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Little Hooker

Dreaming of a hard top

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hey guys,

Had my boat for almost 7yrs now and as you can see from the pic the canopy is on its last legs. Most of the oringnal stitching has deteriorate and im sick of stiching it by hand over and over again to hold it together. I got quote $500 jus to recover the top or $800 with the clears. Ive been doin alot of off shore fishing and had 1 experience where we got soaked by big swells and a westerly. :1badmood: So im thinking of doin a hard top my self since my brother is a tool maker and is a pro welder and im a DIY king so which leads me to think we not have a hard top for my boat :biggrin2:

Tonight is the kick off to my biggest project on my boat and i hope it turns out well. So any input in this project will be greatly appreciated. post-6068-050752700 1306235936_thumb.jpg Before

post-6068-062998900 1306235951_thumb.jpg Maybe after :1yikes: well probably not as smick as the BC but not to far off.

Im thinkin the main frame and the rocker launchers will be out of SS and the roof will be alloy. But i have no idea about the screen. Anyone in the trade of boat window screens or perspec??

Keep a eye on this thread for updates.

Edited by Little Hooker

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Brickman, Cheers for the advice.

I went to check out a boat forsale near my place to have a peep at his HT. Im goin to use this is a platform to build mine. I really like the center windown opening.

Would make retriving the boat easier.:drool:

post-6068-011988400 1306308856_thumb.jpgpost-6068-059644900 1306308899_thumb.jpg

If i had a spare 30k i would probably buy this boat!

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Its surprising what a difference the hardtop makes to your boat.

If possible could you post your designs or some pics of the construction? I'm trying to figure out which canopy option to go for on my boat and would love a hardtop if its not too expensive.

Hope it all goes well!

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Its surprising what a difference the hardtop makes to your boat.

If possible could you post your designs or some pics of the construction? I'm trying to figure out which canopy option to go for on my boat and would love a hardtop if its not too expensive.

Hope it all goes well!

Click this for piccies Caribbean Hardtop Was a deciding factor in our purchase.

Open sides with clears still work well and "makes" for more space on the nice days. Our screen is flat armored glass in an alloy frame.

Having hardtop attach to top of screen has pros and cons, harder to see out of when its dark dark, but fantastic when the water is coming over the front. Wipers are a must if you go the full screen, otherwise the salt makes it difficult to see. Auto park wipers are also a thought, beats trying to switch them off in just the right place so they are not in your line of sight.

Cheers

Thy

Edited by Thylacene

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greg, will put up as much info as i can with pricing. But im doin alot of the work my self and have a welder on stand by so im hopping it will be 1k give or take.

Thy, Wipers sure be a good thing. I might go to a car wrecker and use one from a car. Have to look into that later on in the build stage.

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Thought i give a update on my material cost so far.

1 sheet 3.6 * 1.5 3mm = $482 amazed at the price jump from 1.2 to 1.5 wide sheet :wacko:

2 lenghts of 50 * 25 3mm rectangular pipe for the frame =$ 160

3 mtrs 50mm tube = $46 rod holders for the launcher

3 mtrs 32mm tube = $30 for the frame for the launcher

1.5 sheet 2.4 *.12 of 3mm polycabonit = $280 ( cheers to brickman for the advice :thumbup: )

refill of argon gas and welding sticks = $100

So material cost is on budget. Now jus to have a coulpe of days free so we can start constructing the HT.

I have drawn up a few sketches of how i want it to look like but im not to good of a artist so i will take pics of the progess :1prop: instead.

Edited by Little Hooker

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Cheers for the cost update Little hooker.

Do you think making it out of fiberglass would be any cheaper?

