Cost for bimini top?

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Agree with your summary.
I've done some of this as barter / hobby business.
I don't have to worry about profit as my time is dort of free?
I've used what ever extra $ I do clear to add tools and caoabilities.
I now have 3 great mechanics that will gladly help or work on my boat w/ o charge....priceless!
For us, I did not feel that the labor charges to make a cockpit enclosure were unfounded. I know that shops have to bill a fair rate, in order to survive, and that rate here in Alaska is around $100 per hour.

I just felt that the value received did not equal the dollars necessary to have canvas professionally made. I decided that it would be better to invest in the proper tools, and to take the time to learn how to sew myself.

The thought was and is that the cockpit enclosure is the first big project. After that I'll do the flying bridge enclosure. Plus there's drapes to sew, and all kinds of smaller useful things that can be tackled with this new found or new learned skill.
Just got quoted $850 for a new Flybridge cover and new rear Lace-on cockpit cover from a highly respected local guy (Kent's canvas). After 13 years, they're both at the end of their life. I was pretty pleased with that quote...

I tried to get a quote from Hard-to-top for a hard rear cover. but they were totally non-responsive to both their on line quote form and a directed email. They lost a potential sale with me..

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I have put a Hard to Top hardtop on 2 boats now. I have not had trouble getting them to respond to a phone call. They are in a suburb of Detroit so I just picked them up when they were ready. They have been very responsive for support questions when I call. It is a small operation and I always call not go on the web site.
Well, you may or may not get what you pay for. The hourly rate doesn't mean much for the most part, it's what is accomplished and the quality.

I could argue strongly that the two most important things desirable in a top is experience and quality. And that's true in a lot of specialized work you hire out. From electronics to installing engines, etc.

The guy with experience should be able to tell you about your project before even seeing it and probably give you a price and time frame, unless you have something really odd ball. Often the experience guy will give you better quality, faster work and do it cheaper that the guy who is new at it.
hard top

How big is the area you are trying to cover and do you have an existing bimini frame?
I have a hard top from It is made of poly-carbonate and anodized aluminum mounted right on top of my bimini frame, actually it made it sturdier. Comes with 10 year warranty and I have had it for 4 years. It is a great product and they will ship anywhere in the US. I put it on with a friend of mine on a Sat. 7hrs. The cost was $2000
Echo sentiments on the hardtotop.
Also have to agree with having your own heavy duty sewing machine. We have saved thousands of dollars by doing much of our own work. First project involved window covers, then screen covers to go under the shades with gypsy snaps. The Admiral also created upholstered seat cushions for the FB, and is in the process of a new Stratoglass windscreen and side curtains. Spend time looking at other boats' canvas work carefully to get an idea of what you are after.

There is a real paucity of canvas people in my area, and if not careful we could be too busy making stuff for other people and keep us from boating...
How much will a boat cost? That's about as easily answered as the price on a bimini. With or without frame? What kind of canvas? How large? Enclosure? What windows?

As to hardtop, Atlantic Towers is excellent for small, standard hard tops. I also highly recommend for larger or more complex, both Pipewelders and Bausch American (tied to ACY).
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