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T-Top on 18 foot CC - worth it?

Old 12-15-2016, 07:10 PM
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Default T-Top on 18 foot CC - worth it?

I have an 18 foot Pioneer with a bimini top. I rarely use the bimini because it is in the way when fishing... I am considering replacing the bimini with a t-top. I would really like the shade at the helm, the rod holders, and spreader lights you can have with a t-top. I am concerned however that that a t-top on a boat this size will just be in the way just like the bimini is. I appreciate hearing the pros-cons of a t-top on a boat this size.
Old 12-15-2016, 07:20 PM
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I have a custom 5x7 on my 18' Grady. Best thing I have in the boat. It will work fine. And for the people who say they will get in the way they are wrong. Clearance issues aren't an issue since you can get them with breakaways like I got. Not cheap but worth it if your storing in a garage. The Bimini I had on my last boat always got in the way, this doesn't. I've never had an issue in my boat. Go for it.

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Last edited by wizness; 12-15-2016 at 09:23 PM.
Old 12-15-2016, 07:30 PM
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Pro: you'll have a t-top
con: can't think of one, unless you actually love messing with the bimini.

I had a bimini on my old key west...there were times I seriously considered launching out to sea...later I went with a T-top and it dramatically improved the boat....By the way OP, that is a sweet looking rig you have there.

Last edited by SeeSalt; 12-15-2016 at 07:56 PM.
Old 12-15-2016, 07:44 PM
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Can't think of a single con.

Had one on an 18' seacraft a while ago it was awesome.

I had a 17' aquasport with a Bimini once. Bimini came off and lay against the fence til the day I sold it.
Old 12-15-2016, 07:49 PM
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The only con for a T-top/hardtop for me is garage clearance; so I went bimini (dual console though). If you have no clearance issues, then no downside (or very little). You could also consider one of the folding T-tops so you could easily remove and replace it...or fold it down for clearance, but I have heard mixed reviews on those.......
Old 12-15-2016, 08:02 PM
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No drawbacks. I had a custom one built for my 18ft Carolina skiff. Best mod I had. There's a guy on here I think Pioneer180 who had a custom one built for his Pioneer. I'm sure he would post some pics.

Last edited by wmflyfisher; 12-15-2016 at 08:13 PM.
Old 12-15-2016, 08:06 PM
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Only thing that might could happen is lose enough rpms to need a change in prop pitch. Might lose 200 rpms on WOT rpms.

My brothers SH bayboat with an after market canvas top lost about 200 rpms on WOT and around 2 mph WOT slower. No big deal.
Old 12-15-2016, 08:12 PM
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Sand bar boat t top it
Fishing boat, might work if ya fish alone or vertical jig
Old 12-15-2016, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kenner 23 View Post
Sand bar boat t top it
Fishing boat, might work if ya fish alone or vertical jig
We jig, troll and cast all the time. No problem.
Old 12-15-2016, 09:52 PM
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With a T-top you can walk around it holding your fishing rod with the line in the water, Bimini you can't. It's nice to have a place to get out of the direct sun.
Old 12-16-2016, 02:49 AM
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You will love it !
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:57 AM
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Get yourself a "Fishmaster" T-Top. Good price, excellent quality, great customer service.
Old 12-16-2016, 05:06 AM
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Burn the Bimini, just make sure you take it off of the boat first.
Old 12-16-2016, 05:12 AM
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I disagree with some of the posts. I love the bimini top on our bay boat but Parker did it right when setting it up. I have two separate sets of quick connects on the gunnels for it to attach. One towards mid ship that are used when we want to use the top and then two more about a 1/3 back from the bow that we use for storage. In the storage position, I can use my trolling motor, anchor locker, and casting deck with no problem.

I am from a long line of fair skinned people, so we need more shade than a t-top can offer and we also wanted to be able to fish. Kind of stumbled on this set up since we bought the boat used, but it works perfectly.

Bimini in the open position.

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Still leaves plenty of room for lounging around, fishing, etc... when it is stowed or deployed.
Old 12-16-2016, 05:43 AM
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Fishmaster and don't look back!
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5-10 minutes and she's in the garage.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:52 AM
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I put one on my cobia 196 and love it. Only issue for me is my boat only has 115 yami and with 4 people on board it's really slow to plane since I put it on. Once up on plane, not a problem. I much prefer the t-top to the bimini.
Old 12-16-2016, 06:09 AM
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My Bimini is set up the same way as Yours SRQ, it is always in the way when fishing, but it provides great coverage from sun and rain and is very sturdy. I told the wife it was going to be the first thing I removed when I bought the boat, until the first day out in 95 degree weather and baking sun, it got opened quickly and hasn't been removed yet. The ttop provides less square footage and less protection but is more functional for rod storage and no straps and poles in the way. But you're going to get wet in rain and shade is minimal unless noon overhead.

YT, that is a great setup on your Bimini. They did it right on yours and it lays down in just the right spot out of the way of all hatches. Very nice.

Some ttops look stupid on an 18' if they are too big. Wiznes' is very proportional and looks nice. It is shading the dock at that time of day though. A Bimini would do a little better due to width and turned down sides. Probably have your head out of the sun only though.

Heres mine deployed at the sandbar cove. Good shade but damn all those poles and straps.

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Old 12-16-2016, 08:28 AM
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I have one on my Robalo r180. Plenty of room to cast. Plus you get some storage with a bag hanging underneath.
Old 12-16-2016, 08:38 AM
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I'm thinking about adding one as well. My boat is a little bigger, 20 foot, but I think I've decided to go with a fishmaster either this winter or next.

When I bought the boat it had a Bimini installed. They're great for shade, but constantly in the way when fishing. I removed it from the boat this season and never even considered re-installing.
Old 12-16-2016, 12:08 PM
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I had them on small CCs I owned and they were more of a rod holder rack than useful for any viable shade. Unless it's noon in the middle of the summer you don't get much more shade than wearing a ball cap.
Pros: Looks cool, rods, lights, antennas and electronics if with box
Cons: Increased fuel, cost, reduced top end and cruise speeds as well as overhead clearance

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