Edited by greg123

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greg, I wouldnt think so. Thats a pretty good price imo for a windscreen. Plus glass would be to hard to work will and probably to britle and crack easy due to the impact of rough waters. My boat feels like it gets hits by a hammer when im cutting through the swell tryin to make it back b4 sunset :074:

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greg, I wouldnt think so. Thats a pretty good price imo for a windscreen. Plus glass would be to hard to work will and probably to britle and crack easy due to the impact of rough waters. My boat feels like it gets hits by a hammer when im cutting through the swell tryin to make it back b4 sunset :074:

Agree with you there! Just under a grand! I was just trying to get an idea of the cost of glass fabrication as I have a few more glass jobs I was hoping to do someday.

Looking forward to the pics

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hey guys,

Due to this lovely stay indoors weather i got my design engineer (aka gf) to draw me up some designs on my hardtop conversion.

post-6068-009597900 1307927819_thumb.jpg

Out of those pictures im leaning towards the top middle pic as it looks the best but the bottom middle pic gets good marks due to slightly better protection from the side cause of the more screen area. Im still thinkin of what grab handles i want! The middle design also acts like a ladder to climb on the roof to act like a fly bridge :biggrin2:

I jus added in the slopped roof to stop water dipping back near our seats and head so in turn would run forward down the wind screens.

What's your opinion guys??

TIA

Edited by Little Hooker

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looks great Little Hooker, maybe a stupid question but you using Aluminium for all ?

Dan

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Hi, sounds like a good project and the figures are very reasonable but have you added up what the weight of this structure will be because I have been in many non HT hulls that people have made into a HT and the hull was just not designed for that sort of weight up high and some hulls have been down right dangerous and all were bigger than 5.3M boat.

Just would hate for you to do this work and expense and then find the boat too unstable and dangerous.

Cheers,

Huey.

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dandre, yep goin all aluminium do to weight factor.

huey, You have a good point and TBH didnt even think about if the behaviour of the boat would change. I will consult my project mannager and get a suitable answer for this issue. I hopping the decision togo all aluminium will not affect her so much in weight wise. I weight up whats comin off and do the same for what is to go on and see the differents. Fingers cross its minimum. Thank you for your wise words.

Edited by Little Hooker

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dandre, yep goin all aluminium do to weight factor.

huey, You have a good point and TBH didnt even think about if the behaviour of the boat would change. I will consult my project mannager and get a suitable answer for this issue. I hopping the decision togo all aluminium will not affect her so much in weight wise. I weight up whats comin off and do the same for what is to go on and see the differents. Fingers cross its minimum. Thank you for your wise words.

On the topic of weight, would there be a difference in the effect the weight of a hardtop would have on a fiberglass boat compared to an alloy of the same size? I'm looking at putting a rocket launcher frame with either a 't-top' or hard top incorporated into the structure but am concerned about the weight differences.

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greg,

Depending on the size and shape of your haul. What boat do you have anyways?

Its a 19ft Vickers fiberglass with closed cabin (very similar shape to a Haines V19C). Hull weight it 730kg without motor, fuel etc etc.

Edited by greg123

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Hi Greg, I would be very careful how much weight you add up high to your hull.

Cheers,

Huey.

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Hi Greg, I would be very careful how much weight you add up high to your hull.

Cheers,

Huey.

Cheers Huey, I might have to stick with the rocket launcher/t-top sort of design. That shouldn't weigh too much should it?

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Cheers Huey, I might have to stick with the rocket launcher/t-top sort of design. That shouldn't weigh too much should it?

Hi Greg, a rod rack and bimini set-up will be fine.

Cheers,

Huey.

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Hi Greg, I would be very careful how much weight you add up high to your hull.

Cheers,

Huey.

Cheers Huey,

I've spoken to Gary about using stainless for the frame and aluminium for the hard top. What do you reckon?

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Hi, Gary does great work and the problem will not be so much the frame, the weight of that would not be huge, but what you are intending to make the hard top from and the old catch 22, to make it strong enough you have to make it heavy and on older hulls having too much weight up high or on the transom when they are not deisnged for this can be a problem.

Gary made a commuter HT boat for a customer of ours and even though it was a trail for him the workmanship and light weight he put up high did not adversely affect this hull so he does know what he is doing.

Cheers,

Huey.

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