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Old 04-07-2008, 07:47 PM
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Default Folding T-top...Any good?

I am considering purchasing a folding T-top from Fishmaster. Have any of you THTers ou there bought and installed this product on you Center Console?

http://www.fishmaster.com/products/t-top.htm

I have a 21 CC and can't stand the Bimini always getting in the way while fishing. A traditional T-top won't work beacause of height issues with my boathouse. I heard about these foldable T-tops and they seemed like a more economical option than to reframe the boathouse roof.

I would appreciate any feedback from those of you who may have one of these.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: Folding T-top...Any good?

Its awesome, very well made and engineered. Unlike alot of aftermarket stuff, it fits together well and works as described. Their top uses 1.90" tubing which makes it very solid (and brute looking), although it makes finding mounts for antennas and so on, somewhat challenging (I had to get creative with some wakeboard tower mounts).

Ill take some pictures tomorrow and get them posted up.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Thanks Viper. I read the cutomer reviews on the Fishmaster website, naturally they were all favorable ones, so I figured I would ask around on this site to get some unbiased opinions.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Looks flimsy to me. This is why the chick is in the picture. To distract you from the actual product.

Tell you what - do not pay any attention to what I say. But consider that I found a guy locally who made me a custom top to my specifications for $950 installed. It includes two nice mounting plates (made from flat wide tube - not just a plate) and other mounting locations for spreader lights and navigation lights and whatnot. It was even built to accept my electronics box. I also have three brace bars in front of the console windshield, and if I wanted to I could put a hard top on the thing and put a second console on the top. It is plenty strong enough for that.

For less than what that thing costs - and I did not have to do any work.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Lazy- Sounds like you got a good deal. Part of my problem is that the boat is in the middle of nowhwere in the Bahamas. I would have to make a long run to get to South Fl. or even a 75 mile run just to get to Nassau to have a professional install done. If I can do it myself I will save the hassle of running all that way...not to mention hundreds of $ in fuel.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

I Have A Fishmaster On My 18ft CC .... Awesome Quaility And The Welds Are Perfect.... I'am In Michigan And Don't Have Many Custom Shops Like Other Areas, Thats Why I Went The Fishmaster Route...

Jeff
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?



It looks good to me!
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Quote:
patrickg - 4/8/2008 9:40 AM



It looks good to me!
what T top,,,,
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Check out www.T-TOPLESS.com ... should solve your problem, and doesn't require ANY holes to mount, PLUS it has an integrated white navigation light.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Quote:
Lazy_Iguana - 4/7/2008 11:59 PM

Looks flimsy to me. This is why the chick is in the picture. To distract you from the actual product.

Tell you what - do not pay any attention to what I say. But consider that I found a guy locally who made me a custom top to my specifications for $950 installed. It includes two nice mounting plates (made from flat wide tube - not just a plate) and other mounting locations for spreader lights and navigation lights and whatnot. It was even built to accept my electronics box. I also have three brace bars in front of the console windshield, and if I wanted to I could put a hard top on the thing and put a second console on the top. It is plenty strong enough for that.

For less than what that thing costs - and I did not have to do any work.
"Looks flimsy to me." Lazy... What are you basing this on? Have you ever seen one in person? I think that ANYONE who has seen one in person knows that is not the case.

Find another T top that uses 1.90" Wakeboard tower tubing.... its huge

I don't know about the T-topless website, but I would find a second opinion on that before buying one.

Also, there is no problem mounting a E-Box in the fishmaster top, they have a set of brackets which are a bit steep in price, but like all of their other products, very nicely made.

Unfortunately I busted my foot this afternoon, so I couldnt get any pics. Ill try to get them tomorrow


Oh.... and the Fishmaster comes with a added gift- Their calendar, which is a must-have!
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

"Looks flimsy to me."

Just by looking at the way they are constructed, I would agree that they do not look flimsy at all. I was looking at where they fold. Does the sunbrella stretch out and cause a loose spot in this area?

It took me a while to look past the amazing woman in that pic. I wonder how they open the console door?

I agree that chicks are usually used to disguise crappy products, but even his nice product is hidden by her!
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

"Oh.... and the Fishmaster comes with a added gift- Their calendar, which is a must-have!"

http://www.fishmaster.com/products/calendar.htm

Sign me up for a t-top!! haha
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Quote:
T-Topless - 4/9/2008 9:06 AM

Check out www.T-TOPLESS.com ... should solve your problem, and doesn't require ANY holes to mount, PLUS it has an integrated white navigation light.
I like the looks of that even better. Is that your boat or a pic from their site??
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

What leads me to say "looks flimsy"? Well to be fair to the product in question, I have not seen it in person. I was just looking at the photos. And also noticing what the photos were careful to avoid showing.

