Pontoon Bimini Top – How to Choose Bimini Top For Your Boat


pontoon bimini top

Pontoon Bimini Top should be your #1 priority when you buy a pontoon boat. I have owned a pontoon boat for a couple of years now and what I have learned is that the bimini top is a lifesaver.

However, this is also the most overlooked part when buying a pontoon boat. Many people do not consider shade when they buy a boat. It is not until they are out on the water and start feeling the hot sun that they notice they need a cover.

I did a lot of research when we were buying the boat because I did not want to make a mistake with any part of it. I wanted to have an affordable top that matches the look of their pontoon. I also wanted it to be durable and easy to use.

With this said, I am excited to share with you the best bimini tops. As well as my personal favorite!

Choosing The Best Pontoon Bimini Top

If you want a new bimini cover for your pontoon, first know what you really want. I knew I wanted something that was easy to use, appealing, affordable, and durable. I really did not want to buy something that will break after a couple of uses.

Also, I had to take into consideration that I wanted to have a bathroom on the pontoon. The top could not be too big and take too much space.

Here are some other aspects that I was looking at;

  • Color
  • Material
  • Texture
  • Electric or manual?
  • Is it a twin top?
  • Is it heavy duty?
  • Frame material – plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel?
  • Speed rating?
  • The warranty?

Simple Bimini Top From Overton

Coming in a variety of colors, this Bimini top from Overton’s is simple and easy to install. This Bimini top is top fabric only and it is made from premium long-lasting Sunbrella Acrylic.

The zipped bow pockets help hold the top to the frame. This makes it more secure. The middle pocket is wider so it is easier to install with no need for extra straps between bows.

The top includes a cut out for navigation light and the curved profile makes it look more fit with fewer wrinkles.

With this bimini top, you also receive a fully zippered storage boot to keep it clean while stored away.

The Pros:

The best option for a pontoon owner that is looking for a sleeker cover offering a modern look. It also comes with a four-year warranty in the case of accidents or emergencies and something happens to your top.

The Cons:

Many owners have mentioned that the top is only 7 and a half feet wide. This can make it difficult for an 8-foot pontoon boat. For a slicker look, owners sometimes feel it can be a bit pricey.

Deckmate Economy Pontoon Bimini Cover

Economy Pontoon Bimini Top

This Bimini cover is known as the cheaper version of the one that is coming next. With this package, you will be getting 1” framework, zip on fabric and storage boot, and mounting hardware.

Many owners mention that it is easy to assemble and the Bimini frames snap together with stainless steel snap buttons. There are six total colors to choose from. Finding the right fit for your pontoon is easy with this company.

When fully extended the canopy is 8’ long. The standing height is 75” making it easy for tall people to stand and not hit their head on the top.

The Pros:

Maybe the best part of this Bimini cover is that it is affordable and well built. This is a great option for a person that wants something that is easy to install at a good price. The cover even has a one-year warranty.

Many users though mention that the hardware feels extremely sturdy and well-built. I think this can be the best choice for someone that maybe has an older pontoon boat and is not looking to invest in a top of the line Bimini cover.

Either way, this one is great!

The Cons:

Many users only have two cons about this cover. Many have mentioned that at speeds above 30 mph, the cover begins to shake slightly. This can be somewhat bothersome and fearful. Especially, if you have kids.

If you are cruising at less than 30 mph, you won’t notice it. Secondly, users have said that the instructions are hard to read. The photos make it simple, but the wording can be confusing to some. If you are an expert at pontoon covers, you might be able to pick it up.

Electric Pontoon Bimini Top

Electric Power Pontoon Bimini

If the price of a Bimini cover is not a concern, but efficiency is, then this is the ideal Bimini cover. I really like this cover for its efficiency and ease of use. The Bimini package includes a PWR-ARM patented actuator, mounting hardware, zip on premium solution storage boot, and all the wiring needed.

Now, by the name alone you can guess what the major positive aspect of this cover is, it is electric.

The Pros:

The most appealing part of this cover is that it is electric. It comes with remote control. You can control the cover from anywhere on the boat. Put it up or down with the click of a button.

To add to this, the installation process is very quick with zippered pockets that allow you to quickly install the cover.

There is no physical struggle with this cover and you can find helpful installation videos online.

The Cons:

Although the physical setup of the cover is easy, the electrical wiring can be difficult. You should take into consideration that the wiring needs to be placed throughout the boat and connected properly.

Also, with no manual option, if there is an electrical malfunction, the cover is stuck. This is a more high-end Bimini top and that means it costs more.

With that said, this may be the best option for people that are looking for convenience or cannot physically strain to manually put up and take down a cover.

Twin Bimini Top

With double the shade comes double the price. But, if you happen to have a large pontoon boat and want to double the shade, this twin Bimini top is a great option.

It is made from Sunbrella Acrylic and includes a free matching storage boot. With a total coverage of 17’6 x 8’, it has a curved frame. This frame creates a modern look.

One of the great parts of this twin Bimini top is that you can use it together or independently. It is created from marine-grade materials.

Twin Bimini Top

The Pros:

The Sunbrella Acrylic is sleek looking, solution-dyed, and weather resistant. The most appealing reason to consider this Bimini top is that you can shade the whole pontoon. This is beneficial if you have a large group of people on the water with you.

For me, I like having a twin cover because you can use it independently. Now, the best part of this Bimini cover is the 6-year warranty that you get.

The Cons:

This has been mentioned before and I notice it at times.  Reviewers say that the poles feel fragile. Again, many pontoon owners feel that it can be more durable. Especially, if you want to take your boat above 30 mph.

If you are considering a twin cover, think of your individual needs before getting one. Do you need this much shade?

Deckmate Heavy Duty Bimini Top

DeckMate Heavy Duty Pontoon Bimini Top

I feel for the price, this is the best Bimini top out there. For the material, you feel a lot more secure than with other Bimini tops. It is durable and includes stainless steel snap buttons. The adjustable front struts replace straps so you can feel more secure when mounting it.

What makes this one great is that it is made from stainless steel, includes bolts, and high-end materials so you spend less time worrying and more time enjoying. The most touted aspect is that at higher speeds it does not shake as much.

The point of being on the pontoon is to not worry, right? 😊

The Pros:

One of my favorite aspects of this Bimini cover is the build material. When reading reviews, many people say it has such a great grip and mounting hardware. The framework is built to fit 8’ wide pontoon boats.

With many color options to choose from, this is a great Bimini cover for the price. It is long-lasting and has an easy installation process. People have said that it takes about an hour to install.

The Cons:

This one is more of a personal option that happens with all Bimini covers. Many reviewers and I feel that there are too many pins and there might be an easier way of securing rods.

Picking the Right Bimini Top for You

Always take into consideration that when you buy a pontoon boat, you will want to upgrade certain aspects of your boat.

With that said, choosing the right Bimini top is a matter of opinion, wants, and budget. There are endless options to choose from. Never forget that this process is meant to be enjoyable, and it will be even more enjoyable when you get to sit out for hours on the water without worry about sunburn or getting hot.

Investing in a Bimini top is a smart choice if you see yourself on your boat for long periods at a time or accompanied by people!

If you have bought a Bimini top, let me know in the comments what you think about it. As always, I love to hear your feedback and ideas!

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