Your boat is a major investment, so keeping it clean and in good order is important. Here's how to tell if you have UV resistant fabric on your boat...
Fabric Choices for Your Bimini Top
Fabric is an essential part of your bimini top. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when considering the right fabric for your boat.
If you’re a boat owner, then you know that having a good bimini top is essential. If you’re looking for a bimini top for the first time, then all the choices there can be confusing. What kind of frame should you use? What type of fabric? Does it matter that you take your boat on fresh or salt water?
Let's set sail, look at everything related to bimini tops, and hopefully help steer you to the best option for your boat.
The Unique Requirements of Biminis
First, consider that biminis are different from dodgers; they don’t offer protection from the side or the front. However, biminis are great for shelter from the rain when your boat is stationary, for shade during a hot day, and complement your boat style and look. Biminis come in a variety of colors and fabrics. A metal frame supports most; stainless steel or aluminum. Fabric is an essential part of your bimini.
Bimini Fabric Considerations
- The fabric should be water-resistant and durable; this will save you in the long run.
- The fabric's color should complement your boat's style and look. But consider a light color so the fabric won’t fade as quickly.
- UV resistance is a great plus, and any fabric that offers this is worth the investment.
- Mildew resistance is a great option as well. Remember, even if your fabric is water-resistant, it can still break down, and mildew can grow over time.
- The texture of the fabric should be soft and easy to handle; it shouldn’t be bulky or rough to the touch
- The fabric should also be lightweight.
- Finding an easy-to-clean fabric makes sense and makes your life easier.
- Finally, find a fabric that has a good warranty. You never know what’s going to happen out there on the water.
Bimini Fabric Types
Woven Acrylic: This option provides a soft fabric appearance that is water resistant. However, the fabric must be replaced or treated with water-resistant chemicals every few years. This option is more expensive, but the woven acrylic combines fabric aesthetics and breathability.
Vinyl & Polyester Composite: This option provides the best vinyl and polyester; durability, long-lasting, and easy to clean. The composite can stand the rigors of the sea. Plus, the composite’s vinyl component never loses its waterproof characteristics. This option is generally less expensive than woven acrylic.
So where can you find the suitable bimini fabric for you? Herculite manufactures a line of quality marine fabrics made into bimini tops, boom awnings, sun, navy, convertible canopies, curtains, dodgers, cushions, mooring, and protective covers.
Herculite's marine fabrics are a multilayer composite of specially formulated vinyl with an inner reinforcement core fabric woven from high-tenacity polyester yarns and a unique multipart adhesive system.
Herculite offers two great options for top bimini fabrics for boat lovers: Riviera Marine Fabric and Regatta Marine Fabric. The products provide lightweight, waterproof, mildew and UV-resistant, and easy-to-clean features.
Once you have chosen the suitable fabric, remember to select the right frame, color, and design. The kind of frame you use may depend on whether you go out on fresh or salt water. Generally speaking, stainless steel is the best type of frame for salt water. Aluminum is a good option for freshwater boats. Remember, the frame design you choose should match the lines and style of your boat.
For the best marine cover, contact a canvas shop member of the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA)– who can offer custom-fitted biminis for the best result.