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Old 10-18-2019, 12:59 AM   #21
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A timely thread that I'll be watching closely!
I really like the translucent 8mm material that "Hard to Top" utilizes but desire to build a FG & foam frame that is anchored to the FB floor vs the FB teak rails like the existing bimini frame.
Up till now it's been difficult to find the 8mm material in lengths over 8'. A construction contact is going to let me piggy back an order of the same material form their supplier up to 16'.
Lipets looking forward to your pics.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:18 AM   #22
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We put a hardtotop hardtop on our present boat and a previous boat. I installed it in a day with a helper. We love it. It comes in panels about 2í wide and you install it piece by piece on the bimini frame. On this boat the hardtop is pretty big so I had to have 1 1/4Ē s/s bows made to support the top. It came in a box about 14í long and I could pick it up.
What are they made of? Something translucent by the look of it. Been there long? All panels still present and correct?
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:37 AM   #23
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They are some type of polycarbonate panel. They are white but light comes through pretty well. They have an aluminum extrusion on the sides. You take your bimini frame and get the tops in a line horizontally so the panels will lay on the frame fore and aft. Then you take stainless steel clamps and screw the clamps around the bimini frame and through the aluminum extrusions. My first one was on a Trojan F32 and wasn’t as large as the current one. I went with the cheaper version that had a vinyl edging around it. Since the one for my President is so much larger I had to go with the upgraded version that has an aluminum extrusion around the edges. I had 1” bimini bows on both boats, they worked fine with the smaller top on the Trojan. On the President with the way larger top the 1” bows were not strong enough, in my opinion, so I had 4 bows made out of 1.25” stainless. The top is rock solid now. The boat has been tied up to my dock here at the house in over 60 mph winds and I have had no problems at all except me worrying about it during the winds. Now I just check the dock lines and really don’t give the top a thought. The company is a rather small business and don’t reply as quickly as I would like but it is what it is. Both times I bought the tops I drove to their shop and picked them up since they are located here in Michigan. I may mount some solar panels on the top and the hardtop over my sundeck but don’t really need them at this time since we are only doing local cruising at this time. Overall I like the tops or I would not have bought the sexond one. They are easy to install and are warranted for 10 years. No affiliation just a happy customer.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:45 AM   #24
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This is a cross section of some 8mm translucent polycarbonate. It's very stiff longitudinally but can be pulled into a soft arc side to side.
Basically the same material that is utilized in the construction of greenhouse wall and roof panels.
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:39 AM   #25
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Yes, that is similar to the tops. You measure the arc of the bimini and they bend the aluminum edge trim to match the curve. They also bend keder strips to match the curve. The keder strips make it easy to fabricate side curtains.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:49 AM   #26
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They are some type of polycarbonate panel. They are white but light comes through pretty well. They have an aluminum extrusion on the sides. You take your bimini frame and get the tops in a line horizontally so the panels will lay on the frame fore and aft. Then you take stainless steel clamps and screw the clamps around the bimini frame and through the aluminum extrusions. My first one was on a Trojan F32 and wasnít as large as the current one. I went with the cheaper version that had a vinyl edging around it. Since the one for my President is so much larger I had to go with the upgraded version that has an aluminum extrusion around the edges. I had 1Ē bimini bows on both boats, they worked fine with the smaller top on the Trojan. On the President with the way larger top the 1Ē bows were not strong enough, in my opinion, so I had 4 bows made out of 1.25Ē stainless. The top is rock solid now. The boat has been tied up to my dock here at the house in over 60 mph winds and I have had no problems at all except me worrying about it during the winds. Now I just check the dock lines and really donít give the top a thought. The company is a rather small business and donít reply as quickly as I would like but it is what it is. Both times I bought the tops I drove to their shop and picked them up since they are located here in Michigan. I may mount some solar panels on the top and the hardtop over my sundeck but donít really need them at this time since we are only doing local cruising at this time. Overall I like the tops or I would not have bought the sexond one. They are easy to install and are warranted for 10 years. No affiliation just a happy customer.

