Standing for hours ondeck in an open boat, a little patch of shade attains supernatural value. Summer sun is always nice, but at times it can be downright punishing, especially when you can't escape it at the helm. Biminis and T-Tops are simple solutions whose benefits include relief from oppressive sun and shelter in the rain. Add-on storage accessories can also maximize space. A well constructed top can also drastically improve a boat's appearance. But which top is appropriate for your use?
There's more than the obvious differences between T-tops and biminis. In general terms, a T-Top is built from a stout stainless steel or aluminum tube frame which requires permanent bedding onto the deck. From this solid structure you can mount space saving accessories: Antennas, trolling rod holders, radar and electronics boxes to name a few. T-tops are intended for center console power boats. Bimini tops are more versatile and removable. They can be mounted on almost any boat, from center consoles to dual consoles even sailboat cockpits. Their lightweight frame is not designed for load bearing applications. Any rod holders added to bimini frames are for rod storage, not for active trolling like T-top rod holders. On the other hand, a bimini is a convertible top. This is great for trailering, winter storage, reducing windage at high speeds or any time you need to pass under low overhead. Biminis easily fold down for a little more sun or to spare it from the strain of pounding through wind and waves. Both the bimini and T-top offer shade to you and components around the helm, making an excellent shield against excess UV exposure.