Bimini top question

Richard T

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This weekend crossing the lake at about 30 mph the frame for the Bimini top broke in two places where the center cross member bolts to the support poles, it,s square aluminum tubbing. The question is my dealer is telling me the Bimini top is only to be used at less than 5 mph, can anyone shed some light on this.


thanks.
 

Remediation

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There is no warning sticker on the bimini.  I found a sticker on the table leg yesterday that warns that the leg and table should be removed for speeds over 5 mph. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
 

lakeliving

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Jtaylor just had this issue. Seems the bimini frames need to evolve to match the speeds the boats are capable of doing. How many drum brakes do you see on cars now a days?
 

prd2hnt

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Boat still under warranty? If so I would push the dealer. A good one will help you out.
 
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cwag911

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That is the "CYA" factor. What year is your boat? It should be under warranty.
 

tcpip95

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Back in 2013 we were out on the boat when a large storm popped up rather suddenly as they do here in Florida.  We ran for safe harbor, and pulled into Boca Grande Marina.  We were about 15 minutes ahead of the storm.  We pulled in, re-fueled, tied up to the dock and went inside to wait out the storm.  As it arrived, it got SEVERELY worse.  We got caught in a micro-cell that measured 72 mph on the anenometer at the dock.  It was only then that I realized I still had the bimini open!  Needless to say, the bimini frame got damaged pretty good.    Knocked power out to the whole area.  Fortunately for us I had re-fueled BEFORE the storm hit.


Went to the dealer, explained what happened, and Bennington covered it under warranty.
 
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Havasu

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My bimini has a speed warning tag of 46 mph.  5 mph seems ridiculous.
 

Sanity3

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I too have run at plus 35mph with the Bimini up for more then 40 minutes, no problems. This is one of the reasons I purchased a Bennington, to run with bimini up to stay out of the sun . If your dealer give you push back contact Bennington. Provided the boat is under warranty. Good luck  
 

BigKahuna

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Never had a problem w/the Bimini top at speed. I make sure it's nice and tight and doesn't flap around........
 

Richard T

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The boat is a 2016, 2375RCW with the 300 Yahama. I have spoken with the dealer and he doesn't seem to want to help so I contacted Bennington and was advised that the owners manual say the Bimini can not be run with speeds in excess of 15 mph. I will try to get some pictures but it broke both sides where the center support is bolted, to me this appears to be a weak spot with a 3/8" hole drilled through a 1 1/4" support rail.


thanks for the replies and it appears I'm not the only one that had trouble with this.
 

keithkz

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I can hit nearly 40mph with my (12') bimini fully deployed and have NEVER had an issue with it...and I have an older (2005) Bennington.  I don't remember ever seeing a warning sticker on this but I'm going to look now.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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See, you all laugh at me and my 20hp motor ..... I NEVER have to worry about this stuff !! LOL!!
 

Michiman

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The boat is a 2016, 2375RCW with the 300 Yahama.

Hope you have seat belts installed because that rig will flat out fly! Just saying...
 

Richard T

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It's not as fast as you would think, but at my old ass age it's plenty fast enough. The best it has done was with two people on board and roughly 1/2 tank of fuel we hit 51 mph at 5800 rpm, but you can put 13 people and two dogs onboard and still run 42mph at around 5400 rpm. Most of the time we run at about 30 mph at 3900 rpm and only burning about 10 gal/hour. We have been very happy with the pontoon, but I do see several things Bennington has not upgraded to match the newer performance of today's pontoon boats
 

JTaylor

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I have a tag on both my front and rear bimini canvas that says the max speed is 15 mph.  I never had any trouble running single or double bimini over 40 mph until a couple weeks ago when I did so directly into a 15 mph wind and had the front bimini frame come out of it's mounts and peel back .  I think the tension on the front bimini support arms was also a bit too tight, which I'm sure didn't help.  


Although only the center arch frame of the rear bimini is visibly broken, I'm having the entire double frame and the mounts replaced since the frame seems asymmetric in places and is definitely looser at a number of the mounts.
 

