How to Make a 3-Bow Bimini Top for a Pontoon

Item # X-HT-300189

Create a comfortable, shaded space on your pontoon boat with a custom made bimini top. With all-inclusive kits from Sailrite®, you can get a fully custom fit for your boat for less than going to a canvas shop. Our bimini kits come in two parts; the frame and the skin. We already made the frame for our pontoon bimini and in this how-to video we'll show you how to pattern, sew and install the fabric top.

Completed 3-Bow Bimini top on a pontoon boat.

This bimini project is a part of our Camp Whitley Pontoon Boat Series. Sailrite teamed up with several other local businesses to refurbish an old pontoon boat for a local summer camp, Camp Whitley. Be sure to watch all the videos in the series to see the full transformation!

Our bimini skin kits come standard with Sunbrella® fabric, but we chose to use Top Notch® 9 fabric in Burgundy Weave. Top Notch 9 is a durable, solution-dyed polyester fabric with excellent dimensional stability, making it a great choice for tops, especially here in the Midwest where the sun is not as hot as in the tropics. If you'd like to use Top Notch 9 or any other marine fabric for your bimini top just give us a call and we'd be happy to customize a kit for you.

In this video, you'll learn how to use Dura Skrim® patterning material to pattern your bimini top, how to pattern and cut the panels and how to sew it all together.

Video Chapters:

  • Pre-Tensioning & Securing Frame – 1:01 min.
  • Applying Basting Tape to Bows – 6:52 min.
  • Establishing Skirt Height – 8:47 min.
  • Patterning Forward Panel – 10:42 min.
  • Patterning Aft Panel – 15:42 min.
  • Adding Seam Allowance to Patterns – 21:48 min.
  • Transferring Patterns to Fabric – 24:05 min.
  • Cutting Panels – 27:56 min.
  • Cutting Aft Bow Pocket – 29:00 min.
  • Cutting Forward Bow Pocket – 31:59 min.
  • Cutting Center Bow Pocket – 33:55 min.
  • Cutting Hang Down Tail Pieces – 36:12 min.
  • Cutting Facing for Sides – 37:32 min.
  • Binding Sleeve Pockets – 38:07 min.
  • Sewing Zipper to Center Pocket – 41:26 min.
  • Sewing Zippers to Forward & Aft Pocket – 45:53 min.
  • Joining Main Panels – 50:52 min.
  • Sewing Main Panels – 55:20 min.
  • Preparing Tails – 1:04:38 min.
  • Sewing Aft Tail & Sleeve 1:06:05 min.
  • Sewing Forward Tail & Sleeve – 1:14:17 min.
  • Sewing Center Pocket – 1:15:54 min.
  • Sewing Facing on Sides – 1:20:19 min.
  • Attaching Forward & Aft Pocket Zippers – 1:24:01 min.
  • Trimming Tails – 1:34:47 min.
  • Binding Bimini Perimeter – 1:36:48 min.
  • Installing Strap Eye for Webbing Straps – 1:41:04 min.
  • Installing Bimini – 1:44:07 min.
  • Materials List – 1:46:29 min.

Materials List:

  • Bimini Skin Kit for 3-Bow Frame #121333 or #121334
  • Strap Eye Stainless Steel #28221*
  • Rivet Stainless Steel (for Strap Eye) #121165*

Tools List:

  • Gingher® Scissors Right Handed #19104
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler #107040
  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White #102766
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package #103800 (110 Volt)
  • Tape Measure 120-Inch #102986
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ‑1 PLUS Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300602 (110V)
  • Deluxe 5-1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" #102400
  • Sailrite®; 1" Swing‑Away Straight Binder #100103
  • Drill Steady Tubing Tool #100967
  • Professional Heavy Duty Rivet Tool #103520
  • Tape measure
  • Sharpie marker
  • Straight edge
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Drill & drill bits

*These components are included in Sailrite's Bimini Frame Kits