Cost for bimini top?

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Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
680
Location
USA
Vessel Name
Speedy Charlotte
Vessel Make
Beneteau Swift Trawler 44
Anyone know approximately how much a bimini top should be for a 44' boat? I just got a quote for $3,000, which sounds high. But I have no baseline. Any thoughts?

Also, if anyone has any recommendations for a place that does this in the San Francisco Bay area, I'd appreciate it!

Thanks,
Mike
 
Well, we just had several quotes done to fully enclose the fly-bridge on our 35' trawler. None of them were less than $5000 CAD and the comparable installers were all within a few hundred dollars of each other. We finally settled on a $6000 installation. He wasn't the cheapest but then anything good is rarely so.

I would fully expect to pay at least $2000 for a simple bimini top not including the tube work.

I would suspect your quoted price in USD to be pretty close to the mark.
 
Mine, same as yours, is approaching 5 years old so I'm planning to have a second one made in the coming months. I'll let you know the price when I get it.
 
Anyone know approximately how much a bimini top should be for a 44' boat? I just got a quote for $3,000, which sounds high. But I have no baseline. Any thoughts?

Also, if anyone has any recommendations for a place that does this in the San Francisco Bay area, I'd appreciate it!

Thanks,
Mike

Try Starbuck Canvas in Sausalito. They've done our canvas work in the past and do a great job.
 
Anyone know approximately how much a bimini top should be for a 44' boat? I just got a quote for $3,000, which sounds high. But I have no baseline. Any thoughts?

Also, if anyone has any recommendations for a place that does this in the San Francisco Bay area, I'd appreciate it!

Thanks,
Mike

IT DEPENDS!!!

Is this for a Sunbrella replacement of top only (no side curtsains, zips etc??
Does it include new tubing frame? SS? Size (dia)
Does it include side curtains, zips etc?
 
Just had mine re-sewn for $250 (Aud). Can`t imagine a new one costing over a boat dollar, but my boat is smaller at 36ft.
If I was spending 5-6K I`d be looking at a permanent hard top.
 
IT DEPENDS!!!



Is this for a Sunbrella replacement of top only (no side curtsains, zips etc??

Does it include new tubing frame? SS? Size (dia)

Does it include side curtains, zips etc?



This is for a boat with nothing there in terms of bimini. So would be for sunbrella, 1 inch stainless tubing, installation, etc.
 
If it's JUST the Bimini top, and the hardware if there was nothing there to start with, $3000 is a bit on the high side... but a 44 Beneteau Swift has a big fly bridge and it it covers the whole thing, $3k could be in the ball park.

We would need the dimensions to figure cost exactly.

I'm a dealer for a quality manufacturer of Bimini tops, Eisenglass, etc. We have some patterns which are very reasonable, but some special orders can be difficult and a bit more expensive.

We have done complete tops, sides, campers for smaller boats in the 25 to 30 ft range in the $3000 ballpark.
 
If it's JUST the Bimini top, and the hardware if there was nothing there to start with, $3000 is a bit on the high side... but a 44 Beneteau Swift has a big fly bridge and it it covers the whole thing, $3k could be in the ball park.

We would need the dimensions to figure cost exactly.

I'm a dealer for a quality manufacturer of Bimini tops, Eisenglass, etc. We have some patterns which are very reasonable, but some special orders can be difficult and a bit more expensive.

We have done complete tops, sides, campers for smaller boats in the 25 to 30 ft range in the $3000 ballpark.


Are your frame tubes aluminum or SS?
 
This is why I am making my own.

Bought a new specialized canvas sewing machine tools, etc... Plus the materials for our rear cockpit enclosure, for much less than the bid on having the enclosure made.

After that i'll take on the flying bridge enclosure. :D
 
Recommend - Canvas Factory - 6200 Bridgehead Rd, Oakley next to Antioch bridge. 925.755.3264
Did excellent work at a fair competitive price, in business since 1981.
 
As mentioned earlier, price is dependent upon size, materials, desired robustness, stitching, adhesives, longevity, see through material used and not to forget capability and warranty offered by installer. A well made enclosure should last 10 years in Northern climes and less in the desert SW where brutal sun and UV takes its toll. Anything less is due to poor materials, fabrication shortfalls or upkeep.

