How to Make a 3-Bow Bimini Top

Item # X-HT-300195

A bimini serves as a protective barrier against the sun, rain and spray that you may encounter while on the water. A bimini top made with Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric is durable enough to combat these elements and serve as a lasting addition to your boat. Our Bimini Skin Kits are great for replacing the fabric top on an existing bimini frame or it can be paired with one of Sailrite’s Bimini Frame Kits to build a new bimini from start to finish. Choose from Standard Color or Premium Color Skin Kits to find a perfect match to your boat.

In this video tutorial we will show you, in detail, patterning on the frame, sewing, installing a backstay slit, sewing zippered pockets and more. By the end of this project you will have a custom, high-performance bimini top fit for your next boating adventure!

Our 3-bow bimini top.

Before you can get started on the bimini top, you’ll require a bimini frame to pattern on. If you need a new bimini frame, Sailrite carries 2-, 3- and 4- bow frame kits in both stainless steel and aluminum. If you have a new Bimini Frame Kit and want to learn how to assemble it, be sure to first watch the “How to Build a 3-Bow Bimini Frame” video (300193XHT). It is important to understand what size of bimini frame you are working with because the number of bows in the frame must match the number of bows in the Bimini Skin Kit. For example, a 3-bow bimini frame is only compatible with a 3-bow Bimini Skin Kit. The same is true for our 2- and 4-bow frame and top options. The 3-bow skin kit featured in this video is designed for 3-bow bimini frame with a 106 inches maximum width and 84 inches fore and aft spread.

If you find that our Bimini Skin Kits are missing something essential to your unique project, just let us know and we would be happy to customize a kit for you! Every Sailrite Bimini Skin Kit features zippered tubing sleeves for easy removal/storage and the Sunbrella fabric ensures that you will have a professional-looking bimini durable enough to last season after season.

A Bimini Frame Kit and Bimini Skin Kit together from Sailrite gives you the great opportunity to customize everything from the material of the frame to the color of the canvas! Our frame kits come with all the hardware and supplies needed to assemble and install the bimini frame, while a paired skin kit includes the fabric and supplies needed to sew the bimini top.

Video Chapters:

  • Patterning Bimini Top – 1:17 min.
  • Adding Seam Allowance to Pattern – 7:50 min.
  • Transferring Pattern to Fabric & Cutting - 13:12 min.
  • Patterning & Cutting Bow Pockets – 17:14 min.
  • Making the Tuck Down Tail – 31:09 min.
  • Making the Hang Down Tail – 33:55 min.
  • Cutting Facing Strips – 34:48 min.
  • Binding Sleeve Pockets – 36:03 min.
  • Sewing Zipper to Intermediate Pocket – 39:14 min.
  • Joining the Panels – 41:25 min.
  • Prepping for Backstay Slit (optional) – 53:19 min.
  • Basting Zippers to Pockets – 55:57 min.
  • Sewing Zippers to Pockets – 1:00:31 min.
  • Sewing Aft & Tail Sleeve – 1:04:20 min.
  • Sewing Forward Tail & Sleeve – 1:13:30 min.
  • Sewing Facing on Sides – 1:18:05 min.
  • Attaching Pocket Zippers to Top– 1:22:05 min.
  • Installing Backstay Slit (optional) – 1:38:57 min.
  • Trimming Tails & Side – 1:57:04 min.
  • Binding Bimini Perimeter – 2:01:50 min.
  • Installing Strap Eyes – 1:57:04 min.
  • Installing Bimini Top on Bows – 2:05:30 min.
  • Materials List – 2:06:38 min.

Materials List:

  • Sunbrella® Webbing 1’’ Natural- Item #144404*
  • YKK® Double Side Release Buckle Black 1”- Item #102485*
  • Filament Strapping Tape 3/4”- Item #5643*
  • Seamstick 3/8” Basting Tape for Canvas- Item #129*
  • Dura Skrim Patterning Material- Item #103134*
  • Sunbrella® Marine Grade 60” Fabric- we used Pacific Blue- Item #6001-000*
  • Leech Line Dacron 1/16” White- Item #21206
  • Sunbrella® Acrylic Binding 1”- we used Pacific Blue- Item #323*
  • Thread V-92 Polyester* or Sailrite® PTFE Lifetime Thread (an upgrade)
  • YKK® Finished Zipper #10 White Single Pull (Vislon)- Item #104887*
  • Rivet Stainless Steel 5/32" (for Marine Fittings)- Item #121165*
  • Strap Eye Stainless Steel- Item #28221**
  • YKK® Loop Loc Plastic Black 1’’- Item #47931*
  • Webbing Slider Stainless Steel 1’’- Item #28207*

*Included in Bimini Skin Kits

** Included in Bimini Frame Kits

Tools List:

  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8’’- Item #101017
  • Spring Clamp- Item #50211
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler- Item #107040
  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White- Item #102766
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Deluxe Package- Item #103800
  • Tape Measure 120 inch- Item #102986
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6’’ x 24’’- Item #102400
  • Deluxe 5 1/2’’ Magnetic Sewing Guide- Item #103597
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 PLUS (110V) Walking Foot Sewing Machine - Item # 300602
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed Collapsible Sewing Table - Item #104821
  • Sailrite® 1’’ Swing-Away Straight Binder- Item #100103
  • Multi Use Pins 1 1/2" - Item # 102985
  • Grease Marking Pencil Yellow - Item # 111002
  • Drill Steady Tubing Tool- Item #100967
  • Seam Ripper Deluxe - Item # 18104
  • Professional Heavy Duty Rivet Tool- Item #103520
  • Tape Measure, Marker, Straight Edge, Curved Flexible Ruler, Dill Bit 1/8", Drill Bit #20

Materials for Each Backstay Slit:

  • YKK® Finished Zipper #10 Single Pull (Vislon, Locking) - Item # 104887 or 104830 (desired length, per slit)
  • YKK® Zipper Slider #10 Vislon Single Pull (Locking) - Item # 28216 or 100033 (one per slit)
  • Vinyl Fabric Strip 3" Wide - we used Shelter-Rite® Tape - Item #104223 (desired length plus 6" per slit) Naugahyde® vinyl can also be used.
  • For Each Additional Backstay Slit Add (for pocket / sleeve): YKK® Finished Zipper #10 Single Pull (Vislon, Locking) - Item # 104887 or 104830