Building the Best Hardtops for Boats

Who wouldn’t love a leisurely cruise on your boat during a lazy afternoon? Or who wouldn’t love to go fishing with their closest friends on a day when they’re all free and could spare a little bonding time with each other? These are just a couple of reasons why people love riding their boats, and these are certainly my two main reasons myself. In fact, I am pretty hard pressed to come up with any other activities that I enjoy even half as much as I do these, so that sums it all up right there. If I could only have things my way, then I would definitely love to be on my boat as much as I can. But of course, time constraints brought about by work and family duties limit the time that I am able to spend on it.

Still, I make it a point to check on my boat as often as I could. My concern for its maintenance already borders on being an obsession, as my family and my closest friends would say. But that’s how I am with my boat, I want to make sure that it is the finest shape possible at all times. In fact, I go through great lengths just to make sure that the boat always looks great, aside from functioning as well as the day I first used it. And as summer draws near, I have been planning on replacing the top of the boat with a more reliable, and a more permanent, hardtop. It would at least eliminate the problems we’ve had with being too much exposed in the past.

Building Your Own Hardtop

I will be building my own hardtop. That’s the way that I like it, being very hands on with things that concern my vessel. What follows are the steps to build your own hardtop. It might be of help to those who want to build their own hardtops for boats well.

• Measure the exact area that you would like the hardtop to cover. After getting the exact measurements with the use of a measuring tape, transfer it to a marine plywood sheet.

• With the use of a circular saw, cut the marine plywood to the exact measurements. Put some marine epoxy on the edges and on one side of the marine plywood. Place the fiberglass cloth on the side with the marine epoxy and with the use of a putty knife work the cloth onto the epoxy. To fold the cloth down the sides of the plywood, cut ¼ inch by ¼ inch square notches out of the cloth’s corners.

• The next step would be to apply a coat of epoxy on the fiberglass, and lay another cloth of fiberglass. Using the putty knife once again, work the cloth onto the epoxy. Trim any excess cloth with the use of a scissor.

• Let the epoxy and the fiberglass to become completely cured, after which the fiberglass should be sanded with the use of a 120-grit sandpaper and palm sander. Paint using marine paint.

• To place the hardtop, attach the hardtop to the top frame with the use of eye straps secured to the tubing and secured with wood screws to the bottom. The frame should be mounted to the boat through the use of an appropriate bimini mount.