SureShade® Power Bimini Installation
Posted: November 23, 2022
Categories: User Guides & Installations
SureShade® Power Bimini Installation
SureShade power biminis are the perfect way to get an extra bit of shade for your boat, but installing one takes a bit of technical prowess. In this post, we’ll go through everything you need to know when installing your power bimini, from the correct tools and hardware to the operation process itself.
Keep in mind that the steps in this guide reflect the installation process of the SureShade power bimini. Other systems may differ. Always consult your owner’s manual for specific installation instructions.
Tools Needed to Assemble the SureShade Power Bimini
Before you begin, gather the following tools and equipment that you will need to successfully install the power bimini.
- Tape measure
- 5/32" hex wrench
- 1/2" wrench
- 2 Phillips screwdrivers
- Cordless or electric drill
- 3/8" drill bit
- 3/8" nut driver
- Wire cutter/stripper
- Wire crimper
- 1/2" drill bit
- Phillips drill bit
Step 1: Actuator Installation
To begin, slide the rear strut assembly over the actuator rear receiver handle.
Secure the rear strut using two quarter inch hex cap screws. Repeat this step for the second assembly.
Step 2: Locate the Rear Strut
The proper position of the right rear strut/actuator assembly is generally determined by locating the assembly so that when the top is down, the struts are just behind the rear seats. Too far forward and the top will interfere with the rear seating, while too far aft will provide less shade to the front of the boat.
When you have it properly positioned, use a pencil and trace a line across the front of the actuator.
Step 3: Drill Holes
Place a tape measure on the pencil line made across the front of the actuator. Measure back a 1/2" and 16 – 1/2", make marks.
Using a drill with a 3/8" bit, drill both holes in the center of the frame, but do so with caution: some boats have wire running through this tube, so drill about halfway through to make sure you're clear of any wires.
Step 4: Run Wires
Each boat is a little different, so the best wire path from the actuator to the helm will be determined by your situation and preference. You have three options:
1. Inside the boat's rear frame
2. Along the bottom side of the boat's rear frame
3. Along the top or side of the boat's rear frame
For options one and two, you will drill a third hole in the top of the boat's rear frame to accept the actuator wire. If you've chosen option one, this new hole will be drilled halfway through the frame, and for option two, this hole will be drilled all the way through the boat's frame.
Locate this new hole by looking at where your wire exits the actuator. Then, transfer that location to the boat's rear frame and drill the hole.
For option one, snake the wire through the inside of the rear frame until it exits under the boat. From this point, run the wire to the underside of the helm and fish it up into the helm.
For option two, run the wire under the top frame using fastener mounting zip ties (not included) to support the wire. Direct entry to the helm from the top frame is normally possible.
For option three, first bolt down the actuator as shown in the next section of this video. Then, use fastener mount zip ties to run the wire along the top or side of the boat frame and into the helm.
Step 5: Bolt Down Actuator
Assemble the flat washer onto the bolt. Then, using a 1/2" wrench, fasten down the strut/actuator assembly to the rear frame with two bolts.
Step 6: H-Bracket Installation
Position the H-bracket on the rear strut assembly so that the bracket is positioned a 1/2" minimum behind the middle strut's H-bracket, towards the rear of the strut and over a straight, flat area of the side railing.
The final position of the rear strut H-bracket must be such that it does not interfere with the operation of the bimini top with the boot installed. Use an electric drill with a 3/8" nut driver bit and the included 1/4" self-tapping screw to fasten the assembly.
Finally, install both nylon bushings into the pre-drilled holes in the H-bracket. (Repeat steps for second assembly)
Step 7: Stand-off Installation
First, align the pre-drilled holes in the stand-off leg with the holes in the already installed nylon bushings in the H-bracket and note that the stand-off leg has a slight miter that should angle towards the mitered end of the rear strut assembly.
Next, align a Phillips screw with a Phillips nut, and tighten.
Step 8: Locate Left
Begin by inserting the center bows into the already mounted right actuator assembly.
Next, insert the center bows into the other actuator assembly until the bimini width matches the boat's rear frame width and the standoff legs rest as near the center of the side rail as possible.
Now, move the assembly forward and aft until the left actuator is in line with the right actuator. Mark the bow's position. Then, repeat steps three through five to attach the left assembly to the boat frame.
Step 9: Wire Switch
Locate where on the helm you want the control switch and drill a 1/2" hole.
Trim the excess wire length and connect the white wire from each actuator to one side of the switch and the dark blue wires to the other side of the switch.
Connect the positive and negative battery leads and breaker as shown using the excess wire trimmed earlier.
Step 10: Final Strut
Slide the first front strut over the right actuator receiver handle.
Insert the center bow. Next, insert the second or left front strut over the center bow and then over the actuator handle.
Secure both front struts using 1/4" hex cap screws and tighten using a 5/32" hex wrench.
Step 11: Final Assembly of the SureShade Power Bimini
Use the #10 self-drilling Phillips screws to fasten all struts and bows together, note that the middle strut assembly gets two screws. Repeat this process for both sides
To complete the installation, attach the canvas to the completed framework. The canvas end with the notch goes onto the rear strut.