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Old 03-04-2014, 02:25 PM   #1
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Hardtops

I am considering a marine trader sundeck but have some concerns about the hardtop over the sundeck. I have sailed to Mexico twice on my Union 36 so have some knowledge of the wind I'll see on the open ocean. Windage on a sailboat is a lot less than on a trawler but the dodger was still a windcatcher and the bimini was lost more than once. Does anyone have experience with how much trouble the hardtop causes in wind approaching 20 knts?
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:19 PM   #2
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Photos of the boat and the hardtop would help make an evaluation of how much affect the wind is going to have on it. Without seeing it, it's difficult to even venture a guess.

Mine isn't a hard top. It's made from 1 1/4" stainless tubing and a fabric called Stamoid. The winds don't seem to have much effect on the upper section of the boat unless all the windows are installed.



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Old 03-04-2014, 03:51 PM   #3
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Heck...it will balance the boat in a wind. Instead of the bow getting blown downwind, the whole boat will!! I am just kidding...sort of. I don't think it makes too much of a difference. I don't notice it. On mine but I generally don't go out if the wind is howling....although it was this last weekend. My bow still gets blown down wind first...
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:13 PM   #4
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Windage with our current hardtop (or with the hardtop on our previous boat) is a minor detail. We don't notice any additional impact, given existing windage on the hull/saloon/flying bridge (now) and the hull/bridge deck (before).

And since the hardtop is structural, we have stuff mounted up there, don't have to worry much about snow loads this time of year, it gives us a better mounting situation for the bridge enclosure, etc.

OTOH, we do experience slightly more windage when the full bridge enclosure is buttoned up. In that case, it's not from the hardtop itself, though, but rather than enclosure panels. If necessary, I can open most of those up during docking if it were to become necessary.... but we haven't had to do that.

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Old 03-04-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I think I just have to get used to power boating again. With the sailboat we didn't leave the dock until 10 because there is usually no wind till the sun gets up. In my last trawler I didn't have a hardtop so I didn't have a problem (or any idea how much of a "sail" it would be.) I'm still looking for a boat and will probably get serious after April, when the taxes are paid.
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