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Old     (bjeremi)      Join Date: Mar 2006       03-24-2010, 8:22 PM Reply   
The bimini that I have on my boat wasn't designed for the tower and needs a little work to ease the "putting up and down". The bimini actually fits and it looks great up but it is such a tight fit that it is just a pain in the ass to use. I wanted to take maybe an 1" out of the width and maybe widen the upper bends and then add a couple of bends at the bottom of the support legs so everything would line up with the mounts.

Does anybody have any ides on what would be the best way to take out an inch in width? Maybe cut in the middle and then rivet them back together using a splice piece?

Any ides on what would be the best way to create the bends without professional pipe benders?

I would love to buy a nice new bimini from somewhere like but the price is prohibitive and this one is in such good shape and almost fits right now.
Old     (mdaijogo)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-24-2010, 8:33 PM Reply   
Move the bimini cover aside. You should see some sort of sleeve that is screwed on. I had to do this on a bimini top that I got as a gift. Cutting the width down is real easy, a hacksaw and you are good to go.

As for the bends, you may want to go to a local canvas shop and ask them for bending advice.

Old     (bjeremi)      Join Date: Mar 2006       03-24-2010, 9:11 PM Reply   
Didnt think about that. Thanks for the reply. I do have a buddy who's dad owns a canvas shop. They might have what I need. Thanks!
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-25-2010, 7:44 AM Reply   
You need a mandrel bender to do the best job on the bends. You might be able to use an electrical conduit bender that you can rent as it's only about 1" tubing on most biminis.
Old     (ship_of_fools)      Join Date: Sep 2007       03-25-2010, 7:45 PM Reply   
You can open the bends no problem by hand.

I did the same thing to a bimini top I bought to get it to fit.

I thought I would have to use a pipe bender but I just laid it down on the floor so the part I wanted to bend was pointing up and carefully applied pressure. They bent pretty easily. Just go slow.

Before I bent it I pushed the long end of the pipe up against the wall, laying flat on the ground, and marked where the opposite end was. This gave me some reference of how much I was bending it. It is hard to tell how much you move it.

I also had it all apart so I was just dealing withe poles and not fighting the cover.

I also lowered mine by drilling out the rivet in the bottom fitting, using a pipe cutter I took off a couple of inches then drilled a new hole and riveted the end back on.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-25-2010, 11:21 PM Reply   
I did my own on my previous boat. Cut 6" out of the center of the bows then spliced them back together by sleeving a tube inside (found a perfect fit aluminum tube at West Marine). Had my sister put a new "hem" right down the center of the bimini top. Looked like it was made that way.
Old     (bjeremi)      Join Date: Mar 2006       04-10-2010, 5:33 PM Reply   
Small update. I guess my bimini doesn't have the center splice and is like mikeski's. Mikiski do you want to elaborate on how you spliced them back together? I am debating doing that or just keeping it simple and trying to lower it a couple of inches to see it that will make it fit better.
Old     (ship_of_fools)      Join Date: Sep 2007       04-10-2010, 5:56 PM Reply   
I am guessing Mikeski found an aluminum tube that fit inside the existing tubing. Cut the existing top tubing in half at the middle, removing a piece the width you need it shortened. Then insert a short piece of the new tubing inside the existing tubing making a coupler. You can secure the "coupler" with round (pan) head sheet metal screws or rivets on both sides of the existing top tubing. This will tie the 2 halves back together.

I lightly sanded all the screw heads to remove any burrs and put some duct tape over all the screw heads that are under the fabric. I started to see the fabric getting worn where ever it rubbed on the screws the first time we used it.


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