Join Date: Sep 2002
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Check out Overtons.com The quality is good, the price is right, and they have a bunch of sizes to choose from. You can certainly go out and have one custom made but I think that is a waist of money.
Biminis come in lots of sizes (length, width, and height). We purchased one that was 30 to 36 inches high , 5 feet long, and 78 inches wide. Probably # 29787 I would get sunbrella and if I were to do it again, I would get one that is 6 feet long. After I ordered it, I discovered I could move the attachment point for the main sheet farther forward on the boom. It did not go straight up from the lower attachment point. Not sure why but moving has not caused any problems. Longer bimini, more shade.
Usually you can cut the height of the binini down somewhat by cutting the main support post down. That is why they are listed as a range from 30 to 36 inches.
We also mounted the bimini on 4 foot slides. We can position the bimini far back and shade most of the cockpit leaving about 2 feet of sun forward. We can move it 1 foot forward and still sail. When we are at anchor or in a slip, we can move it all the way forward and extend the living space of the cabin into the cockpit. This is important because we sail a 26S foot MacGregor sailboat. The boat has a poptop that raises and gives more head space. there is also a cover that goes over the raised poptop that can keep out the rain. The bimini overlaps the raised poptop and makes a larger area protected from rain. Kind of like a front porch on a house.
I mounted the slides on the outside of the hull rather than on the top of the seat back. The bimini flexes enough to it really doesn't matter if the base is 65 inches wide or 78 inches wide. Attaching the slide was a challenge because I could not gain access to the inside of the boat at that point and the fiberglass is rather thin there. I will get better access when I install some cockpit speakers in the seat backs and then I can reinforce the attachments with some backing plates.
We are very happy with the installation and the only thing I would change is the length but one of the people who sails likes to sit in the sun a lot so I might get over ruled on that one anyway.