How to Replace Bimini Top Fabric

How to Replace Bimini Top Fabric 

Bimini tops are the perfect way to get an extra bit of shade on your boat but replacing worn or damaged bimini top fabric can be intimidating. In this post, we’ll go through everything you need to know when replacing your bimini top. Let’s dive into it!

Keep in mind that the steps in this guide reflect the replacement process of Taylor Made bimini top fabric. Other systems may differ. Always consult your owner’s manual for specific installation instructions.  

Bimini Top Fabric Replacement

Step 1: Remove Old Fabric – Remove Boot  

The first step in this process is to remove the existing canvas from the framework. Begin by removing the boot from the assembly and setting it off to the side. You want to make sure that you’re doing this on a clean, dry surface so as not to damage or stain the new canvas you’ll be installing on to the framework.   

Lay Bimini Upside DownLay Bimini Upside Down

Step 2: Remove Old Fabric – Lay Bimini Upside Down

Once the boot has been removed, go ahead and open the entire top, and lay it face down onto the ground with the legs from the framework pointing up in the air.

Step 3: Remove Old Fabric – Disassemble Frame

Once the boot has been removed, go ahead and open the entire top, and lay it face down onto the ground with the legs from the framework pointing up in the air.

Disassemble FrameDisassemble Frame
Remove ScrewsRemove Screws

Then, using either a Phillips or a slotted screwdriver, start at the back and remove the bolts out of the jaw slides. Make sure to hang on to these.  

Pull the stanchions off. Then, disconnect the jaw slides that secure the bows together. Once this portion has been done and the entire side has been disconnected, simply move over to the second side and perform the exact same operations so that the frame is completely disassembled. 

Disconnect Jaw SlidesDisconnect Jaw Slides
Disconnect Jaw SlidesDisconnect Jaw Slides

Step 4: Remove Old Fabric – Release Snaps

Now, with the connection points disassembled on both sides, simply let the framework collapse down and lay flat. You’ll lay the middle bow down and just allow the whole thing to fall in on itself.

Then, starting at one side, you’re going to release the snap from the patch. Taylor Made bimini tops have a center snap that's in the bow pocket that marries up to a center snap on the frame. Before you start trying to pull the tubing out of the bow pockets, you’re going to have to make sure that that snap has been released. Do it on the front side, or the rear, and then follow the exact same steps on the opposite side.

Release Fabric SnapsRelease Fabric Snaps
Remove BowsRemove Bows

Step 5: Remove Old Fabric – Remove Bows from Canvas 

You can start feeding the framework out of the bow pockets on the top. Starting with the center by simply lifting it up, and then pull and rotate it out of the bow pocket. Now, set it aside. The exact same thing takes place now on the front side. It's a little bit longer, but you still feed it through and around. Set it aside and remove the final bow.

With this one, it will be a bit trickier because of all the fittings on this bow. So, as you're feeding it through, you're going to need to make sure that you're not catching the fittings from the framework on the pocket, and that you're feeding it through from the back end a little bit more. Once you've got all the fittings into the pocket, you can then simply go ahead and pull the whole thing through and the entire bow out. Now you have your framework removed out of your top. 

Remove Bows with FittingRemove Bows with Fitting
Layout new canvasLayout new canvas

Step 6: Install New Fabric – Lay Out New Canvas 

So, at this point, we’ve taken our old canvas and removed it from the framework. Now, it's time to take and add that framework back into your new top that you've ordered from Taylor Made. We’ll start by taking the brand-new top out of the packaging, unrolling it and laying it out flat — once again on a clean, dry surface. Just to help keep everything organized, it might be easiest to lay it out and orient it in the exact same way that you had removed your old canvas just to help make sure that everything is going back together the easiest way it possibly can.

Step 7: Install New Fabric – Insert Primary Bow into Fabric  

With the canvas laid out, we're going to go ahead and orient the very first bow. We recommend using the bow that has most of the connection pieces that are going to be needed for the other bows to tie into. So, before starting to feed anything through, go ahead and lay the bow out and simulate how it's going to be positioned in the fabric, making sure that all your jaw slides are realigned for a bow attachment. Then, go ahead and start with that first side, pulling it back and feeding it into the bow pocket. 

