building a tee top

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by flatheadhunterx, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    anyone ever tried to build a tee top if so send ideas I am gonna try to make one for my pontoon that lets down when hauling and putting under my shed and lets up while fishing. thx
     
  2. DCcatfisher

    DCcatfisher New Member

    Messages:
    136
    State:
    North Carolina
    I looked into building one for the guy I bought my boat from for the new boat he had purchased. He was wanting to trade out a 24hr offshore charter with a guy he knew down at the coast for me and another guy to buy the material and build it if we could do it for less than around $600. He said he could buy one pre-built for around that and if we couldn't do it any cheaper he would just buy one. The design he had was similar to what you see on alot of off-shore and bay boats with the 4 uprights bolted to the floor and a rectangle frame up top with rod holders on it, all made from stainless tube. I got the shop manager at the weld and fab shop were I was working at the time to call all of our steel suppliers and get me up a rough estimate on just material. It was going to run around $800 just in material and that was at the discount prices the place I worked could get it from. I guess you really couldn't consider labor because we were going to build it after work in the afternoons and had all the fabrication and machine shop equipment we needed, all free of charge. I am not trying to discourage you, just giving you a little heads up as to what you might run into. Hope you have better luck at it than I did. If you get it built you'll have to post up some pictures. If you don't care about the flashiness of stainless you may be able to build something out of sch 40 pvc pipe, especially if you or someone you knows has access to a plastic welder. That would definetly save some $$$$.
     

  3. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    I know just about zip about it, but it seems to me that many of these are "overbuilt".

    I guess if you are towing toys, it would have to be beefy, but just for a light hard top or bimini??

    I am playing with a similar idea for a half top on my cuddy. Thinking maybe some square aluminum "tube", but the "folding" has me beat right now.
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    They have to be beefy for the pounding they take on and off the water.
    70 MPH wind hitting it going down the highway with the ocassional pot hole and then the beating and banging on the water.
    And guess what. They still break. Seen more then a couple broke professionally built T-tops. It happens.

    T-top and tuna tower fabrication is a pretty good sized industry in NC.
    I'd love to build custom tops and towers for a living but the pay is dismal considering the skill involved.

    This subject has been bantered about on all the boat building websites quite a few times and the general consensus is you cant replace professionally built with home built in this case unless you have the skills and specialized equipment.
    We had a bender at work that is made to do this type of thing. It's relatively small and lightweight. You could put 3 of them in the back of a pickup. Not much to it really but it still costs 36 grand. Plus they are heating the pipe before and during bending. I would assume so as not to weaken the steel in the bends.

    Danzig, on your boat I would hard top it with foam core like the tops on some of the "picnic" type lobster boats. Slight curvature to shed water off the sides of the boat. Makes a nice lightweight top.
     
  5. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    I have the top and uprights already they are 3 inch alum tubing, and they are gonna somehow be mounted to the floor. the top is about 3ft by 5 ft. got to figure out how to mount the uprights to the top and to the floor. I know that the top its gonna have to have pins so that it can lay back just havent figured out the brackets yet. so far got 40 dollars and about 2 hrs welding invested so not to bad yet. my old boss man has a fabrication shop so that is where I do most of my work at and he is suppose to help with the hinging part prob make a smaller one with wood from here out to get all the details down.
     
  6. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    mark, it will have to be let down so I can get it under my boat shed so the highway speed isnt a big issue, and also it is on a pontoon so it wont be hitting any waves at a high rate of speed. I know they break but I am just trying to get alittle shade without a bimini top that gets in the way of fishing and had a hard top but didnt like it either.
     
  7. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "Danzig, on your boat I would hard top it with foam core like the tops on some of the "picnic" type lobster boats. "

    "picnic" type"? I do not think I am familiar with this type boat, could you direct me to a pic, please?


    Kinda what I was thinking goes more toward the "wake board" type thing modified to shade the pilot and co-pilot seats. The windshield is too short and too weak to make an attachment point I reckon.
     
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Good luck.
     
  10. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Thanks for the pics!

    "If thats the case with the windshield,... "

    Nah, the plans already bumping up against what I spent for the boat in the first place, I reckon it will have to stay for a while.

    I can appreciate your perfectionist attitude but in this case, good enough will be good enough. I just need it to work.

    This boat is all for me, it'll be just fine if small children and yuppies run screaming when the see it!:wink::smile2:
     
  11. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
  12. bdporch

    bdporch New Member

    Messages:
    76
    State:
    tennessee
    Ok think about this...... aluminum tubing drill a hole close to bottom so it can pivot up and down bolt through top rail of boat...... place stop to keep from over pivoting....... lock in place with a couple of barrell latches....... not pretty but functional my friend did his that way for shell cracker fishing.....hope this helps. im gonna start a project of my own this weekend replacing roted out plywood seats already did transom........gonna use angle iron across seats at one foot intervals use 1x12 treated for floring im really cheap lmao...........good luck .
     
  13. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Quit being such a tight wad and turn that Sylvan into a micro yacht.
    You can't take it with you.
    Little glass, little plywood, little epoxy, little foam core, and month in dry dock.
     
  14. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
  15. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "Quit being such a tight wad and turn that Sylvan into a micro yacht."

    LOL!! That's beer money you are talking about neighbor!!:wink::smile2:

    With a bit of luck, she will hit the water at less than $1600 out of pocket, purchase price included.
     
  16. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The idea is to make people offer you 5 times what you paid for it not run from it.:wink:
     
  17. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Mark, you must have missed the part where I said this one is just for me.

    A wee bit of redneck selfish self indulgence. :big_smile:
     
  18. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Everything I own is for sale. Even the self indulgences.
    7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
    If somebody wants it more then I do I'll certainly let em hold it.:wink:
     
  19. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    And that is fine,,,, for you.:big_smile:

    I do occasionally "trade" as they say around here, but that is business to be kept separate. My total mercenary days are in the past. I used to be "all about the dollar" legal or extra-legal, it made me feel like a prostitute and I did not care for that.

    I am much happier now.:big_smile:
     
  20. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    It dont have nothing to do with being all about the dollar.
    It has all to do with economics.
    So you dump the Sylvan for 5 times what you paid for it. You step up in the world with a 25 foot Egg Harbor at no cost.

    Hopefully a fool will come along that wants that more then you do and you wind up in a 33' Pursuit.

    I'd change boats weekly if I could find enough fools.