I've been through at least 4 decades of biminis and complete enclosures. The material changes and fabrication improvements are dramatic. My latest, now under construction, is a large complete enclosure suitable for high winds and heavy snow loads. Materials are Stamoid, Lexan, tight sealing tracks and SS framing. It replaces a Sunbrella and Strataglas ten year enclosure and will outlast my remaining boating years.


Don't ask about price
 
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I don't think the price is out of line., especially if you are using the stainless steel tubing and Sunbrella. A foamed hardtop is not a bad idea, with aluminum legs, if you get the right person to make it. Then you have the option of a nice set of curtains down the road that fits correctly and the use of the top for mounting your antennas and the likes.

Some considerations though, are you considering fixed supports for the bimini, or straps so that you can fold it up? In the past I have used the rigid supports in the back and straps in the front so that I can fold the top back and boot the entire arrangement for air and sunlight on the bridge or even for larger fishing hulls. This also airs out the bridge on the nicer days.
 
As mentioned earlier, price is dependent upon size, materials, desired robustness, stitching, adhesives, longevity, see through material used and not to forget capability and warranty offered by installer. A well made enclosure should last 10 years in Northern climes and less in the desert SW where brutal sun and UV takes its toll. Anything less is due to poor materials, fabrication shortfalls or upkeep.

I've been through at least 4 decades of biminis and complete enclosures. The material changes and fabrication improvements are dramatic. My latest, now under construction, is a large complete enclosure suitable for high winds and heavy snow loads. Materials are Stamoid, Lexan, tight sealing tracks and SS framing. It replaces a Sunbrella and Strataglas ten year enclosure and will outlast my remaining boating years.


Don't ask about price

Stamoid is great, our fully enclosed top lasted 15 years in Calif. sun; the thread failed first; also make sure the threaded penetrations are sealed or you will have small leaks.
 
Stamoid is great, our fully enclosed top lasted 15 years in Calif. sun; the thread failed first; also make sure the threaded penetrations are sealed or you will have small leaks.

Good point. I'll pursue the sealing of stitching. As best as I recall there is little if any stiching. Bonding techniques are used.
 
Good point. I'll pursue the sealing of stitching. As best as I recall there is little if any stiching. Bonding techniques are used.

Good to know about bonding. Had mine made in Vancouver BC in 2002 and was told stitch only. I didn't like then, and like it even less now because the Stamoid is still good. I would be very interested in your results.
 
I made my bimini in Ft Lauderdale in 2011 and spent $5,000.
After the hurricane in St Martin, I made again and spent there $ 5,000.
My boat has 55'
 
IMG_2427.JPGIMG_7158.JPG
 
Someone asked if it included curtains... if so, it's a bargain if not....reasonable if installation included.

I moved away from canvas tops. I paid Atlantic Towers to fabricate and install both a hardtop over my rear deck and a radar arch. Cost was about $7K plus delivery/installation which was about $800 back in 2005.

Last spring I ordered another custom hardtop for the helm, again from Atlantic Towers. The cost for the hardtop/supports and stuff was $5K but I had to wait until October before I could get the top delivered and installed. That cost 1300. If you purchase a big, heavy top the installer might ask to have a crane or for installing it. I just had 3 guys plus myself along with the delivery team consisting of 2 guys.

The installers did a great job! Took about 5-6 hours to do the job. I have half of my curtains made for the new top and I have a bunch of additional ones to make. Wifey wanted the color changed so all the curtains will be new.

Bimini vs hardtop! NO COMPARISON!!!
 
I too am in need of a Bimini, only have one quote so far, $8000, it's a 55 foot boat with a large flybridge and I need both canvas and the SS support. IMO with canvas the quality of work is more important than price, in my search I have found several people whose poorly fitted canvas lasted half the time it should have. Closely inspect their previous work before you commit to a vendor.
 
I too am in need of a Bimini, only have one quote so far, $8000, it's a 55 foot boat with a large flybridge and I need both canvas and the SS support. IMO with canvas the quality of work is more important than price, in my search I have found several people whose poorly fitted canvas lasted half the time it should have. Closely inspect their previous work before you commit to a vendor.



Is this for just the Bimini or Bimini and curtains?
 
