stretched, and made into shapes that rigid types might not be able to without the risk of cracking.
Installing any shade structure or addition to your boat isn’t easy and requires research. Please consult your local boat association or check out the American Boating Association for tips and advice by contacting them. You can also contact your local boat shop for more information.
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