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Old 16-05-2017, 18:45   #16
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

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I removed the old worn out canvass and bent 4mm okume over the existing stainless frame work. Not sure if you can see in the picture.
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Old 17-05-2017, 10:37   #17
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

To the group who have responded. I really appreciate the various solutions presented and look forward to any more out there. There are a number of different ways to skin the cat and I think it is best to consider each before determining what works for us. I like those best that utilize material that does not need maintenance and further lamination etc. That has the strength to mount a couple solid panels on and one person to stand on with the proper support structure supporting.

Anyway, wanted to thank those who have replied and inspire others with solutions not presented to post what they may have used that works for their application.

Cheers - John
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Old 17-05-2017, 13:26   #18
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

[QUOTE=sailorsocal;2395111]To the group who have responded. I really appreciate the various solutions presented and look forward to any more out there. There are a number of different ways to skin the cat and I think it is best to consider each before determining what works for us. I like those best that utilize material that does not need maintenance and further lamination etc. That has the strength to mount a couple solid panels on and one person to stand on with the proper support structure supporting.



Anyway, wanted to thank those who have replied and inspire others with solutions not presented to post what they may have used that works for their application.



Cheers - John [/
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Old 17-05-2017, 13:27   #19
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

Sailorsocial...we used Divynlcell as our foam core for our new integrated dodger & Bimini. Ours was a big project. Like SVLiberty, We wanted the ergonomics of our previous soft dodger/bimini. Used 6068 aluminum (speed-rail) as super-structure. 12 ft x 9 ft rig...2 men can stand on it...comes apart in manageable sections...weighs less than 300 lbs....PM if interested in how we engineered this project-happy to share.

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Old 17-05-2017, 13:33   #20
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

...Still finishing up the glass-work before gel coating...but I built it like you would build a balsa model airplane to get the curves and profiles right-the laid the matte, structural cloth and now we are assembled and blocking/faring.
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Old 17-05-2017, 17:18   #21
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
The above's incorrect, in that if you use any of the foams commonly used in boatbuilding, they're entirely compatible with a variety of resins. It's the household type building/insulation foams which have problems with the styrene in non-epoxy resins.
The type of foam (EPS) that is used in surfboard and SUP building is not compatible. Divinicyl is $175 for a 4x8x0.5 sheet plus shipping.

But heck, I just do this for a living, what do I know?
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Old 17-05-2017, 17:57   #22
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

I am currently building our Bimini out of 6mm ply skinned with 6oz glass. Then on the edges l have used 50mm PVC pipe wrapped in 450gm double bias. There is four 50mm diameter stainless legs to support it. Not sure how much weight it will support when bolted onto the yacht. There is a fair camber in the Bimini so hopefully that helps with the panel stiffness?

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Old 17-05-2017, 18:02   #23
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

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The type of foam (EPS) that is used in surfboard and SUP building is not compatible. Divinicyl is $175 for a 4x8x0.5 sheet plus shipping.

But heck, I just do this for a living, what do I know?
EPS = Expanded Polystyrene (foam), which IS NOT compatible with polyester, & vinylester resins due to the styrene content. Said foam is quite different from that used in boatbuilding, such as Divinicyl. Which works with all resins. And in 1/2" thicknesses goes for from $3-$4/sqft

The two foams are quite different, chemically, & especially when it comes to mechanical & structural properties. Which Divinicyl generally has in spades, as opposed to EPS foams. The latter being commonly used as insulation in homes, & in their construction, in the form of Pink Board foam (& a few other colors & formats).
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Old 18-05-2017, 04:04   #24
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

I built a hard top for my Morgan 462 a few years ago. Made the frame from standard 1.5inch square aluminium tubing. To give the shape we used a grinder to cut the roof bars in two places each and bent them in before welding the cuts and grinding smooth again. Gave a nice shape to it. Framed a used solidin window in the front. A good welder was essential to process. The top is five layers of glass and matting laid over quarter inch ply covered in mould release. Rounded the corners and used press on edging. Made the curtain window panels myself and mounted 4 good solar on roof.very pleased with the space and the look. Not too boxy. But it was a project!
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Old 18-05-2017, 14:47   #25
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

I am capable of sharing a "draft" product since I received several PMs about our Hard Top Build for our Gulfstar M53 (Ketch) Center Cockpit. Too big to upload here (901 kb PDF). Hopefully it may help those thinking about tackling something like this on your own. Hard work - but well worth it (to us). Project is still underway but the boat is fully functional, operating and afloat while we are cruising now that we have the "big stuff" assembled and aboard. Please PM if you'd like a copy.

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Old 22-05-2017, 12:35   #26
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

Here is what I am seriously considering at this point. Found out that 3/16" white lexan comes in sheets 8ft wide and can be cut to any length. I will need about an 8 by 9.5' top. The lexan will let a little light in (25%) and I can add Stainless strips to the structure to provide additional support and allow for an area for walking on where the solar panels are not located. The attachment of guides etc. for enclosures would mount fine to the lexan and material can be worked with using normal tools without fiberglass work.

Any thoughts of why this would not be a valid approach?

I'll keep my fingers crossed this is sound reasoning.

John
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Old 22-05-2017, 20:38   #27
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

What benefits do you see? I see so many negatives compared to fiberglass that I don't kniw where to start... with bonding I guess... you can use 3M VSB tape but need a load bearing frame for each section... while fiberglass is self supporting.
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Old 22-05-2017, 22:10   #28
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Re: Hardtop - Materials

Lexan = Heavy, Floppy, Expensive, Skating Rink so where are the perks? Go either with cored construction, or plywood.
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Old 19-09-2017, 10:08   #29
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Hardtop - Materials

For those interested in an update on the aforementioned DIY Divynacel cored hard top/dodger for the Gulfstar M53 Ketch - updated photos attached.Click image for larger version

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