Aluminum Hard top

Discussion in 'Modifications/Customizations' started by hillsideshortleg, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. M Prod

    M Prod Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    311
    Oct 6, 2017
    North Vancouver, BC
    2005 Sundancer 340
    Aquapro Dinghy w/ Honda 8hp
    Kohler 5KW Genny
    Raymarine Electronics
    8.1 Horizons /V Drives
    Great thread ...really nice work so far! Following!
     
  2. 390x

    390x Member

    792
    Mar 12, 2009
    Moline, IL
    1989 390 EC
    454 Merc BWI
    On an 89 390 express, Arctic White is DuPont Jersey Yachts white. It was so perfect I touched up a spot in the middle of the hullside, and you couldn't find the fix AT ALL. I used Chroma Premier. Have a DuPont store come use the Chroma Scanner on your boat to match the color. I would use rhino liner on the bottom side. It's durable and easy to clean. Turn the pressure up on the gun to get a finer texture. DO NOT use a fabric. It will get dirty, mildewed, and damaged. Boats with hardtops have fiberglass on the bottom side.
     
  3. ttmott

    ttmott Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    "Hillsideshortleg" - Know all about that; I'm from Boise/McCall and we had a ranch up the river from Riggins (James Ranch). No roads, jetboat / airplane access or one could pack the 20 miles over the mountain from Warren. We moved our livestock in and out of the ranch many times on that 20 mile trek. Really miss that area; you are very fortunate.
    Tom
     
  4. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Give a call to Spectrum Paints to get the exact color match for your boat. They'll need the year, model and HIN to do it.

    As a word of caution--I had a new swim platform put on the boat last summer. The paint Spectrum sent did not match exactly so the guy doing the fiberglass work mixed his own color. Matched perfectly.
     
  5. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    I am a little concerned about the interior side of the top. I was planning on using a good quality adhesive to attach a closed cell foam that I would have some form of fabric or vinyl material attached to on the under side or ceiling. Will I still have a mold problem? After seeing how ridged the tops are I am not at all concerned about rigidity of our aluminum. We actually had to take a step back due to problems getting the front fit right. I felt like we were trying to rush it and decided to step back and come up with a better game plan for fitting the front. The skin profile wasn't matching the arch profile as well as it needed to so we tried forcing it. I didn't like the results and decided to back off for a few days. Plus we now have some paying work. Dang!!!
     
  6. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    We are finally ready to start getting everything smoothed out. We have a path for electrical going up each side and the nose of the thing is open for future lighting. We used aluminum pipe couplings for the mounting points. The foam we glue on the inside should be at the thickness of the coupling. We also welded a row of couplings from side to side above the back of the driver seat. My wife and I would drape a blanket across the mid rail that held up the old canvas. When we would cruise on very cold nights the cockpit heater didn't keep it as warm as we liked and the blanket really helped to keep the heat in the front seat. The row of couplings will serve as a support for something to serve as a partition between the front seat and the back of the boat. It looks like we are going to be learning about body work now.



    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Blueone likes this.
  7. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    Progress and a question: I believe I will be installing the Armaflex on the under side of the roof. I attached a couple pics of a test head / back rest I built for the front seat. I made two of them, one I found I cant sew good enough so the other I am having done professionally. We would really like to use the same fabric as in the picture for the headliner on top of the Armaflex. Do any of you know of a reason I wouldn't want to do this and what would be the best way to do it? As you can tell my wife and I are not all white boat fans and want to have some color inside the boat.
    Thanks[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer
    2X 454 w/ vDrives
    Not my style in terms of colour for sure. Will make the boat look really out of date. But fabric outside is a bad idea. It will be a Petrie dish for mild and mildew. Bad idea IMO.
     
  9. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    I would stay away from fabric in that location. Our hardtop is mostly fiberglass with three small access panels which are covered with vinyl. We detail the bottom side of the hardtop once a year because it is needed to keep that part of the boat looking like new. Fabric is not going to stand the test of time.
     
  10. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    This is an automotive upholstery fabric. Very close to the same color we had when we looked up and saw the under side of the canvas. If there is a very good insulation between the aluminum and the fabric wouldn't this be similar to an automobile in terms of the environment it is exposed to? I appreciate the comments as I have no idea what I am doing and the upholstery stores are not really sure either. I will probably get roughed up for this but if I had a choice of making our boat look newer or making it look older I will go older any day. Not much of a fan of the newer boats. I guess my wife and I are a couple of Odd Ducks but we are both very happy with the changes we have made.
     
  11. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer
    2X 454 w/ vDrives
    A car does not sit on the water and the interior of a car is sealed to the outside (mostly). The cockpit of a boat is open to the outside pretty much. The humidity level changes drastically from night to day and condensation forms inside the boat a lot, and then dries out in the sun. With vinyl or sunbrella fabric, mold does grow but not much. That fabric will be like a sponge and will be awful. If you really like the dark color, use dark vinyl. Myself, I would paint it gloss white, the same as the cockpit gelcoat.
     
  12. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    Thanks for the advice!! I am convinced on the material. I also think I will have the head rest match the seat, which is the White, Red and Darker Red.
     
  13. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    If you keep the underside of the hardtop to a lighter/neutral color (like the boat color) it won't detract at all from the theme you are going for, in fact it will blend in nicely with the arch and the rest of the gelcoat. Plus, a lighter color will "feel" better over your head as a dark color will make the hardtop feel shorter/cramped. A lighter color will also make for an "airier" feeling in the cockpit.

    In case you did't know, Sunbrella makes more than just bimini top material. They make outside furniture-grade material, too.

    Personally, I think either vinyl or paint is going to the best solution. There WILL be times when moisture collects (sometimes quite heavily) on the underside of the hardtop. A smooth surface is definitely preferred for this.
     
  14. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Don't underestimate the damage spiders can do to fabric. We spray our hardtop for spiders but still pick some up when cruising. I don't know how you clean up after one that goes unseen for awhile or one that gets crushed when removal proves messy. A damp rag works nicely for clean up on a smooth surface.
     
  15. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    Almost ready for paint. also pictures of how I heated the track using a conduit heater. Super easy to maneuver it once it was heated up. Also pics of the closed cell insulation fitted before paint. We hope to paint tomorrow
    [​IMG]
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  16. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Can’t wait to see it installed. You have some great skills.
     
  17. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    Paint is on[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. 390x

    390x Member

    792
    Mar 12, 2009
    Moline, IL
    1989 390 EC
    454 Merc BWI
    I said it waaaaaay back in this thread. Hardtops don't have fabric under them. Every single one I've ever seen is fiberglass. In your case, painted aluminum. I'd spray it with color-matched bedliner and call it a day.
     
  19. hillsideshortleg

    hillsideshortleg Member

    164
    Feb 5, 2012
    Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho
    89 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    2 350's Mercruiser drives
    Well I guess it would be fair to say I specialize in making mistakes. But on the bright side at least I specialize in something. I also see that I am going to be the first aluminum hardtop with insulation and fabric that you have seen. Not the fabric I posted earlier, I chose a little different but we kind of think the boat is for us, so we may as well do it the way we want it. If we flop, I know it wont be the first time. I know that for sure. LOL
     
    kvduff likes this.
  20. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer
    2X 454 w/ vDrives
    I will say, looks pretty great from the outside!
     

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