Owning a boat is a pretty darned big investment that you’ll want to maximize for its entire lifespan. Whether you’re fishing, enjoy spending sunny days out at the harbor, or just want a cozy place to get away from big city life, you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to head out boating in comfort and style with a well-made, high-quality T-top for your boat.
For most boat owners, the primary method of adding shade and comfort as well as protection from the elements will either be a Bimini top or a T-top. They both provide roughly the same benefits, but they’re completely different styles for different types of boating activities.
Bimini tops are an excellent, cheaper alternative to T-tops that attach to the gunwales on either side. Canvas materials can be quite high in quality, but you might only get five to maybe 10 years of use out of a Bimini top at most.
On the other hand, T-tops tend to be a little sturdier and can be affixed to the boat without bars attaching to the gunwales. Consequently, T-tops tend to be much better for fishing as well as being a long-term solution since they can last for years and years.
At the end of the day for many boat owners, the decision between a Bimini top and a T-top is a big decision that should be considered carefully.
T-tops provide superb aesthetic appeal for your boat whilst also improving its functionality. As opposed to Bimini tops, T-tops allow for overhead storage as well as providing electrical connection points (outlets) and lights.
Importantly, T-tops also provide much-needed shade for long days spent out at sea. Protection from the sun’s UV rays is imperative unless you want to come back to shore looking like a lobster (not to mention skin cancer risks).
No, T-tops are not necessary, although some form of shade is absolutely necessary. For this reason, the choice in tops mostly comes down to Bimini tops or T-tops since they both provide shade and some shelter from the rain.
You may be hesitant to purchase a boat T-top online, but it can be a great way to get exactly the product you need at steeply discounted prices when compared to shopping in a brick & mortar boating shop.
Buyer beware, however. Shopping for a T-top online requires careful measurement of your boat’s dimensions and the dimensions of the T-top, as well as the quality of the product. For starters, never choose aluminum when stainless steel is an option. Stainless steel is essential for boating unless you want to attract rust and nobody should ever want that.
Secondly, take your time and shop around. Shopping online for T-tops for your boat can feel overwhelming with all of the options out there, and that’s a good thing on the one hand but it also further stresses the need to choose an appropriate product that will fit your boat.
For this reason, highly customized boats might not work as well with T-tops purchased online; visiting a boating shop in person may be better in such circumstances.