DIY Bimini questions. Hardware? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-23-2017   #1
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 155
DIY Bimini questions. Hardware?

It's time to upgrade my beach-umbrella to a bimini.

looking at this:
Bimini Top 4 Bow 61"- 66" Wide 8ft Long Gray PREMIUM RANGE With Rear Poles

but wondering if I need this:

it's going on a 14' maravia willawa with an NRS frame with no decks... (though I've been thinking of upgrading to some HDPE or plywood side-decks if needed for this!)

should i be looking for a 6' long bimini? what am I missing?

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Old 05-23-2017   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 166
Go with an 8' if you can. I have an 8' on my 14', and it is barely big enough for the rower and passengers in the front bay. As far as the mount goes, I designed a custom one for my application so I am not sure if you need the river sombrero mount or not. I have seen a few mounts made with u bolts and a piece of wood or cutting board using the base that comes with the Bimini... Seems like a cheap and easy solution.
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Old 05-23-2017   #3
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 97
I have the same one on a 16 foot. I like the grey color. I left the back poles off so I can lay it down flat in the wind and use some long straps to keep tension. Go with the 8 foot, you will be happy for the shade.
Like above, I think you could work out a mounting bracket that would work. but if you don't want the hassle, I'm sure they would work. Motor boat repair places also carry replacement parts if you don't like the plastic mounts, but I thought they worked just fine. I have wood decking and mounted to that.
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Old 05-23-2017   #4
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carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,826
I got this one and really like it. Free shipping but maybe that is my Prime thing.

The ebay one shows poles for the back. The Amazon one uses webbing. ( Not great clasps, I converted a couple of 3 foot straps to tension it up. Used hose clamps with some inner tube cushioning to attach to frame. Love it.
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Old 05-23-2017   #5
90Duck's Avatar
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 427
I bought a slide track to attach my bimini:

I don't have a deck, just round side rails. The track was very easy to attach with hose clamps on either end wrapped with some good old duct tape to cover the sharp spots. The bimini removes from the track with two set screws. I leave the track on.

It survived the Grand Canyon last year and several other trips since. I got 2-foot tracks. It is also nice to be able to move the attachment for and aft a bit as well. My bimini is a gray 4-bay Leader Accessories brand I found on ebay. I'm all-in with the tracks for less than $150 total. Fits perfect on my 14' Aire. The width is the key measurement. You can see the slide track if you zoom in on the attachment point.
Show me your OOOOOO face
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Old 05-23-2017   #6
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 477
I got one of the 8-foot "leader" ones in tan from amazon and mounted it on very little time, solo, to my modestly decked frame for my 14 footer. Fits the frame length just right. Will be using it for the first time this weekend. Pretty sure it's going to be awesome. I did notice that the slightly narrower version I bought is not on Amazon at the moment.
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Old 05-23-2017   #7
John Day, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2017
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 5
Contact Darren Smith at Frontier Play... he has some aluminum plates that mount your bimini to the frame with NRS frame bolts. he threw them in for free with boat package purchase, so i doubt he'd charge much for them...

The ones from River Sombrero look sweet, but are SO expensive!i though of making something similar out of laminated 3/4" plywood but realized the plates i got from frontier play would work perfect...

also, i second the "leader" bimini in an 8' version from Amazon.
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Old 05-24-2017   #8
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 477
I mounted mine "backwards" to give more clearance to my oar towers and just used stainless machine bolts, nuts, and washers straight through my wooden deck.
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Old 05-24-2017   #9
John_in_Loveland's Avatar
Loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 261
I bought an 8' one Amazon and it was under $100. It easily mounts to my side boards. I also discarded the rear poles so it will collapse easily, especially in a head wind.
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Old 05-24-2017   #10
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 121
I bought a cheap bimini off ebay, ripped off it's bottom mounting hardware, filled the bottom of the pipe with a wooden dowel for rigidity, drilled a hole through it. I used a Hollaender Adjustable Elbow Tee Body 17M to connect it to my frame. I used spare snap pins to connect the bimini to the Hollaender fitting.

I can easily slide the fitting along my outer frame rail (but only on one side of the oar towers). And, it uses the same parts/tools as needed for other parts of the frame, which keeps the repair kit small.

Worked well for me and was all said and done for about $120. Well worth it for a windy trip on San Juan.
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