How to install a SureShade Power Bimini

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.

  • Pencil
  • 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. 

Actuator InstallationActuator Installation
Actuator Installation ScrewsActuator Installation Screws

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.   

Proper Actuator Assembly InstallationProper Actuator Assembly Installation
Proper Actuator Assembly InstallationProper Actuator Assembly Installation

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.   

Drill HolesDrill Holes
Drill Holes in FrameDrill Holes in Frame

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.  

Run Wires Options One and TwoRun Wires Options One and Two
Run Wires Options OneRun Wires Options One

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.  

Run Wires Options TwoRun Wires Options Two
Run Wires Options ThreeRun Wires Options Three

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.

Bolt Down ActuatorBolt Down Actuator

Step 6: H-Bracket Installation

H-Bracket InstallationH-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) 

H-Bracket InstallationH-Bracket Installation

Step 7: Stand-off Installation 

Stand-Off InstallationStand-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.

Stand-Off InstallationStand-Off Installation

Step 8: Locate Left

Locate LeftLocate 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. 

Locate LeftLocate Left
Locate LeftLocate Left

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.

Wire SwitchWire Switch
Wire SwitchWire Switch

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.  

Wire SwitchWire Switch

Step 10: Final Strut

Final StrutFinal 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.

Final StrutFinal Strut
Final StrutFinal Strut

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 

Final AssemblyFinal Assembly
Final AssemblyFinal Assembly

To complete the installation, attach the canvas to the completed framework. The canvas end with the notch goes onto the rear strut.