However, since you asked here is what I picked out. For one, the lack of supports. Nothing to keep it from moving side to side except for the center console. Compared to this.


And then there is the lack of support front to back. The folding top has a lot of cross bars going side to side, but from what the photos show little support forward to back. As opposed to this.


Note the supports circled. The folding top lacks these totally. Also the other bars you see extend to the front, but the bag hides them. Keeping the top from moving side to side is not a problem as the frame is welded, and then supporting it is the center console AND the cross bars in photo 1.

The mounting plates are not really shown very well. I have no idea what they are. But these are flat tubes. Very strong, and if I mount something on them I can use self tapping screws or bolts, as the tube is hollow and double walled.


And finally, it is a one size fits all deal. Problem is that not all boats are the same. So while you may be able to get something to fit, it does not mean it is the best possible fit. Would you order "one size fits all" shoes? Probably not.


Of course, my top can not fold down. To make the top able to fold down requires a different design.

Of course the original poster added some very useful info that totally changes everything. His location. See where I am there are many local options, so I do not need to order something off the internet then get it to fit. Well not everyone has this ability. In this case, the person who started this thread is in the Bahamas, on what I assume is a remote island. Well in this case, options are more limited. So in that case, you do the best you can given what you have available. 75 miles each way plus the cost of a top would amount to a long boat ride, and a fair amount of expense.

But just by looking at the photos, I will stick to my original statement. $1200 plus shipping to the Bahamas is not exactly cheap. I would still at least try to find out what a custom welded top would cost at the nearest island I could get one, factor in all the costs (fuel for the round trip and so on) and then make a decision. While the folding top may not offer everything another top does, it may well offer enough for the price. The company claims a money back guarantee, which is good. Standing behind your product at least shows that the company is confident they have a decent product. But I doubt that guarantee will include shipping each way - which to the Bahamas is not going to be free.

I am just saying that the local option should never be ignored when buying stuff.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

PatrickG- Good point on the console door. Here is the answer from the FAQ section of the Fishmaster website.

"Q: Will it interfere with the side door of my center console?
A: Side doors up to 20" wide and 32" tall will be able to open normally. See the dimension drawings above. If your door is larger we include instructions to make the door easily removed by sliding out like provided on the new Boston Whalers."

Lazy- Good point on the supports needed to keep the top from swaying. I was reading the installation instructions and this is addressed with stand-offs that are bolted through the console.

http://www.fishmaster.com/pdf/Fishma...s%20Manual.pdf

See pages 9 and 10 of the manual. This should prevent swaying.

I appreciate all the feedback from everyone. I have ordered my Fishmaster top. I realize this is not a custom top, but for what I need and the ability to install myself I think this is the best option for me....Sure beats the Bimini that is on there now.







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Old 04-09-2008, 06:58 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Does anyone have any experience with the T-Topless? This looks to be an ideal solution to my desire for a T-Top on my May-Craft 1800 with solidly mounted stainless steel windshield grab bars.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

here is what I installed to serve as a top.



http://www.canvasusa.com/


john
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Quote:
jtburf - 4/10/2008 6:25 AM

here is what I installed to serve as a top.



http://www.canvasusa.com/


john
Your top dosen't look as tight as the ones on the site. Can you tighten it up and do you ave any pics of it in the stowed position?
I like this top best of all.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Seems like $500 more gets you a real custom made top that will last as long as your boat. Neither of these looks like it would hold up offshore let alone continued use inshore. You get what you pay for and I wouldn't pay for any of these.

If you need a top that will fit in a garage many quality custom builders make a jointed top that removes, not folds.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Folding T-top...Any good?

Quote:
DoorKicker - 4/9/2008 8:39 PM

Quote:
jtburf - 4/10/2008 6:25 AM

here is what I installed to serve as a top.



http://www.canvasusa.com/


john
Your top dosen't look as tight as the ones on the site. Can you tighten it up and do you ave any pics of it in the stowed position?
I like this top best of all.

I did not have it fully adjusted when I took those pictures, I'll take one today of how it is stowed and post it this afternoon...

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