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Opinions wanted! Hardtop on a 305?-gctid402994

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    Opinions wanted! Hardtop on a 305?-gctid402994

    The admiral and I were discussing this last weekend and I just don't if it can be done, and if it can, what might it do to the handling and seaworthiness of the boat. Since we almost never take the bimini down, we were thinking of having someone make a fiberglass hardtop the would run from the radar arch to just above the windscreen and then have a glass or plexiglass windscreen made to connect the hardtop to the original windscreen. The hardtop might have hatches installed to allow air flow and maybe the new partial windscreen might have vents or complete openings again for air flow.

    The reason(s) for doing something like this is that I'm just tired of snapping and unsnapping the canvas along with the fact that this body just can't do some of this anymore. The arthritis is such that pulling and snapping is just not in the picture in the near future. We're going to have to replace all the canvas this winter and if this can be done, we might just put the money for the new canvas into this project instead.

    First question, can something like this be made? If so, where might I start my search to find someone who could do it? Secondly, if it can be made, would the additional weight up top make for unsafe handling of the boat? Would there just be too much weight up high or would the fiberglass be lighter than I'm expecting.

    Please let me know your opinions and maybe options that I haven't considered. All input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    #2
    Personally I think it would look odd. You would still have to snap and unsnap the windows or are you planning on some kind of enclosed cockpit with windows?

    They do have tools for doing snaps so you dont kill your hands, theres also lubricants that will help those tough snaps and zippers and makes it a whole lot easier. Just a thought.

    Comment


      #3
      I have a boat of similar style. I plan on doing the same thing. Yes its doable. The trick will ne finding a person that can do it. There are a few places that make hard tops for various bayliners. I am not sure who they are they may offer a premade one.
      1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
      twin 454's
      MV Mar-Y-Sol
      1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
      Twin chevy 350's inboard
      Ben- Jamin
      spokane Washington

      Comment


        #4
        We too have discussed a similiar idea. The end result being like a Tiara Sovran. I asked the gentleman that has done our fiberglass work and is very capable. He quoted me $30,000 with the windows.

        Maybe tomorrow.


        Jim McNeely
        New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
        Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
        Brighton, Michigan USA
        MMSI # 367393410

        Comment


          #5
          Everything "can" be done. I don't see it affecting the boat much because it should be fairly light relative to the 12k displacement of the boat. The one custom fiberglass shop I can recommend is here in Phoenix, so I don't think that would be useful to you.

          I have a question though...what canvas are you snapping and unsnapping all the time? I don't do anything to our canvas at all. Well, in spring I remove the Isinglass and attach screens, in winter I remove the screens and attach the Isinglass. That's it.

          Comment


            #6
            SwampNut wrote:


            I have a question though...what canvas are you snapping and unsnapping all the time? I don't do anything to our canvas at all. Well, in spring I remove the Isinglass and attach screens, in winter I remove the screens and attach the Isinglass. That's it.
            lol, screens would be nice gota love AZ. Rains here alot so the canvas is up almost 24/7. We actually remove windows and reinstall DAILY....PITA tbqh but it is what it is.

            If we are anchoring out and its a nice weekend, we will keep the glass off and run no covers all weekend. Problem is when we get back to the docks, the mosquitos and mayflys will CAKE the boat, and of course being summer in minnesota, random thunderstorms like to crop up, always in the middle of the night. 1 time we tried to stay at the marina with the glass down, woke up at 2am by the admiral that its raining out. Middle of 30mph windows, rain, and the entire inside of the boat covered in mayflys we got the covers up in a short 20 minutes. Only about 10 minutes later to realize it would have been a whole lot simpliler to just put the travel cover on in 5 minutes and go back to bed lol...

            So generally our process is, morning = windows off, night falls = windows on, every day we are at the marina. We normally only remove the front 3 windows unless its particularly hot out and just leave the rest up and open the back screen. We are also pretty good at keeping most of the windows in 1 piece zipped together and reinstalling alot faster.

            Comment


              #7
              If you don't have the snap tool, definitely go to West Marine and spend $20. I tried to find a link, no luck, but the tool is red and blue with SS ends for the snaps. Warning: they do NOT float...

              On another note, all the canvas and isinglass was one of many reasons we now enjoy our flybridge. If we don't like the weather outside on top, we can go inside for heat or cooling, or to get out of the rain. Just a thought...
              Jeff & Tara (And Ginger too)
              Lake Havasu City, AZ
              |
              Current: 2008 Playcraft 2400 MCM 350 Mag B3
              2000 Bayliner 3388 Cummins 4bta 250s (SOLD 2020)
              2000 Bayliner 2858 MCM 7.4 MPI B3 (SOLD 2018)
              2007 Bayliner 305 MCM twin 350 Mag B3s (SOLD 2012)
              2008 Bayliner 289 MCM 350 Mag Sea Core B3 (SOLD 2009)
              And 12 others...
              In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. 7-2-10