Comodave,


Thx for the write up. I've been looking at them but the translucent material bothers me. Seems like it would be hot in the summer sun and don't understand why a opaque material wouldn't be available. Suppose I could paint it with a opaque white on the top. I don't want ANY light coming thru if possilbe. Comments?


Also, is there a way to put a door in the top to access the upper side for installing solar panels? Seems like it would be pretty hard without some sort of access.


However, love the simplicity and light weight.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:48 AM   #27
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11' wide X13' long , 5/8" corecell. 3 layers of 6oz. mat on top. one layer on bottom 60lbs.

Boatpoker,


Tell us more, sounds good. 60lbs for the whole thing?


What is the corecell? Is that like nidacore? Supplier?



Thanks much!
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:18 AM   #28
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Hey guys the plastic translucent tops should be started in new thread.


THis way off topic I think
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:53 PM   #29
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next step went to HD bought XPS insulation, used skill saw to cut a 45, I think a table saw would have been better.


I made 3" wide strips to build up the edges, didn't want to look a thin wafer and after glassing will add strength.
the hard edges will be shaved with razor after the caulking drys and tape removed.
also the edges will be cleaned up to uniform before glassing

since the front and back will have a curve I'll do those after glassing
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:57 PM   #30
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Next I cut 2.5" strips out of 1/2" ply to make jig with mild curve, used a band saw, a sabre saw can do it also.



6 per side
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:58 PM   #31
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test fit, looks ok to me I think
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:04 AM   #32
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Agreed, looks like a graceful arc.

My FG experience is limited to glassing over a shaped foam build assembly, similar to surfboard construction. Do you anticipate any spring back or does the underside glass hold the core pretty true to the form when it's flipped for glassing the topside in this type of construction? All new to me.

BTW, nice shop floor!
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:19 AM   #33
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Haven't glassed yet but my understanding is the layer of 17oz on one side should make it pretty solid.


Also the foam on the edge made it stiffer on that side of the panel.


Due to the overall size I'm building it two sections 4x10 & 6x10, no way to transport or for that matter handle it in one piece.


Trying to come up with a way to splice the two halves together on the boat, some of that planning goes to how stiff it is with 17oz on both sides.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:41 PM   #34
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Talking Update

here's the 3/4 ply support often seen as radar arch sides


pre-wet the plywood with resin before glassing with 10ox



next pic show a wire chase I built into side to run the solar panel wires down
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:44 PM   #35
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the under side is glassed just place temp forms in to flip and glass side two

the pink foam is a 1x2.5" glassed to edge as a reveal to make it look like thicker edge (it's only 1/2" otherwise)


THe glass cloth came out very nice and even



the top is split into two halves 4x10 and 6x10
three sides glassed now used 1.5 G MAS epoxy, no smell.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:57 PM   #36
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I was planning on bolting on the two arch sides place and two SS supports up front then man handling them up and attaching two halves on board.


Not happening this is to big, now going to bring it to local yard join two halves on some stands, mount the three solar panels.


Have fork lift or small crane hoist it up, not heavy, the top is about 50-60 lbs glassed, the panels are 38lbs each



it just to bulky to handle and don't want anyone hurt.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:12 PM   #37
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Interesting write up, thanks for your effort. I wish the prior owner of my boat had better integrated the shape of the hard top to the boat. BTW if you would like to save a lot of money on epoxy try Aeromarine on line. They mail order and I find the quality to be as good as the expensive name brands. It is a 2 to 1 mix which keeps things simple.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:13 PM   #38
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Greetings,
Mr. l. Very nice! One added advantage of MAS epoxy is there is no ketone blush like with West System. Good move to have the yard hoist it into place. One gust of wind at the wrong time and.....


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Old 10-25-2019, 08:59 PM   #39
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Similar project on youtube


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Old 10-26-2019, 12:57 AM   #40
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The core is not intended to used on edge, very little strength I was told.
So his side frames are only the structural fiberglass not getting benefit from the core, plywood is the preferred materiel.

Bondo's usually have talc in them and absorb moisture
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