Author Topic: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?  (Read 856 times)

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Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« on: November 04, 2017, 01:24:48 PM »
First, hello. i've been lurking this site for a couple years, finally became a member. thanks for all the good reading!

Second, i have a 2012 17'SC, with a 90hp Honda. i fish rec/comm in santa barbara, tow down to mexico a few weeks every year. i am totally in love with my arima, having put about 700hrs on it since buying 22 months ago. here's my problems: boat cover's getting really crusty and needs to be replaced, bimini is wobbly/wonky (walking around the bimini feels dangerous every time, and i do it often), i've never enjoyed the bimini-post pins (rusty) and both bimini straps have snapped (replaced with trucker's hitch on cord), my izorglass/vinyl windows are getting cloudy, plus i lost the center one (doh!), i get pretty wet on windy choppy days, carrying surfboards is currently a nightmare, i carry tons of rods but wish i could keep them overhead, my wife wants me to mount a radar for the foggy crossing of the shipping lane... soooo... i'm thinking of building a hardtop. glass-over-plywood, radon/davis/anderson style, sorta like this:



i'd appreciate your thoughts. i know it'll cost money, but i'd be spending a chunk of money on the new cover/new center window/new izorglass anyway. looked at stainless t-top, prices came out really high and i can't do that myself. i know it'll add some weight, but hopefully not that much (i'm predicting about 100-150lbs new weight, as i get a little discount by removing little window and Bimini).

Offline First Cabin

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 02:10:48 PM »
Welcome to the sunshine!  I think it is a great idea, but keep it as light as possible.  Years ago while touring the Arima factory I had a conversation with Don and we discussed hardtops on smaller Arimas.  Don said that Mr. Arima would not offer it from the factory because he wasn’t comfortable with the added weight making the smaller Arimas top heavy.  I know many have added a variety of tops to all sizes of Arimas so it is done regularly but, I thought I should throw that out there for consideration.

I absolutely love the radar tower we added to our 17SC and can’t imagine not having it now.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 03:54:51 PM by First Cabin »
First:  1982 15' SeaHunter, Yamaha 70 2-stroke, Yamaha F6
Second:  1987 17' SeaRanger, Merc 90 2-stroke, Yamaha F8
Current:  2002 17' SeaChaser, Yamaha F100, Yamaha T8

Online Wiley

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 03:38:40 PM »
What about doing it over foam like a surfboard to save weight, with reinforcement in necessary areas
96 sea explorer 15'-11" new 90 etec named (wutz wuzn cuzn)
10' Don Hill Pram
 Respectfully, Build, Buy, Be American

Online GregE

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 04:48:43 PM »
Message Salmon King-  he just sold his Skiff top he built.

First Cabin's set ups is nice
Greg
Osprey 26 LC Kodak;  Arima SR 19 HT; SL 22 Honda 225
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/phpforum/index.php
Sold:  Arima SE 16 WeeBait; SH 15 WeeBoat;
SR 21 NoBait;  SL 22 ReBait

Offline Threeweight

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 05:10:17 PM »
Do a mock up to get the lines/height you want, then take it to an aluminum fab shop and have them weld you one out of .190 or .25 aluminum plate.  Will be stronger and lighter.

Ssericz had a sweet aluminum pilothouse he built himself on his 17, before he sold it.  Unfortunately it looks like Photobucket ate all of his photos... heres one I managed to pull off Google:



Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Tom Mac

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 05:47:19 PM »
A factory skip top might be a good option, I have seen a few photos of wood hard tops on smaller Arima's. Some nice, some mud fence ugly, you a good wood worker? Aluminum might be a better option as 3wt said, less bracing needed, easy to fit windows, not going to crack mounting surf boards, easily have it powder coated to match the hull.
1991 Sea Ranger 17, 2014 F90 Yamaha, 2008 T8 Yamaha

Offline Hunter

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 06:03:43 PM »
I agree with the suggested aluminum option.   I think this link below to google images might be Ssericz's boat before he sold it.   I know that boat handled well and slayed a ton of fish and lobster.   

https://www.google.com/search?q=arima+with+aluminum+pilot+house&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjo8rK2nabXAhVG6GMKHZokCYgQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=622#imgrc=UCxjHw_g4hrfyM:&spf=1509843530331

 
2001 Sea Legend 22 (Gone But Not Forgotten)
2017 Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220 ET-HT - Honda BF250 & Honda 9.9 Power Thrust
All Garmin Electronics

 "ALWAYS QUESTION AUTHORITY!!"

Offline AJFishin

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 06:09:38 PM »
 :yeahthat:


Here's some different pictures of Ssericz's boat to give you some ideas. I copied them off of chromes hack app for photobucket.



« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 06:14:25 PM by AJFishin »
'96 Sea Chaser 1511 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline Markshoreline

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 06:22:05 PM »
Ssericz’s top had excellent proportions and perfectly designed windows. A lesser design or execution would risk reducing the boat’s value.
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline Tj805

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2017, 06:49:04 PM »
I think your current design looks good .
I would be worried about the weight as well but
There are plenty of boats in my home turf running around with home made pilot hoses .
Most people I know that have done the conversion love it . And tell me the wish they had done it years before .
1987 sea ranger 17
90 hp yamaha precision blend
2014 yamaha f8

Online Wiley

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 09:20:15 AM »
Someone on here posted pictures of one they built like a cedar strip canoe, it was beautiful wood underside and color matched outside. Very well built and designed, looked great too.
96 sea explorer 15'-11" new 90 etec named (wutz wuzn cuzn)
10' Don Hill Pram
 Respectfully, Build, Buy, Be American

Online Croaker Stroker

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2017, 04:10:15 PM »
:yeahthat:


Here's some different pictures of Ssericz's boat to give you some ideas. I copied them off of chromes hack app for photobucket.





I think he had it made here.....

1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Online Croaker Stroker

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2017, 04:14:07 PM »

I’m guessing someone will want your “take-off” windows.
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline SeaPacer

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 12:09:25 AM »
Love the anderson boats! Very similar look. You carrying the boards side ways in the back like they do?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Tiderunner 18 - sold | Sea Pacer 17 - sold | Pro-Line 20' Walk - Yamaha F150

Offline OnA

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 10:07:13 AM »
Lots you can do with plywood, and why bother glassing? ;)

Offline Rokefin

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 10:22:29 AM »
Don't do it unless you construct it so it looks like it belongs!  Nothing looks worse than a look that is out of place, redneckish, or flat hashed together.... I would fiberglass it and make it look factory if you could or an easier route would be to put a skip top on it with the canvas/vinyl windows. The skip top is very sturdy to grab while maneuvering around the boat.  I would think an aluminum top may get hot in the summer months.
1989 17ft Arima Sea Chaser 2010 115 Yamaha 1995 9.9 Yamaha kicker - Bodega mostly

Offline Salmon King

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Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 07:24:28 PM »
Lots you can do with plywood, and why bother glassing? ;)

That Lund looks overloaded to me. 
That’s a heck of a lot of weight!
PLEASE...Fly your flag Proudly, and remember to thank a Vet!
9’ Pontoon (Bismarck)
8’ Pontoon (Hood)

Offline Salmon King

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Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2017, 07:25:12 PM »
Don't do it unless you construct it so it looks like it belongs!  Nothing looks worse than a look that is out of place, redneckish, or flat hashed together.... I would fiberglass it and make it look factory if you could or an easier route would be to put a skip top on it with the canvas/vinyl windows. The skip top is very sturdy to grab while maneuvering around the boat.  I would think an aluminum top may get hot in the summer months.


 :yeahthat: :yeahthat:
PLEASE...Fly your flag Proudly, and remember to thank a Vet!
9’ Pontoon (Bismarck)
8’ Pontoon (Hood)

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2017, 09:40:30 PM »
OK! That's the kinda response I'd hoped for, thanks! Some scattered thoughts:

Al looks intriguing and I hadn't thought of that, I'll look into it more, but kinda skeptical about the cost and heat. I also feel like screwing electronics and cables and pockets and junk onto aluminum just wouldn't feel right... Plus, I'd have to hire someone else, and I'm a diehard DIYer... but dang, that looks snazzy and simple... I'll see about that, nice idea.

Weight is a constant struggle but my estimates/experience so far don't seem too scary.

Yeah, I'd love to sell the takeoffs. I'll list if I don't die from resin fumes first.

My craftwork skill level is somewhere between drunken-child and blind-donkey, but my friends are classy, capable and crafty and always seem to stop in for a beer right before I really blow it... so I'm optimistic about style points thanks to their realiably good timing.

Yeah, I carry surfboards sideways, just in front of the outboard, but that really sucks for mixed-use trips and I dream of having them up top (with a dozen rods and all the gaffs/brushes/squid crowder...).

I'm off to Mexico for some family boating fun, will update y'all when I finally get started.

Thanks again and happy holidays

Offline Salmon King

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Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2017, 08:44:13 AM »
This is my SKIFF TOP I built...all glass...
The arch is Aluminum and custom made to provide support for the top.



PLEASE...Fly your flag Proudly, and remember to thank a Vet!
9’ Pontoon (Bismarck)
8’ Pontoon (Hood)

Offline Ssericz

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2017, 12:54:50 PM »
If u want any info on mine let me know it never felt top heavy and seemed to ride better with the extra weight on the bow but I will give u the awesome fuel economy was like 3mpg no more 6-8 haha but my boat was dialed and used for commercial cbass yellowtail and tuna I had a 48g bait tank 30g fuel tank and bunch of stuff

Offline JHpls

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 07:16:22 PM »
This is one great job on a custom hardtop.
1995 17' Sea Ranger
90 hp Johnson
8hp Honda

Offline JHpls

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 07:18:00 PM »
That's aluminum on a 17' ranger.
1995 17' Sea Ranger
90 hp Johnson
8hp Honda

Offline Rokefin

Re: Glass-over-plywood hardtop, what do you think?
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 08:28:04 AM »
Now that is a great look - best I have seen yet. Aluminum painted to match is the ticket.
1989 17ft Arima Sea Chaser 2010 115 Yamaha 1995 9.9 Yamaha kicker - Bodega mostly