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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through November 17, 2003 » Sick bimini, or the sickest? (Long post) « Previous Next »
By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 5:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
New to the board, first boat, recent slalom convert (only got one trick - TS,FS 180 w2w.) Bought this Toyota from a guy in Dallas - drove the 3000 mile round trip between Corona, CA and Dallas in 73 hours. Amazing trip, and no I didn't get a great deal; paid full price for a 2000 Epic S22, but the thing is/was so friggin clean. An amazing boat for $27K.

The bimini is my design, built by a great guy up in Hesperia. With two little ones and frequent trips to Havasu, shade is a high priority. The Toyota towers are a little narrower than many of the current towers, and the tow point is a little more forward than some. The typical little bimini was just not gonna cut it.

Boat width by ten feet, and it's never flapped or deformed, even at 42 into a breeze. My goal was to have all the straps, etc. mounted to the tower, not to the fiberglass. At first, there was too much sway in the rear bow, so I had to use straps down to the cleats, but I've since taken care of that. Still have to use straps in front, but it's really nice to have the back so open.

I wanted to keep the bimini as high as possible without interfering with towing from the tower - so far so good. The rope hangs off the bimini while we're coming around, but as soon as we take the slack out, the rope jumps a couple inches above the bimini frame. Once the rider gets up, it's just not even close. The shorter the rope gets, the worse the angles get, so I set it up for a 55' rope as worse-case. There's a fabric flap to get to the tow point.

The good news is that the whole cockpit stays shaded and cool (even at 115F), and there's so much room I can stand up and drive. Feels super spacious and open despite the thing's huge size. Tows great from up there, just as before.

Anyway, thought you guys might like to check it out. And yes, I'm really happy with the Toyota, would make the drive again if I had to, and it looks great behind our Sequoia.

For Toyota Epic info and forum, check out (not my site, only affiliation is as an Epic owner).





By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 5:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
una mas...

By Wes (wes_the_gimp) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 8:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Awesome! But my wife is a sun lover and wont let us put ours up!
By Bob (bob) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 10:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
she could ride up front and still be in the sun in that TOY
By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 8:44 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Still got sun on the pad. The deal with my wife is that the second we pull into a cove, she puts on the life jacket like a diaper and jumps in the water.

By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 9:52 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
got any more pics of the wife, or whoever is in the pics? lol just kidding
By WakemonsterRich (wakemonster) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 12:25 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Is your swim step alittle warped in the middle? It appears like it's starting to warp. You should see mine.

By John Richard (jrichard) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 2:11 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I think that thing is great...

By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 2:46 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Wes, John, thanks.

Monster...not warped, just lower than most (and probably lower than Toyota figured.) It's awash normally, a symptom of a boat that came out a little heavier than they expected. After watching my kids trying to get up on a new Centurion's step, I'm glad our is normally awash. Plus, it's a cool place to hang out. Oh yeah, since there's water on it, it's a good place for the wife to deposit her used beer. ;-)

By Chris Neelley (hatepwcs) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 5:00 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Is that Mojave?
By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 6:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Havasu. Sandbar and Copper Canyon. Last month. Sweeeeet.
By Monster Tower (monstertower) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 7:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Very cool top, does the rope mount above or below it?

By swass (swass) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 7:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Nice porch.
By Monster Tower (monstertower) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 7:19 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sorry about the above dumb question you covered in your original post
By BigD (bigd) on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 7:05 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I like it! Do you have to totally remove it when not in use? Doesn't look like it would fold up against the tower very well. If so, let's see a picture of that.
By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 11:36 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
BigD (won't ask ;-) - I intended the rear bow to stay up all the time (until winter, anyways). The forward bow folds back, over the tower, and rests on the aft bow. There's a boot that covers the whole thing.

There are two stainless pipes that run from the center of the tower diagonally out to the outside edges of the main bow. They spread the bimini when up, and support is when folded. Since they're at angles, they provide side-to-side rigidity. Unfortunately, the rear bow is so big that the thing still swayed with just the poles. At first, I used nylon bimini straps to hold the aft bow and they did okay. The pictures above show what we did at Havasu. The thing I didn't like about that was when we're heading out the back of the boat, the straps kinda restrict where you can head.

To solve this, I switched to the back-up plan and got some stuff West Marine calls lifeline - vinyl-coated stainless cable. Got turnbuckles and put some eyes in the tower. When these cables are snugged up, the rear bow just does not sway at all. However, I'm having to rethink the 'leaving the rear bow up all the time' deal.

It's nice to leave the bows up because I can still lift the engine cover and it doesn't interfere with the boat cover. Although the bimini doesn't move in relation to the tower while trailering, bumps do make the bimini flex the tower. Also, I've got to lower the thing to get in the back yard. So, I'm going to revise the lifelines a little to make them easier to disconnect from the tower.

Now, I'll disconnect the aft pipes and lines and drop the whole mess down to the engine cover like you would on a normal bimini.

Notice on the original set there's also pipes on the front - they don't work at all, so don't use them and still use straps in the front down to the tower base. Not a big deal, just a design miscalculation. I'll revisit the front part in a while (still got a ton of other stuff to dink with).

Dealing with this thing is really not a big hassle, just another minute or two in the no-wake zone. The shade's worth it.

Rear bow as it is now

By GWR (south30) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 10:53 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
where do you put all the boards??

By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 12:07 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

The v-drive Epics have a 'trunk' aft of the engine box that holds a ski and two boards, then we've got a rack on the tower base (not in the Havasu photos, but you can see its shadow in the boat-covered pic.

Yesterday we had a sac in the trunk and only one board and a ski would fit in there, plus the two boards on the rack. Whenever we weren't towing, there was a fourth board floating around in the boat.

This is our first summer with our boat, but so far our usual max is three boards, but my son's Mini Squirt is enroute this week. For now we're cool, but I know we've need got to add another rack.

(Message edited by toyotafreak on September 22, 2003)

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