When you bring your boat out for the day, you may want to protect yourself from the sun with the Bimini top. This top is a large piece of canvas fabric found on many different types of boats. Thanks to some helpful zippers, the material typically connects to a collapsible metal frame.
While the Bimini top helps provide shade from the sun, it’s not much help against wind or rain. Since many people leave the top on the frame when storing their boat, sometimes, the zipper may become stuck or corroded. If this happens, here’s the best way to repair a Bimini top zipper without needing to replace the entire canvas.
Because many people store their boats outdoors or in musty storage areas, it’s not uncommon for the zipper to suffer from jams or become stuck. You may notice dust or dirt in the track of the zipper that makes it difficult to open and close.
Perhaps the easiest solution to a jammed zipper is to use a silicone lubricant. Spraying a lubricant along the zipper will help loosen it up. Move the slider back and forth to see if it’s working as intended, and use a small brush to clean out the teeth and remove potential dirt. Fortunately, the material of the Bimini top is at no risk if you accidentally spray some of the lubricant onto it.
After exposure to heavy wind or rain, the slider on the zipper of your Bimini top may break off and need replacing. Thankfully, the best way to repair a Bimini top zipper is very similar to replacing the zipper on a jacket or similar garment.
Most Bimini tops use a double-sided slider and have a much longer track, but repairs work about the same. Use pliers to remove the top stop and the older slider. When you attach the new slider, try moving it from both sides to ensure it’s moving correctly and fastening the zipper as intended before connecting a new top stop.
In a worst-case scenario, you may need to replace the entire zipper and track if there are damages to the track or rips in the enclosure panel of the Bimini top. If there are open tears between the zipper ribbon and the top, you should be able to use a needle and thread to sew it back together. For more extensive damage, you may need to remove the entire track and sew a new one on yourself or bring it to a marine equipment shop.