Video Series – Building a Carbon Fiber Hard Top Bimini

Biminis are often victim to the very elements they protect you from. Sun, salt and excessive wind can batter even the most stable of biminis and if you have yet to replace one, finding one that fits your existing frame might not be as easy as you hope.  This 3-part video series shows how a boat owner conquered this dilemma, by constructing a hard top bimini to the frame already on a Black Watch 26.

This new bimini has many advantages over the typical canvas types we are used to seeing on the water. Using carbon fiber to construct the new panels, this new solid top adds serious protection from the elements, reduces glare for the driver with it’s black underside and adds a bunch of storage on top for boards of all shapes and sizes.

Check out the construction of this ingenious bimini in our 3-part video series that takes you through the whole process.  If you’re searching for a fun improvement to your current bimini situation, this is a scalable project that is not too difficult for most handy DIY boaters. Enjoy!

Part 3 of the Carbon Fiber Hardtop Bimini Replacement

Have you watched the Part 1 and Part 2 videos in this series on how we built a replacement carbon fiber hard top for the Black Watch 26? The canvas bimini top served its purpose of providing shade but was worn and not acceptable for storing things on top of it. This new Carbon fiber top is just the answer. It is a stable platform and is light and solid for attaching boards to the top.

Step into the TotalBoat Workshop for the final video in this 3-part series on laying up carbon fiber projects and in this part 3, the painting and attachment of the top to the existing frame.


Building a Hard Top Bimini – Part 2

We showed you the first video  from this 3 part series on how a pretty typical canvas bimini on an aluminum frame was replaced with a slick, custom made carbon fiber hard top bimini. The hard top replacement accomplishes many things for the owner: it adds space to store surfboards, paddle boards and more when tied down to the newly installed rails. It provides a hard surface to stand on if needed, a great spot to jump off of for swimming and provides similar protection from the sun and elements – but with the black carbon underside, it now provides some glare reduction and it looks really cool!

Check out part 2 of the video series, filmed in the TotalBoat Shop. In this video they work to properly fit the new panels to the existing frame, the edges of the panels are routed and then filled and shaped to be rounded using TotalFair Epoxy Fairing Compound. And then in Part 3 (coming soon!) you can see it all come together, complete with boards strapped on and underway!

Building a Carbon Fiber Hard Top Bimini – Part 1

This project took a fairly “useless” (ok, it was good for sun protection) and definitely tired existing soft top bimini cover on a Black Watch 26, and replaced it with a super lightweight and very solid, custom built carbon fiber “hard top.” Using the existing stainless steel frame, the tattered canvas top was removed and new carbon fiber panels were designed and built to fit onto the frame, adding surfboard, kiteboard and kayak storage on top of the hard top.

This first video in our 3 part How-To series, shows the first steps in building this hard top – from building a specific table to mold the panels, to laying out the carbon fiber and core cell foam and vacuum bagging the whole panel.

Watch as Brendan and Matt show you all the steps to get a new hard top panel started. And then watch for the follow up videos part 2 & 3 to see the whole project in action!

After a summer of use with plenty of boards strapped to the top, it certainly was a worthy upgrade!