Building Searay 380DA Fiberglass Hardtop

Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by Gallf1, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. Gallf1

    Gallf1 Member

    Sep 26, 2018
    Palm Coast, FL
    2000 Searay 380
    Mercruiser 454 MAG MPI 7.4L
    Was time to replace canvas and after looking at the cost and longevity (and since I have experience with fiberglass) decided to build a custom mold and hardtops for my 380.

    The hardtop extends about 48" forward from the radar arch and has the appropriate curves and changes in shape to accommodate the fit. I will be using the same mold to pull off another one to modify for a 3/4 rear top. I will be making some custom SS or Aluminum support legs once I fit it.

    Top will attach to radar arch with male to female fiberglass tabs set in 5200.

    Top is made from the appropriate gelcoat, CSM and 1708 BiAx followed by 1/2" Balsa and then CSM and 1708 Biax. There will be no penetrations in the top so I am not worried about Balsa Core issues.

    The underside of the hardtop has built in "shelves" to screw in the track for the windows/curtains.

    The mold is not a "Class A" mold, meaning that some final fairing and tweaking is required but since I will be painting it anyways its not an issue.

    If anyone is interested, I may be willing to sell the mold for the cost of the material to make the mold...... IMG_1106.JPG IMG_1126[843] (2).JPG IMG_1139[834] (2).JPG IMG_1131[829] (2).JPG

    Today is pull the part out of the mold day!

  2. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Can't wait to see how this turns out! Very cool project.
  3. Kwik

    Kwik Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2019
    2004 Sea Ray 240 Sundancer
    2017 F150 Ecoboost 4x4
    Raymarine Axiom 9
    Raymarine Sirius 200 reciever
    5.0 Mercruiser w/Bravo III drives
    Very nice. Us tradesmen are starting to become antiques as there are no apprentices stepping up to learn our trades. Anxious to see the final product!
    carterchapman likes this.
  4. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Love it! I do a lot of work on my cars and boat, but something like this is completely out of my wheelhouse - really interested in seeing the progress.
  5. Siboatguy

    Siboatguy Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Mar 28, 2016
    2004 Sea Ray 240 Sundancer
    1999 Sea Ray 290 Sundancer
    2005 Sea Ray 320 Sundancer
    Twins V-Drives
    2017 5.7 Mercruisers
    Cant wait to see how it comes out.... I'm the same way ill try anything and tinker.... Love stuff like this....
  6. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    This might be applicable to the 98/99 370 as well. Can't say for sure, but I would expect that Sea Ray used the same arch during transition.
  7. Gallf1

    Gallf1 Member

    Sep 26, 2018
    Palm Coast, FL
    2000 Searay 380
    Mercruiser 454 MAG MPI 7.4L
    A few plastic wedges tapped in and it s IMG_1141[866] (2).JPG lipped right out of the mold....good things to say about 3 coats of Rexall #2 paste wax and 3 sprayed coats of PVA. Mold is made from tempered hardboard sealed with 3 coats of Shellac before waxing.

    Needs to have final trimming and fit. I left the vertical flanges long so that I can make a final determination on what looks the most visually appealing.....straight back or slight radius to match the arch.

    Some gelcoat alligators but dont care as I am going to surface fair and paint. Really happy with the product. I would say it weighs about 60-70lbs.
    Kwik, wyrman, Chris-380 and 5 others like this.
  8. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Fully updated Raymarine MFDs, Quantum radar, full LED lighting conversion, and lots more.
    Twin 454 Horizons
  9. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Aswome. I bet you could make a small business out of that and stay pretty busy. Will ya make one for a 410???

  10. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge (Sold)
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    I love posts like this....bravo!
  11. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    amazing stuff goes on around here. Keep taking lots of progress photos please!
  12. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
  13. Sublimetime

    Sublimetime Active Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    clifton nj
    420 da
    Gotta love it.. If you cant find what you want, make what you want. AWESOME job. Keep it coming.
  14. jzanthony

    jzanthony Active Member

    Aug 17, 2015
    Port Lambton, ON Lake St Clair
    99 Sea Ray 380 DA, 2019 SeaDoo RXT230
    7.4 Horizons
    Put me down for one, cant wait to see the finished product installed.

  15. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    Me too, Gallf1. I'm in the Palm Coast C-Section, and it looks as if you are, too. I'm on Carry Ct., off Clubhouse.

  16. Marc Rainaldo

    Marc Rainaldo Active Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    Sea Ray 500 DA 1994
    Detroit diesel 6v92
    Amazing and interesting job. Do you have more photo’s of making the mold and other processes? That would be great for the DIY guys under us.
  17. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    Bad ass
  18. LTD.330

    LTD.330 Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Lake Erie
    1999 Sundancer 330
    7.4 MPI
    WOW. Love seeing talented craftsmen apply their art. I'm sure you could turn you personal project into a business.
  19. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Even if this guy were paying himself minimum wage...I bet it's a 5 figure cover, all-in. I'd love me some hardtop but I think I'll stick with canvas until I can buy the next boat...with hardtop....
  20. Gallf1

    Gallf1 Member

    Sep 26, 2018
    Palm Coast, FL
    2000 Searay 380
    Mercruiser 454 MAG MPI 7.4L
    As for costs so far....My labor? (PRICELESS,,,HA!).....just love working on boats.
    $500 +/- to make mold, $750 +/- for Fiberglass fabric and resin, Balsa, Fairing Compound etc, and say $200 for Polyurethane paint when finished.
    Backing out the cost of the mold, say $950 per hardtop (I am making a Front and Rear).

    Hardtop advantages: Can mount Paddle boards, Solar Panels, FIR Camera, Deck Lights etc etc
    Will not get torn in high winds, does not need water proofing, doesn't stretch or sag, should last as long as the hull/deck....

    Plus "cool" factor....just sayin'
    Kwik, tdschafer and Chris-380 like this.

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