How to Install a 3-Bow Bimini Frame on a Pontoon

Item # X-HT-300173

Stay safely shaded while you're enjoying the water on your pontoon under a custom bimini top. With bimini frame and skin kits from Sailrite®, you can build a custom bimini from start to finish that will perfectly fit your unique vessel. When building a bimini, you'll want to start by assembling and installing the frame. In our video tutorial, we'll show you how to measure and cut down the frame for your boat and how to install it securely with the proper proportions.

Finished 3-Bow Bimini frame and top on our project pontoon boat

The bimini we're building in the video is for our Camp Whitley Project Pontoon boat. We teamed up with several other local businesses to refurbish an old pontoon boat for a local summer camp, Camp Whitley, and building a new bimini for the boat was one of our tasks. You can see our other projects in our Camp Whitley Pontoon Boat Series.

To cover most of the seating area on the boat, we chose a 3-Bow Bimini Frame Kit. Our kits come with all the hardware and components you need to assemble and install the bimini frame. Building a frame kit isn't difficult, but it does require a few careful calculations. It's important to be precise at each step so that the finished bimini is level and well supported.

Bimini frame kits don't include rigid support struts, but depending on the size of your bimini and the set-up on your boat, you might want to add a few to your order for extra frame stability. In the video, you'll see that we added two rigid support struts to support the bimini when folded. Later on, we actually decided to add a third as well, which you can see in our How to Add Extra Stability to a Bimini Frame video.

Video Chapters:

  • Sizing for Bimini Frame – 0:33 min.
  • Installing Flat Mounts or Universal Deck Hinges – 2:10 min.
  • Bedding Hardware - 04:30 min.
  • Measuring & Cutting Primary and Secondary Bow – 07:33 min.
  • Measuring & Cutting Crowns – 10:33 min.
  • Assembly of Bows – 12:17 min.
  • Primary Frame Assembly – 16:19 min.
  • Installing Rigid Support Struts – 18:39 min.
  • Secondary Bow Assembly – 20:55 min.
  • Adjusting Primary & Secondary Bows – 22:20 min.
  • Intermediate Bow Assembly – 25:24 min.
  • Materials List – 31:36 min.

Materials List:

  • 3-Bow Bimini Frame Kit (we used 7/8" stainless steel #121314)
  • Rigid Support Strut 7/8" Stainless Steel Pair #121152 (optional)

Tools List:

  • Professional Heavy Duty Rivet Tool #103520
  • Drill Steady Tubing Tool #100967
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Drill
  • 5/32” Drill bit
  • 1/8” Drill bit
  • Hack saw
  • Allen wrenches
  • Screwdrivers