There is always a great deal of variation in canvas work price. Around here, we have gotten quotes for as little as $1800, to as high as $3500 for the same thing. Bimini only with no steel work. There are differences in quality, workmanship, and attention to detail. A lot of deciding on a canvas job has to do with the reputation of the installer... or the shop. You really need to go look at past jobs. Look at how well it fits and how well it is put together. Is $3000 a good price? Well, that is impossible for any of us outside your market to answer and kinda foolish for us to try. Something is only work what someone is willing to pay for it. Your perceived value will be vastly different than mine, or anyone else's. If this was a part or piece of gear from Defender or West Marine, that is one thing, but this is mostly a service item. Materials are only a fraction of the cost of biminis. Only you can decide what it is worth to you. :)
 
There is great conjecture pertaining to canvas prices. I never gave it much thought until recently when I agreed to help a friend by doing his canvas work. This is the second time around for him. The first time I did his work I had little sewing experience and we agreed to barter my work for his work in our home. He is now retired being a cabinet maker and this time he only has to absorb the material cost.

As I type I have even put off doing my own canvas in order to finish his. My canvas requires patterns because of my new hard top along with major planned canvas changes to the older canvas. I am using his old canvas for pattern.

My assessment of how much work is involved (and I do NOT do canvas work professionally) is first......make patterns. This involves a trip to the boat and could take several hours for two guys to do. Next is the material inventory.......zippers, seamstick tape, vinyl,and fabric. After deciding how each panel is going to be fabricated there comes the task of laying out and cutting all the piece parts, one curtain at a time. Next is the sewing and when that curtain's fabric is done, next comes laying out the vinyl, cutting it and sticking it to the fabric using seamstick followed by sewing.

I find that sewing the vinyl to the fabric should be done using a helper unless you have a large area with spread tables at the sewing machine. Next to be sewn comes the zippers and velcro which I use to make sure the panel edges don't flap in the wind. There is also sometimes a need to add reinforcement areas for snaps. And the process is repeated panel after panel.

So the time expended so far includes the trip to the boat with a helper to make patterns, anywhere between 2-4 hours depending on circumstances. I am not a professional canvas fabricator but it takes me 6-8 hours to do each panel and if complex, longer. The final step of course is to take the product to the boat and install it along with all the necessary snaps.

My boat has the helm and rear deck enclosed using 19 curtain panels. The fabrication labor at 8 hours/panel is 152 man hours. Material cost is in the $1K range plus it takes another 4-5 hours to make the material happen----planning, ordering and so forth.

Next the installation plus snaps..... easily can take a day or more for two guys. So another 20 man hours. Total expected man hours 152 +5+20 = 177.

If I did this work professionally, I would need to budget the facility cost including utilities, liability insurance, workmans comp, SS, taxes, LLC cost and then finally profit...if any. All costs quickly drive up the labor rate to somewhere in the $100/man hour. So labor for doing my boat would amount to about $18K and with material the job cost approaches $20K. Add profit for final cost so the job could price out over $25K.

Each fabricator has his own set of guidelines and if he cannot make a profit.....he will soon be out of business.
 
But what you are not taking into account is that pros are way more efficient than you are at fabricating the panels. It does not take them anywhere near 4 to 5 hours per panel. It used to take me that kind of time also, but with experience you become much faster. I am still no way as quick as a pro, but my time is down to about half of what it used to be. Pros also have huge tables to work on and that makes a big difference. When I work in my garage on my large tables it is a lot easier and faster that whem I work on the boat with a small table. Also as I have accumulated the tools it goes faster. I used to use basting tape all the time, now I use it sporadically if I think it will make it easier. It all adds up to time savings and a better product.
 
Foggy,

That is a real eye opener and well stated for those not in the trades. Thanks for sharing the breakdown.

You get what you pay for and less expensive usually means corners cut somewhere.
 
This question is similar to "How much does a car, boat, bicycle or house cost?"

Foggy's numbers are surprisingly close to what the really good canvas shops cost in the PNW. The good ones are booked about 6 to 8 months in advance for the bigger jobs that will take up to two - three weeks. The labor for my current job will easily be in the 130 hour range done by real pros.

A simple bimini top is a different story requiring lesser skills. Once you get into +100 square foot areas, radar arches, side windows, wipers, tough and weather resistant etc the Scope changes.

Tom B in his above post sums it up quite nicely.
 

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