Richard T

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That's what the Bennington rep told me as well, not over 15 mph with the Bimini opened. I've had the boat about 6 months now and newer had any issues until last weekend. I guess I could have been doing a little over 30 mph because I didn't have the GPS on and my speedo is not accurate but normally at 3900 rpm is about 30 mph.


if my dealer won't help get it covered we have a really good aluminum fab shop here that says he can build me an identical frame with heavier tubing using my original mounts, I think that will be better than going back with a factory unit.
 

Alicedream

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I find this to be very interesting and disappointing. I pick up my new Bimini top on Friday.  It had a small hole in it when it was delivered.  I have had my Bimini up at speeds of 40+ into 10mph+ winds with no issues. I am finding it really hard to believe that Bennington would build these boats that go fast with a Bimini that can only be used at 15mph or lower. I if I I ran the boat in line with these parameters it would be a much less enjoyable experience and boat.  I am also confused by the fact that some tags say 15 mph and others say 45mph. My brother just got his 2375 GCW with 300 Mercury and he was told they made Bimini that goes on the wake tower tight to accommodate high speeds.
 

Havasu

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Well, my forward bimini has a tag on it that says 46 mph max speed.  I've had it up to 50 with it no problem.  And that's with a front bimini that wasn't done right in the first place.  The cross bar was too loose (because the sleeve is in the wrong place) and it would flop  around at speeds above about 30.  My dealer wanted to try a bunch of band-aid type stupid fixes on it so I took it to a local bimin specialist myself.  In 5 minutes, she sewed a barrier on the cross sleeve and that has helped the problem about 90%.  I still need her to cut some material out and sew on a new zipper to tighten the whole thing up.  I'll do that after the summer season is over with and the problem will be resolved.  My dealer had no idea how to properly fix the problem and therefore wanted to experiment on my boat so I took it elsewhere.  I think that's pretty ridiculous but I wanted it fixed right.
 
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The boat is a 2016, 2375RCW with the 300 Yahama. I have spoken with the dealer and he doesn't seem to want to help so I contacted Bennington and was advised that the owners manual say the Bimini can not be run with speeds in excess of 15 mph. I will try to get some pictures but it broke both sides where the center support is bolted, to me this appears to be a weak spot with a 3/8" hole drilled through a 1 1/4" support rail.


thanks for the replies and it appears I'm not the only one that had trouble with this.
Can you tell me if you ever got any resolution from Bennington? Ours just broke as well but we weren't going anywhere near 30 mph. I'd be surprised if we were doing 20! I can't get much response from Bennington either, and have been in contact with two dealers and a rep from customer service at Bennington as well.
 

kblp

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Searching the forums I see where some have had the problem and some haven't regarding the standard bimini top's front support legs disconnecting from the rail mounts at speeds greater than 15 mph. I've had it happen with mine as well, virtually every time I exceed 20 mph no matter the lake wave/chop conditions. Even when the water is flat, run at 20 mph and it will eventually happen. It will even happen at 15 mph if there's a good chop on the lake.
I have to pull my from support legs down about 2-1/2 to 3" to connect them and being a quality control guy I always make sure they're fully clicked into the mounts with both the audible "click" and visual verification.

I'm the second owner of the boat. It had 63 hours on it when I purchased it. I don't know it's use or bimini use history with certainty obviously but it's a pristine boat minus one small scratch on a gate fence panel. Maybe something on the frame was misaligned, weakened or otherwise out of sync when I got it but coming from 50+ mph v-boat with bimini tops background I was careful to check it over well before I ever put it in the water the first time. Everything seemed straight and aligned properly and the fabric was good and taunt everywhere and remained that way while running until such time as the front legs would come out of the forward mounts.

No speed limit tag on it anywhere but maybe it had one originally that was removed before I took possession. Anyway I'm on a mission to figure out why it's happening, and then what if anything I can do to make it so the boat can be ran at speeds greater than 15 mph with the top up. Maybe I'm dreaming but I'm finding it hard to understand why some can and some can't. Obviously all things aren't equal or everyone would be getting the same results. Differences in wind and water conditions are natural factors that can't be perfectly measured I realize. Nevertheless it seems there's something not just right with mine that I've yet to figure out.

I'm going to go through the manual with a fine tooth comb again and then give the top another thorough going over and see what I find. Maybe it's something as simple as the front latch mechanisms need replacing. Next stop after that if I haven't figured it out is a call to the dealer or the factory if they have tech support for such things. I'm confident we'll get it figured out.
 
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