Bimini top for peeler skiff?

I have my eye on the Peeler Skiff to use as a fishing and family boat for knocking around the lakes and rivers of Central Texas and perhaps the more sheltered waters along the Gulf Coast.  However the wife is any boat ideas that do not come with shade which is probably prudent given our 100+ average summer temps.  

I know there are all variety of cheap bimini tops one can buy at places like Bass Pro Shops that are aluminum and nylon and designed to stap or clamp into a boat.  However it seems wrong to clamp a flimsy aluminum structure on top of a hand made wooden boat like the Peeler.  So I'm wondering if anyone knows of any better alternatives made of wood and canvas or some such.  Either plans, kits, or custom made bimini tops that would be more appropriate for a custom wooden boat.   Any ideas?

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RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

Google Sail-Rite and check their web site.  They sell, among other things, materials for Biminis, covers, all kinds of canvas work.  They also have a huge library of videos free, on line. Also, you can purchase other videos.  They are very big on DIY.

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

Living in Georgia I can agree that a bimini in some form is a necessity. I've been wearing

a wide brim hat on "Lilah" while kicking the top idea about. John C. Harris designed a bimini

on the Peeler:


It looks rather high which is required for standing up - but keeps shade off large areas of seating.

It appears to lay down right over the forward seat though I think it could fold back over the motor

if necessary. I saw some elegant laminated wooden sun screens on steam launches at Beale Park

Boat Show on the River Thames this summer and have been thinking one of them would look nice.

However, the launches never get up on plane and the low solid tops might look goofy flying and

flapping by on a Peeler. If you run across any neat wooden tops (google images?) on the net let me

know and perhaps we can create a joint project this winter. BTW- you really need to build a Peeler-

you will find it adaptable to so many different uses and it's a joy to build.

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

I'm having a terrible time posting lately - the text keeps writing past the page boundary and is not visible when after a line wrap. Never had this problem before. Sorry about the line breaks in the post above.

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

Ditto on the Sail-Rite recommendation above.  They're a very helpful outfit with good pricing and merchandise.  I've used them often for my sailboat.

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

Thanks for the sail-rite link.  After some more poking around the web it seems that most of the better bimini tops available are stainless steel with sunbrella.  I expect that is probably the way to go. The tradeoff will be between height and shade.  The higher it is the less shade coverage during times of the day that are not high noon which is provably most of our boating.  


Glad to hear you guys like your Peelers.  I have been waiting for a kit like this.  Oldest daughter would rather have a ski boat but the Peeler looks perfect for the water we have around here...lots of big lakes and lazy rivers and then the Gulf Coast.  Not looking to go offshore but there are a lot of sheltered bays and waterways along the coast between the barrier islands.  

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

Perhaps you could design or buy something with telescoping poles so you could have the best of both worlds,  Higher when you want to stand and lower when sitting or going faster.

Also with a lower top, dual mounts, one forward and one more aft ,would allow standing in some areas while sitting in the shade in another.

If there is significant weight then lower is better so canvas top probably better than something out of wood.

Since I paddle a Kayak have not thought of making a sun shade but now that I'm thinking,

how to clear the paddle........



RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

   For those of you considering a bimini top for your Peeler Skiff, below I have added links to pictures of my recently completed Peeler Skiff with a bimini top.  I did not builld the boat myself.  I had it built by Stephan Armstrong in Julian CA.  The bimini was added by Paul's Custom Canvas in Denver, CO.  Boat handles well with the bimini and it provides adequate shade for high altitude boating in Colorado.  Bimini is very easy to set up and store within the boat both while boating and trailering.

Peeler Skiff with bimini installedPeeler Skiff with bimini installedbimini stored in Peeler Skiff during transport

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

   Thank you for the great pictures. I'm building a Peeler with a center console and have been looking online. Carver top in stainless look interesting (salt water) but $$$$$$. Whatever the dimensions on your top? I noticed that there are no forward straps. Is it internally braced?

Also, are those 48" guide-ons on the trailer? Great looking boat. Mine still looks like a plywood turtle but I hope to flip it by the end of the month.

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

   I hate autocorrect. That should read "What are the dimensions of your top?"

RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?


Sorry for the delay in answering your questions.

The guide-ons pictured on the trailer are the C.E. Smith Trailer Post Guide-ons with LED lighted Posts, 40 inch (model # 27740) 

The measurements for the bimini are as follows:

length: 74", width: 70", frame height: 56", height from floor of boat: 76"; rear mounting point (Quick disconnect): 30" (from forward face of transom); forward mounting point: 71" (from forward face of transom).  There are no straps required to brace the bimini. Paul's uses a folding spreader bar (near the top of the binini support system in the pictures) to eliminate the need for straps.  This system works extremely well.





RE: Bimini top for peeler skiff?

   I've built one and have enjoyed using a Taylormade Anchor Shade 2. It's a square beach type umbrella with tie downs at each corner. Attatch the center pole to the center consol with a ratchet strap. Be forewarned though, with the Peelers flat bottom and light weight, you will need anchor if even a slight breeze blows.

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