after looking at photos of both hard and soft cockpit covers, I decided I could build one that serves my purposes better, for less money than I could make a sunbrella cover for..
the total material cost of the project is $140, with 10 hours invested to build and install. 4ft long x 8ft wide. total weight is 66lbs. material is 6061 & 6063 aluminum.
I didnt want the entire cockpit covered, as it hinders fishing, but I wanted enough that one can stand out of the rain when fishing or crabbing without having to go inside, and yet the door can be open without having rain come in...
it is held secure to the boat by the custom hinges at the aft end of the bridge coaming... pull one hinge pin on each side and one 1/4" bolt on each side at the lower end of the supports and the top lifts off.
I constructed it with a rain catcher top, and the legs/supports are the drains/downspouts.... no rain dripping off the edges!
for ease of handleing, the leg supports remove from the top by removing 1 bolt, so it can be handled and stowed easily.
with the hinge mounts at the bridge, the top will fold upwards to a vertical position, and downward until the sides contact the cockpit speaker "extensions" .... I can see no practical purpose for it being able to fold up/down, but the custom hinges were the most practical way to connect the top securely to the boat and still be able to be installed and removed by one person..
it wasnt built as a load carrying deck, but it is strong enough that I can do pull-ups from it... and with being able to hold 205lbs, I can say its reasonably strong.....
im sure a heavy fiberglass top could have been made to look better on the boat, but the investment cost was right, and for the purpose, it works great.