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Bimini Top aluminium or stainless

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Old 07-22-2008, 04:52 PM
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Default Bimini Top aluminium or stainless

I am planning to install a camper top this winter. I talked to canvas shop who has made 3 previous camper tops for me in the past about using stainless for the bimini frame for this boat but said he only has equipment to bend aluminium. I have been very happy with the previous tops but thought stainless might be a little stronger while trying to outrun a storm on Lake Erie.
Whats your opinion on Stainless vs. Aluminium?

Thanks Steve
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:02 PM
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Stainless is stronger and if your around salt water that's the way i'd go. When we got ours stainless was at least 2x more but worth it. If your planning to do any speed runs with the top up the you'll need the added strength. IMHO
Jay
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:05 PM
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Most of your better boat builders will not even consider offering an aluminum frame Bimini top as an option. By all means go with stainless. You get what you pay for.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:09 PM
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I just had a bimini top built with stainless steel rails and fittings. It is much stronger than aluminum. Make sure you use the 7/8" stainless steel tube and stainless steel fittings with two set screws. Also put locktite on all the screws and
retighten the screws periodically. Even with locktite, they tend to loosen over time after riding in rough water.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:25 PM
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I have my full top done in stainless it still looks new after 5 yrs but it is HEAVY!!......we had to go to lieing the thing down on the sunpad while underway because if you left it propped up while bouncing off waves it started to get a mind of its own and threatened to pull the mounts right out of the fiberglass!!......my other alum one never did that.......if I did it again Id go alum for sure
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:28 PM
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I have a large 8 ft stainless steel bimini on the Formula......like said, it is HEAVY and takes 2 people to remove/install it on and off the boat. I can run the boat 75 mph with it up but how often do you really need to do that. Several buddies have bought 6 ft aluminum bimini's from overtons this summer and have had no problems with them up into the 50's....and for less than $500.00 delivered!!!! If I was shopping I think I'd go that route.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:20 PM
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I bought an aluminum one this year and have regreted it ever since. The stainless is much stronger. I would not buy aluminum again.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:50 PM
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IMO Aluminum looks and feels like cheap junk after a couple of years. My old boat was 25 years old and the Bimini frame still looked new.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:15 PM
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Stainless !! is the way to go. Those prefab ones just dont fit good enough for me.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by excursion View Post
Stainless !! is the way to go. Those prefab ones just dont fit good enough for me.
Ditto!!!

After some adjustments I had the Bimini at 70 this past weekend, and no rattling. Locktite all set screws and mounting screws.
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