How to Build a 3-Bow Bimini Frame

Item # X-HT-300193

Adding a bimini to your boat provides refreshing shade without compromising visibility or air circulation. The first step in building your bimini is to assemble the frame. With the help of the Sailrite Bimini Frame Kits, you can retrofit your boat with a customized bimini that will last for years to come. This step-by-step video tutorial will provide a detailed look at how to measure, build and assemble your 3-Bow Bimini Frame Kit from Sailrite.

Our 3-bow bimini frame.

Sailrite Bimini Frame Kits are ideal because of the numerous options available. Before starting your frame, it’s important to decide if you’ll be installing it on the deck or rails of your boat, as that will determine the height. We will be attaching ours to the deck of the boat. You’ll also need to choose the frame material, as Sailrite offers frame kits in both stainless steel and aluminum. Stainless steel is sturdier and better for saltwater, while aluminum is a lighter, less expensive option. In this video, we’ll be building a stainless steel 3-bow bimini frame with a maximum spread of 84 inches, a maximum height of 44 inches and a maximum width of 106 inches. If you find your boat needs a different amount of coverage, we recommend selecting a 2- or 4-bow Bimini Frame Kit. Sailrite offers the highest quality kits to help you create your own 2-, 3- and 4-bow bimini frames. After you’ve constructed your frame, make sure to check out our “How to Make a 3-Bow Bimini Top” (300195XHT) video to finish your project!

A Bimini Frame Kit and Bimini Skin Kit together from Sailrite means you can customize everything from the material of the frame to the color of the canvas. Our frame kits come with all of the hardware and components needed to assemble and install the frame. They are designed to pair with the Bimini Skin Kits, which include the Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric and supplies needed to sew your bimini top after the frame is complete. Every Bimini Frame Kit and Bimini Skin Kit from Sailrite can be adapted to fit the unique specifications of your vessel, ensuring a perfect fit.

In this video, we built our bimini frame on a wooden platform on the floor instead of on the boat. This is a practical option if you don’t have your boat nearby or need protection from the elements and it allows full access to every angle of the frame. This video includes instructions and materials needed to make the wooden platform if you wish to follow our example. Choosing your Bimini Frame Kit and Bimini Skin Kit together from Sailrite guarantees you a custom, high-quality addition to your boat.

Video Chapters:

  • Measuring for Bimini Frame – 0:29 min.
  • Building Wooden Platform – 1:50 min.
  • Bedding Hardware - 4:32 min.
  • Drawing Scale Rendition – 7:41 min.
  • Measuring & Cutting Tubing – 13:03 min.
  • Assembling the Bows – 16:48 min.
  • Mounting Primary and Secondary Bows – 21:07 min.
  • Mounting Intermediate Bow – 28:48 min.
  • Marking Skirt Height – 29:56 min.
  • Materials List – 32:57 min.

Materials List:

  • Universal Deck Hinge (Stainless Steel) - Item # 103120*
  • SS Phillips Oval Head Screw #10 x 1 1/4" - Item # 121251*
  • Strap Eye Stainless Steel - Item #28221*
  • SS Screw Flat Head 6 x 1/2" - Item #777040*
  • Rivet Stainless Steel (for Bimini & Dodger Frames) - Item #103118*
  • Eye End Stainless Steel 1" - Item #42101 or 7/8" - Item #207*
  • Jaw Slide Stainless Steel 1" - Item #42102 or 7/8" - Item #33208*
  • Fast Eye Snap Hook Stainless Steel 1" - Item #100532**
  • Trimmable Butyl Tape 3/4" - Item #103689

Tools List:

  • Scratch Awl Yellow - Item #2354
  • SS Phillips Oval Head Screw #10 x 1 1/4" - Item # 121251*
  • Strap Eye Stainless Steel - Item #28221*
  • SS Screw Flat Head 6 x 1/2" - Item #777040*
  • Rivet Stainless Steel (for Bimini & Dodger Frames) - Item #103118*
  • Eye End Stainless Steel 1" - Item #42101 or 7/8" - Item #207*
  • Jaw Slide Stainless Steel 1" - Item #42102 or 7/8" - Item #33208*
  • Fast Eye Snap Hook Stainless Steel 1" - Item #100532**
  • Trimmable Butyl Tape 3/4" - Item #103689
  • *Included in Bimini Skin Kits

    ** Included in Bimini Frame Kits

Wooden Platform Build List:

  • 2 x 4 Boards - 2 each at 8 foot / 3 each at 10 foot (depending on width of bimini)
  • Saw to Cut Boards (if required)
  • Connector Plate 1 ½" x 4" - 12 each
  • Carpet Scraps (used to protect floor & for easy sliding of wooden platform)
  • Stapler to secure Carpet Scraps