Redneck hardtop !!

Discussion in 'Washington Fishing Reports' started by robodad, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. robodad

    robodad BullShitoligest

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    Allen
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    Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever laid up fiberglass over a tightly stretched sunbrella canvas top ? I'm forever running my boat from here to there and am getting tired of taking the canopy down every time I want to go somewhere, in fact I have cancelled trips (solo trips that is) to places I've always wanted to fish because I didn't want to tear down and redeploy the soft top and have thought about this and have never heard of anyone doing it besides it won't be long and I'll be looking into getting a new top anyhow since mine is getting older and had to have it restitched last year and for $1000 (cost of new canopy) I could lay up quite a bit of fiberglass materials !!

    Thoughts ?
     
  2. Red4

    Red4 Member

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    Nick
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    One of my buds has the same issue and its a pain in the ass to set up before launching then breaking down after. When I had my north river, I could tow with the top up but it didnt fit into my garage with it up. After taking it totally off to fit in my garage, I started leaving it off and kind of preferred no top. Dont let the no cover stop you from making trips, bust out the rain gear or sunblock as required. I wouldnt lay fiberglass over a frame, not saying it wouldnt work but probably wont be pretty
     
  3. South Sounder

    South Sounder Skipper

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    Man up and get rid of the top in general!
     
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  4. robodad

    robodad BullShitoligest

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    Allen
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    OK to keep this on track I didn't ask if I should get rid of my top or how I should use it I just want to know if anyone has fiberglassed over a soft top and how it worked out !!
     
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  5. Quan

    Quan I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Quan
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    So you're thinking of using your soft top as a mold surface for laying up a structural fiberglass top? Got a picture of your boat? I am a plastics and composites engineer by schooling (I do Mechanical Engineering by trade) and I've done my fair share of laying up so I might be able to provide some knowledge.
     
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  6. Clockwork

    Clockwork I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    seems doable as long as you keep the first lay real light.
     
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  7. robodad

    robodad BullShitoligest

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    Ill try to get a pic up after i get home, but yeah thats what im wondering if using the soft top as a mold or if nothing else just make the top more rigid so i can leave it up while towing down the road, right now if i go somewhere over 55mph for long periods i take it down but if it were say more solid i wouldnt have to worry too much about it tearing apart so the question is would it be feasable to glass over it with a few layers to make it more ridged. Im not too worried about how it will look as the boat is nothing special but it works great for me !!
     
  8. robodad

    robodad BullShitoligest

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    Thats what i was thinkin too, maybe just a few light coats of epoxy resin and no fibers just to get the foundation started then build off that !
     
  9. fishnazzi

    fishnazzi Mostly just LURKING anymore...........

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    Instead of fiberglass.....check out air ball. Works the same way mostly except it is water soluble and instead of expensive cloth you can you burlap......many fish holds have been air balled.......
     
  10. wood2turn

    wood2turn Well-Known "Member"

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    To answer your question...

    Yes you can lay glass on the canvas. In fact...if the top is tight enough nd you do a decent job of layup it can look fairly nice when completed.
    I helped a guy do it years ago and he fished it that way for years and years. 3 layers of glass on it. He could tow it without worry and he was nice and comfy.
    I think the key is how tight the top is when you start.
     
  11. hawksfan75

    hawksfan75 More questions than answers

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    It sounds doable, but it reminds me of making paper machier masks in school... heh
     
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  12. wdlfbio

    wdlfbio Once you go Cat, you never go back

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    If you think that, after pointing out that your vagina gets chaffed and you don't fish cause of your soft top issues, this thread won't get derailed, you should probably move the post over to Ifish. :supergay:

    I crack myself up.

    I'm surprised you got as much good advice already as you did. Must be a busy work day for everyone :).

    Once glassed, how will you secure the fiberglass to the frame? Or would the glass sandwich the existing frame and canvas? Maybe brush resin onto your top (exterior), add glass, more resin, etc. then when it dries, drill through the frame into the glass and bolt her together?
     
  13. Whalerjunky

    Whalerjunky Member

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    Surface prep is the key, I would lay it up and attach it to your existing frame rather then on the canvas
     
  14. Titan

    Titan I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Pilothouse is the way to go:

    Tuna-Ready.jpg
     
  15. Ultimate Catch

    Ultimate Catch One life to live!!

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    Don't forget that you were also told to man up!!
     
  16. goatram

    goatram Notable Member Gate Keeper to the Great Northwest

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    The best part abouut BD is the sideways skid tracks on most threads. You still get your info and we get to have fuuuuunagain:p:frehya2:



    Might have to change out your plastic rod ends and mounts that attach the top to the boat.
     
  17. JFK

    JFK Well-Known "Member"

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    Don't think you'll be real happy with the results of glassing fabric. Post a picture if possible.

    Why not just make a lightweight hardtop out of luan ply and some 1X2" fir or pine stringers, then glass that. You can make the stringers curved so they follow the same shape as your existing soft top. Very small increase in cost for a setup that will be much better.
     
  18. TunaHore

    TunaHore World Champion Boat Ho

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    Is that rig for sale? Figure add insulate and refridgeration and you got a tuna slaying sled

    Oh yeah - and some rocket launchers
     
  19. jgsons2

    jgsons2 Newbie

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    A few years ago we put some wood strips under the canopy to make it as tight as we could. Then we put a thin layer of epoxy. let it dry then 2 layers of cloth . This was on a old Fiberform boat. It was still on it the last I saw of it.
     
  20. robodad

    robodad BullShitoligest

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    Allen
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    Thank You guys for the advice, I appreciate all your points of view. So far I haven't heard any horror stories about someone trying this and it becoming a complete basket case, I like the idea on building a lightweight top out of wood and then glassing over that but then there is wood in there. I was thinking if I just glass over the top and leave the frame attached as is so if I ever did need to remove it I could just unsnap the canvas and unbolt the frame rods and remove the whole thing as a shell. Anyhow its great to hear your points as well so keep them coming !!

    [​IMG]
     

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