              Comment


                #8
                I am working on a hard 1/4" three piece plastic front bimini for my 325. One of my most important goals was to maintain the current lines on the boat so I wanted a hard bimini in almost the exact shape of the canvas one. That alone ruled out several pre-made options (i.e. hard to top, atlantic towers, etc.). I have determined that to best handle it, transport it and make the molds it will have to be a three piece kit. The pieces will then be held together with "H" channel (from front to back) and secured to the existing radar arch and bimini frame. If this works I will make one for the rear bimini next. The reason I am going on about it is because if it works for both of my biminis we will then make one for my neighbor's 305. Now that may not be until next season, but if it works there may be molds available to make one for your boat. And as you are exploring, I will be looking at designing solid plexiglass windows that can be held on in a manner similar to a magnetic shower door closure for easy on and easy off convenience. It should also make putting screens up much easier. Anyhow, I have been looking for solutions for several years and those who thought they could fiberglass something are not willing to travel to where the boat is and all of the other solutions changed the lines (look) of the boat. I have found a source to get the plastic shaped to my molds and hope to have the first of three molds finished this weekend. It may not be the timeframe you were hoping for and it may not even work, but that is where my journey has brought me. For what it's worth.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Getting a hardtop would probably not be as big of a deal as you think, though the existing radar arch may pose a problem (I'm only speculating it might be a problem, not really sure). Either way, there are companies out there that specialize in custom hard tops and will ship them to you. One example is Atlantic Towers. Their kits are VERY nice looking in my opinion, and very light. The trick will be whether or not you can get anyone to make the custom (hard) glass or plexiglass windows. Vinyl/Eisenglass windows and drop canopy would be a snap (pun intended). Either way, I see it being a two-step process.

                  1. You will order the hard top from one company (likely NOT local and will probably be shipped unassembled). Then, you install it yourself (or find a local shop that is willing). If you are lucky enough to find someone local that makes them, then great. They can probably install it for you.

                  2. Once the hard top is installed, you will go to a canvas shop for the custom eisenglass install. I would be a little leary of doing something "permanent" with glass or plexiglass, just because you likely won't be able to take it down (what if you want a breeze?). And even if you CAN take it down, where are you going to store a huge chunk of glass. In which case, why not just just snap on those eisenglass windows and just leave them in place.

                  I don't think you'll find anyone that can pre-fab the whole thing and ship it to you in a box (meaning hard top PLUS glass/vinyl).

                  To start with, check out Atlantic Towers. You'll at least get an idea of some of the things that can be done (including accessories for the top/arch).

                  http://www.atlantictowers.com/

                  But I do wonder--if you no longer want to be snapping/unsnapping the side windows, and you are leaving the bimini up anyway, why not just leave the windows in place? Going with a hard top is going to cost $$$, and you obviously can't fold the hard top down like you could with a bimini. And you'll still have side windows to deal with (if you want them to be removable).

                  Anything is possible with unlimited funds, but to get something truly custom with sliding glass windows, sunroof, etc.... meaning windows you don't have to take down but can still open them for ventilation, would be very $$$$$.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Agreed on the snap tool.http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...1513&id=139196
                    lol, screens would be nice gota love AZ
                    The screens keep most of the rain out, and block a lot of the wind. The only time rain comes into the cockpit is if it's combined with very strong winds. Otherwise they keep out bugs, give good shade, and keep out wind or rain. It's one of the most important things you can add to the boat and also very rare to see anyone using.

                    http://baylinerownersclub.org/media/....jpg[/img]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Also, since the OP was talking about a hardtop, I figured he was taking down the bimini or something? Hardtop or not, the side coverings will be the same, no?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Here is the link to the snap tool.

                        http://m.westmarine.com/aHR0cDovL3d3...I1NTY0OA%3D%3D
                        1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                        twin 454's
                        MV Mar-Y-Sol
                        1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                        Twin chevy 350's inboard
                        Ben- Jamin
                        spokane Washington

                        Comment


                          #13
                          So I found this one about a year ago for sale with a hardtop.

                          [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/706972=30010-305_bayliner_hard_top_sports_cruiser_1.jpg[/img]

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for all the replies, folks. My main issue is the front windscreen isinglass snaps. I have the tool that assists with snaps, but that doesn't work with the front windscreen isinglass on my 305. Those snaps has center posts attached to the glass windscreen and the canvas has holes where the posts go. There's nothing on the canvas to catch with the tool so I'm stuck trying to pull the canvas holes up and over the posts, which then may or may not stay attached (not a very clever design IMO). I don't take my side canvas down as several years ago I had a canvas shop install screens where I can just roll the isinglass up and down (very convenient); did the same for the back canvas too.

                            I like to run with the front isinglass removed (weather permitting of course) so like someone said, front isinglass down during the day and up during the night. Putting it up is a real PITA for the reason stated plus having to bend, reach, and pull all at the same time. Won't be long before this old body ain't gonna do that anymore. If I ever went the route of the hard top and hard windscreen, the windscreen panels would have to have something fashioned that could open for air during running and daytime hanging on the hook, and closed for nighttime to keep dew and rain away. N3716E: I would be very much interested in what you end up with and how it works on your 325 (and possibly the 305 next year).

                            I may just see if I can get zippers attached everywhere (like I've seen on newer vessels) and then have the new canvas made to fit the zippers. I can still operate zippers! :right I wonder if that would work where the front isinglass windscreen attaches to the front hard glass windscreen. Hhhmm, just a thought. Anyway, thanks again for the replies and suggestions.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              JimMc wrote:
                              We too have discussed a similiar idea. The end result being like a Tiara Sovran. I asked the gentleman that has done our fiberglass work and is very capable. He quoted me $30,000 with the windows.

                              Maybe tomorrow.

                              Jim, 30K is steep, but not as steep as the cost of a Tiara. Look at it this way by spending 30k you are saving 100's of thousands.
                              Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
                              1998 3055 Ciera
                              (yes, a 1998)
                              Previous boat: 1993 3055
                              Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
                              Sea Doo XP
                              Sea Doo GTI SE
                              Life is short. Boats are cool.
                              The family that plays together stays together.
                              Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club

                              Comment

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