The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

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Chillaxin'
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The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#1 Post by Chillaxin' » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:26 pm

Well, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a "Bimini Buddy" from IMBAC Products. I've been contemplating which 2nd Bimini top I wanted to buy for the front of the boat, and after a lot of research, here it is in "Pacific Blue"! :biggrin2

The owner of the company said it would take 2-4 weeks to get to me, but it arrived in only a week and a half! My daughter and I had it out of the box, assembled and put on the boat in about 25 minutes. I'm sure I'll get it down to about 10 minutes or less after I do it a few times. :wink:

It appears to be fabricated with high-quality and simplicity in mind. All of the parts snap together quickly and fit together nicely. The Sunbrella fabric top went on perfectly and attached to my factory 10' bimini like they were made for each other. I opted for the optional $55.00 Sunbrella storage boot, and it zips on with ease and provides a nice stowage option for when the wife wants to get sun on the front of the boat.

We haven't had it out on the water yet, but from what I understand it's supposed to perform just as good as my factory bimini. I have no doubts. It seems just as sturdy as my factory bimini top when I tried to shake it around. Those clamps aren't going anywhere!

The PROs:

- HIGH-QUALITY Sunbrella Fabric
- Easy to assemble
- Quickly breaks-down for stowage into several easily manageable sized pieces
- No need to drill into the boat
- No need to permanently mount a forward 2nd bimini top
- No need to have my factory mooring cover cut / modified to fit around permanently attached 2nd bimini hardware
- Matches my boat pretty well
- Provides an additional 47.5 square feet of shade on your boat, at 6' L x 8.5' W (with 5-6" of overlap over the factory bimini)
- Mated to my 10' factory bimini, it shades all but the front 3' and rear 3' of my 22' boat
- VERY sturdy FRP Fiber-reinforced plastic "Quick Clamps" used to attach it to the rails seemed to work very well--easy to use "cam-action" levers similar to quick-release levers on mountain bike wheel hubs
-It appears that the overall height and angle are somewhat adjustable with how far apart you spread the "legs" that clamp to the rails

The CONs:

- Instructions are basically WORTHLESS. The instruction sheet has been photocopied so many times it is completely illegible; both the text and the pics. For $629.00 shipped, I would have expected an easy-to-read instruction sheet. :donno

- All parts had cheesy yard sale price tag decals with assembly sequence numbers written on them in non-permanent marker, that bled with sweaty hands.--Could be smaller, weatherproof, longer-lasting decals for easy assembly time after time. (I may engrave the numbers onto the square tubes myself with a vibrating tool etcher).

- All aluminum tubes could stand to be "De-Burred" on all the cut edges before assembly at the factory. (I'll do it myself with a sanding sponge, but it made me nervous handling large, awkward, sharp-edged metal tubes around the vinyl seats on my BRAND NEW boat).

Sorry, but I'm PICKY. I write curriculum and teach aircraft metal fabrication for a living, so I have extremely high standards. :nono

OVERALL: A very nice, well-engineered product designed for people like me who need a second bimini sometimes but don't want to permanently modify their new boat or accessories. :nana
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[color=#000080][b]USAF (Retired)
2014 22' Sweetwater 2286 Cruise
Yamaha F-70 LA 4-Stroke[/color]

[color=#BF4000]I'm always at the Helm; she's always on the Bow Lounger![/b][/color]

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Chillaxin'
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Location: Pensacola, Florida

Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#2 Post by Chillaxin' » Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:41 pm

****UPDATE****

We had the boat out all day on the 4th of July. THE BIMINI BUDDY IS WORTH EVERY PENNY I PAID FOR IT. It provided tons of shade during all angles of the sun from 10AM to 5PM. It stayed clamped in place, never wiggled, never budged. The Sunbrella top stayed nice and taught.

I hope to get many years of faithful service from this product.

:nana
[color=#000080][b]USAF (Retired)
2014 22' Sweetwater 2286 Cruise
Yamaha F-70 LA 4-Stroke[/color]

[color=#BF4000]I'm always at the Helm; she's always on the Bow Lounger![/b][/color]

RcgTexas
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#3 Post by RcgTexas » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:37 pm

Looks good too! even with the cons it looks like it could be a good shade maker and still have room to fish on the bow!
1995 beachcomber conversion to tritoon with Honda 135 ,

Link to rebuild [url=http://www.pontoonforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19016][Knot Normal][/url]

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evinrude2stroke
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#4 Post by evinrude2stroke » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:16 pm

That's really cool. Looks OEM. Glad to see that it's of good quality. Enjoy.
Dave

2016 Manitou 20' w/ 90 E-Tec Pontoon Series

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DSwatloski
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#5 Post by DSwatloski » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:19 am

Looks good. Has me thinking...
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ralph
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#6 Post by ralph » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:11 am

This has me thinking a lot. I cannot remember if my rear top has a zipper on the leading edge to where I could zipper the front top to it. I'm going to check it out this weekend.

The wife and I were just talking about adding a front bimini yesterday. Perfect timing but their web site says they are sold out so I may just call them when I am ready.
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Cmessmore
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#7 Post by Cmessmore » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:20 pm

I realize this is an older thread. I'm hoping someone is still watching it. I would love to get a bimini buddy, does anyone have any information on them or something similar? What happen, did they go out of business after only a couple of years?

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Jayjoans
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#8 Post by Jayjoans » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:01 pm

I see they have a site still up, are they not responding to inquiries?

http://www.imbac-products.com/

Cmessmore
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#9 Post by Cmessmore » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:44 am

[quote="Jayjoans"]I see they have a site still up, are they not responding to inquiries?

http://www.imbac-products.com/[/quote]

I did receive an email reply from: Customer Support Koala Clamp, LLC (ImbacProducts, LLC) www.koalaclamp.com.

They say production of the Bimini Buddy is " ramping up". Lead time will depend on specifications & options. The webpage advertises the Koala Clamp which does look like a nice idea for the rail clamp.

I'll be doing some research, and if all checks out ok, I'll probably order. Its less expensive than adding a 2nd Bimini and I'm hoping to find that the entire Bimini Buddy is easily removable for fishing. Unlike a 2nd Bimini.
Cindy & Roger
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#10 Post by KoalaClamp » Mon May 29, 2017 7:42 am

The new home of the Bimini Buddy is koalaclamp.com
Or biminibuddy.net.


The same product and quality with some of the concerns people had addressed.

txtoons
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#11 Post by txtoons » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:22 pm

And the price is now $1,500, which is the same price as an OEM second Bimini...yikes

dgreene62
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#12 Post by dgreene62 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:14 am

Anyone know what's going on with Bimini Buddy? I get a 404 Error code on website. Are they still in business? If not, anyone know of a good substitute for adding a front bimini on a Bennington pontoon. Just got mine off the showroom floor and dealer wants a fortune to add a double bimini. Thx.
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Rick McC.
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Re: The "BIMINI BUDDY" Add-On Bimini Top Extension

#13 Post by Rick McC. » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:40 pm

I added a second Bimini to a pontoon boat several years ago, using a “stand alone” frame (no straps required) and skin. I set it up for the second (front) top rear to extend over the existing top front, with about a six “ overlap, so no zippers required.

I kept that top, installing it on my next two pontoons; it worked that well.

Total cost back then was around $500.00.

Looks like it’s gone up a bit since then: https://www.overtons.com/search/pontoon ... ei6qISDDyg
Rick

Sights are for the unenlightened.

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