Shrinking boat Bimini top??

Mar 21, 2004
Near the beach in Delaware
I am unable to get all the snaps done to get my boat Bimini top fully attached to my boat. In some areas I just cannot pull the top the last inch to get the snaps done. The top is Sunbrella or a similar material. Some of the zippers are ripped away where they are sewn to the cover. Like the prior owner pulled super hard to try and get all the snaps done. Cover is a 10 yr old cover that most likely came with the boat from the factory.

Anything to do with boat Bimini tops is booked until 2022.

I assume the cover has shrunk a little. I do not see any obvious adjustments.
You might try a “ tent and awning” place to see if they can duplicate the cover. There also “ boat cover” places around that can do it. Those places are staffing up again.
I have talked to local places and companies that sell exact fit tops made from factory patterns. 2021 is completely booked.

Is shrinking something that happens to Sunbrella boat tops?
Aside from snap extenders like mentioned above, your only option is replace the top. The canvas shrinks as it ages.

Do you have access to any amish outfits that do this type of work? That's where most folks get their boat canvas and upholstery work done in my area.
Is shrinking something that happens to Sunbrella boat tops?
I had it happen on my old Chris Craft. Blue Sunbrella. The stuff is good, but it did eventually shrink. I had an old Singer sewing machine at the time and was able to make my own repairs. Mine also had support poles in the center (through grommet) and adjusting them a bit shorter helped considerably.
There are a few places that do heavyweight sewing that might help you. Local Laundrymats, places that make custom curtains, shoe repair places will sometimes take on special jobs like that.
So I talked to a high end boat canvas place in Ocean City MD. ($100/hr is shop rate).

They said that Sunbrella and similar products are made from acrylic and it does not shrink. The webbing used in various place may but not the Sunbrella.

I have looked carefully and see no adjustment that could have gotten out of whack. The top frame was setup at he factory and locked in place with screws or set screws.

Someone suggested washing it in a washing machine? (No dryer). I have not heard of that as a solution.
I read that thoroughly soaking it in hot water then snapping it in place to dry works. How to do so without a hot tub is another problem.
I think it shrinks when its not open and gets damp from humidity, that was my experience. Try wetting it and working with it for some time.