Jump to content

Building Hardtop For My Flybridge


Recommended Posts

Hi Fisho's,

Well it's time to spruce the old girl up and give her a hard top.

I will be hanging aerials, all round white light, TV antenna, lights and speakers as well and eventually a radar dome.

I can make the shape out of timber but not sure $100 what timber to use I was thinking of making it out of MDF but sealing it before laying the glass. Mounting and installation is not an issue either as I can do all that work as well.

I have not fibre glassed before and would be happy for any pointers. How thick do I have to make the fibreglass? How do I get the gelcoat on it? Can I brush it one or do you have to spray it on?

I have been youtubing for some time and it looks straight forward enough. But watching and doing is always different.

Here is a pic of the old girl to give you an idea..


Once I have the hardtop on I will have the clears made up

Any pointers would be great. :thumbup:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Arh right up mu ally

Im just in the process of finnishing mine, hopefully this weekend welding up the supports.

I tryed to add some photos but its just to hard

I have a 38 footer and made the hard top out of f/glass but it is just a skin about 2-3mm thick, afterall it only needs to hold paint unless you want to dance on it.

I layed glass in masionite a little longer than i needed times 2, then got the width i need and glasses both togeather. Mine is 3meters by 2.5.

When i glassed the middle i glassed over a shaped timber so i coud recess a grab rail down the center but it left a lump on the top side which had to put a rib overto cover it up.

Then i sat it in a cradle to give it slight bend.

i then glassed ribs on the bottom side as in the boat side aprox 10cm in from the port and starboard sides, thes i made fairly thick as it made the back bone frame.

Imagin masionite with a 4by2 frame

Gotta go but i will get back to this post






Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got the photo thing working, its much better than explaining the whole thing

The way i got the rounded edges was with conduit, and glassed over it, it makes it look like it 30mm thick but it is just a skin. Thats why it has those ribs on top to strenghten it.

I have stood on the center rib.

if you want to talk to me about it drop me a line





Edited by Davoo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Davoo,

Thanks for the insight on your project. That hardtop looks almost what I would like to have on my boat. I'm currently in the US but will be back in the next couple of weeks and wil begin work on the hardtop.

I might take you up on the offer for a chat.

Looking at your hardtop has now convinced me to give it a go

Appreciate the feedback


Link to comment
Share on other sites

They suffer a bit with weight up high , need serious support and also you get a huge amount of windage with clears and it makes a big difference out wide when wind blows up. Try and find a owner or boat for sale with a hardtop and see what experiences they have had. Bimini have a fair few advantages and aren't that expensive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My hard top weighs about 60-80kg and yes i will put some serious support only because i like the look of it, im useing 50mm s/steel pipe as teh stays.

As far as windage the bimini & clears was just as bad, if i was sittin in the bay and a good gust of wind got me i could feel the boat lean over.

Im expecting that it should only weigh up to 120kg up top which is only the size of my mate so its not that much.

Just rember when useing glass it is not the amount of glass but the bends & gapes between layers(look at a surf board) that give strength.

The radar chock on top could have been smaller looking at it now but that whole rib system on top meets up with the frame rib underneath plus the rolled edge. if you take a closer look at the rolled edge, behind it the taper,is not just to allow for the water to run out but it is also more of a rib the whole way around. all the ribs are hollow.

Really it is just a frame with a skin attached

Hopfully if the gods shine down on me i will have some photos of it on after saterday. Forth time lucky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...