Insert Primary BowInsert Primary Bow
Feeding BowsFeeding Bows

Now, you want to make sure that as you’re sliding it back into the pocket, you’re gently feeding it through all the fittings. This will help to make sure that you don't have snags or any ripping taking place. Slide it all the way through until it pops out the other side.  

Now, go ahead and move into the middle and reconnect that snap in the middle of the bow pocket onto the snap that's on the bow just to lock everything into place and keep it from sliding around. You may have to feel for a little bit, but you can easily adjust it side-to-side to get that snap in place. Then, you can leave that lying flat. 

Feeding BowsFeeding Bows
Insert Forward BowInsert Forward Bow

Step 8: Install New Fabric – Insert Forward Bow into Fabric 

With the primary bow in place, repeat the exact same process on the opposite end with the forward bow. You want to make sure and double check the orientation, checking that any additional jaw slides are facing the right direction. Also, for the centering snap, check that the bow is traveling with the snap facing up, to ensure that you’re going to be able to snap the bow pocket on. 

Once you have it oriented the right way, go ahead and pull it back and begin feeding it through the pocket. Now as you start to feed through, you should have those cutouts where the straps go. You’re going to want to put some care into slowly feeding it through and making sure that you’re not having the end of the bow protrude through the strap cutouts so that it travels all the way to the outside end of the bow pocket.

Insert Forward BowInsert Forward Bow
Insert Forward BowInsert Forward Bow

Once that's been fed all the way through, go ahead and lay it flat. Then, move back into the middle where you will once again attach the center snap for the bow pocket.

Step 9: Install New Fabric – Insert Center Bow into Fabric 

With the front now in place, you’ll go ahead and add in the center bow. Depending on your top configuration, this could be a single bow in the center, or it could be two bows, but go ahead and just slide the bow into the pocket, twisting it through. 

Insert Center BowInsert Center Bow
Reattach FrameworkReattach Framework

Step 10: Install New Fabric – Reattach Framework 

Once you have the center bow in, you can go ahead and start standing the framework back up and reattaching the points. You’ll do this one side at a time. We recommend attaching the two longest bows together first, and then just feed the bolt back in.

Next, bring the second bow pocket in. Insert that one into position, and with both bows finger tightened go ahead and tighten them down the rest of the way. Once you have both points fully secured, move to the opposite side and do the exact same thing, making sure to have the entire bow assembly fully put together. 

Reattach FrameworkReattach Framework
Reattach FrameworkReattach Framework

With the bows now secured together, complete the installation by adding on the stanchions and straps. Starting on one side, go ahead and add your stanchions into the jaw slides, and secure them in place with the bolt and hand tighten. Then, move on the same side to the front and add your straps back in. 

One end of your strap should be looped. Simply reach through the bow pocket cutout, feed the strap in, wrap it around the bar and pull it back through. Then, feed the strap through the loop on the end, and wrap it around the bow so that it's secured into place. This entire process repeats on the opposite side. 

Reattach FrameworkReattach Framework
Prepare for TransportPrepare for Transport

Step 11: Install Bimini onto the Boat – Prepare for Transport

You should now have the stanchions added onto the back and the straps added onto the front of the bimini top. At this point, you will want to collapse the entire thing. Then, stand the top up and rearrange it, using your straps to wrap around and compress the top. This makes it easier to add the boot back on. Once you have the boot on, the entire assembly is ready to transport back onto the boat. 

You’ve now transported the entire bimini top kit onto the boat and attached it into the mounts that were already in place. You’ve deployed the top forward, and the final adjustment is to just adjust the straps out to make sure that they're putting appropriate tension on the top. With this done, your new Bimini top from Taylor Made will protect you and your boat for years to come.

Prepare for TransportPrepare for Transport