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Sierra_hillbilly
10-20-2005, 11:19 AM
Does anyone know of a place that sells tops for boats. ie; The type that snap to the windshield and has bows with curtains? I'm looking for a top for the red snapper so I don't freeze this winter. I want to be on the water in comfort now.

sellhomes2fish
10-20-2005, 11:39 AM
I've been looking for the same thing. I believe the top will have to be custom made to accommodate your boat's dimensions and that = $$$$ ;D

SuperDave
10-20-2005, 11:41 AM
read this recent thread:

http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/forumsyabb/YaBB.pl?board=boats_motors;action=display;num=1126 654437;start=7#7

wetdog
10-20-2005, 02:15 PM
Get a hold of Brian aka TROUTKING he's been there and done that...may even have the t shirt ! ;D

basil
10-21-2005, 09:34 AM
Quality boat top fabric is expensive. I made a cover for my boat from a quality blue canvas (the stuff you see all over the moorages) and it cost me 300 dollars for the material alone. That's wholesale in Oregon where I have access to Upholstry wholesale businesses.

Here's the way it works, an upholsterer measures your boat and orders material. He doubles what he pays and that's your fabric price less hardware (snaps and bows). Next he calculates his hours and multiplies it by about 80 bucks and hour. Most boats that's 8 hours.

So my boat cover (it's 23 foot center console boat I built)would have a retail breakdown like this:
Material - 600 dollars
Labor - 8 hrs times 80 = 640 dollars
Total - 1240 dollars

Now your boat top won't require as much material, but it will still take 8 hours. You can also save by having the side curtains made of mostly clear plastic, which pretty cheap by the yard. I used to make them completely out of plastic and border them with polypropolene webbing to put the snaps in.

The bad thing about plastic is it fogs up if you put it away wet. But then a lot of top fabric mildews eventually. Unless you get the double sided vinyl which I think might be cheaper. It has a tendency to be a little harder to work with and show a wrinkle or two, but still makes a good top. Plus it doesn't shrink.

Sierra_hillbilly
10-21-2005, 12:12 PM
Okay so how do I sew this stuff? Can I do it with a regular sewing machine? How do you afix the plastic to the fabric?

SuperDave
10-21-2005, 12:32 PM
SH, you've got big AMF's to tackle this. It takes an upholstery machine to sew it. But getting all the snaps to line up would scare me away. I was wondering if you went to a boat salvage and found a bimini top with snap side windows or the zipper type, if an upholstery shop could modify with a "cut here and a stitch there" pretty reasonably. If my boat was close to the same size as yours, it probably wouldn't take much to make it fit. Just a thought, rather than starting from scratch.

Sierra_hillbilly
10-21-2005, 01:45 PM
I think I'm going to look into the bimni top way. I have a guy in Massachusetts looking for a top for me.

basil
10-22-2005, 08:08 AM
SH, you've got big AMF's to tackle this. It takes an upholstery machine to sew it. But getting all the snaps to line up would scare me away. I was wondering if you went to a boat salvage and found a bimini top with snap side windows or the zipper type, if an upholstery shop could modify with a "cut here and a stitch there" pretty reasonably. If my boat was close to the same size as yours, it probably wouldn't take much to make it fit. Just a thought, rather than starting from scratch.


It's concievably possible but problematic. The width has to be correct or the snaps won't line up on the outside of the boat (snaps must be mounted vertical to the curtain to work). Then you have length issues, most likely it would need cutting and a new piece added to fit the side.

The next problem is most trimmers aren't eager to work on old stuff, so they will soak you for the work. Not to mention that your inexperience might lead you to a bad deal (a top nearly wore out and ready to rip).

As for sewing plastic, what do you mean? If your talking about windows it sews as easy as the fabric, but like the guy says you need an industrial machine. Since I worked for several trim shops and managed one for my dad, I have the machine and can pretty much do anything to a car or boat, but I only work for myself.

gfishes
10-23-2005, 06:02 PM
hillbilly...I have a convertable top with vinyl side curtains...came off my 17ft Reinel Mirage...if you are looking for something like this, it is available...check your PM's...Gfishes