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Need help / recommendations on T-Top modification

Hey guys,
A friend of mine, who is a lurker here, recently moved into a canal house on Merritt Island. He has a Mako with a t-top that is too high to pass under the Banana River Drive when the rainy season gets going and levels rise. He is looking at what he can do to lower the height of the top in order to be able to fish in the wet season. The top itself is 7 ft bow to stern and approx seven ft high. He needs to be able to get at least a foot lower. Closer to the top of the windshield, more like a foot and a half if possible. Has anyone here modified a t-top to fold down? Is this a scrap it and install new situation? Is there a local shop/contractor who can provide some direction? The boat is very nice, both quality and price are a concern. He doesn't want to end up with a rickety rattletrap and he doesn't want to break the bank. Any input or direction from the forum would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Replies

  • BubbaBubba Posts: 204 Deckhand
    Blue points in titusville is topnotch. My poling platform was too tall to fit in my garage, they took care of it looked nice and price was right.
  • Capt. Tyler VollmerCapt. Tyler Vollmer Posts: 414 Officer
    All of my work has come from BT's Welding. It could be something as simple as making it a "break away tower". They can hook that up.
  • copoutcopout Posts: 144 Officer
    All of my work has come from BT's Welding. It could be something as simple as making it a "break away tower". They can hook that up.
    what he said!!
  • Off Shore DudeOff Shore Dude Posts: 303 Deckhand
    Many of us in Merritt Island have this same issue. If I want to get under the 520 bridge near Kiwanis Island, I need either a folding T or bimini.

    Stryker has T-tops that are folding. I haven't read any reviews on these but I would hope modifying your existing T would be cheaper.
  • BeckBeck Posts: 2,332 Captain
    Weld in a hinge on the front leg, and coupler on the rear leg that would allow the top to fold to get under the bridge.

    It looks like it could be done easily just under the front cross bar and above the side cross bars.

    Like said above, Stryker and Fishmaster both make folding T tops. I have a Fismaster on my boat, and the hinges work fine and are quick. I would stick with what he has and add some hinges.


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  • Fool's GoldFool's Gold Posts: 169 Deckhand
    Bluepoints in Titusville, they will probably cut all 4 legs on the upper portion and install allen heads so the front or back can be removed, folded down and then put back up after passage. This is what they did to a polling platform for a friend of mine, they have also repaired some welds on my t-top, excellent job in both cases.
  • dennisf02dennisf02 Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Yea, all good advise. They will just cut all 4 legs and weld in the hinge fittings that fasten with allen head machine screws. You can buy the hinge fittings to match the pipe diameter. I have the same set-up on my folding crows nest. One thing you will have to figure out though is the antenna wires. They will have to be routed outside the hinge and have enough slack in them to make the turn when you fold down the top. I would just drill a hole to exit the pipe below the hinge and another one above the hinge and route the wires outside the hinge a short distance. Cover the exposed wires in that black flexible wire sheath stuff (not sure what it's called) so they don't chafe.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out
  • gandrfabgandrfab Posts: 21,653 AG
    All of my work has come from BT's Welding. It could be something as simple as making it a "break away tower". They can hook that up.

    This would take 4 fittings, getting used to taking the top on and off may take a few trys but once you have done it a few times it becomes easy. And give the most clearance.


    Beck wrote: »
    Weld in a hinge on the front leg, and coupler on the rear leg that would allow the top to fold to get under the bridge.

    It looks like it could be done easily just under the front cross bar and above the side cross bars.

    This would take 4 fitting and be much easier to use. But once the the front of the T-top makes contact that is all you will get with out taking out 2 more bolts.

    All the shops I have seen mentioned are worthy of the work he needs, shameless plug I also have been doing that kind of work for 12 years.

    I would say go with hinging it, it will still be removable if need be.
    And have the wires on quick connects near the hing point in case it has to be removed.
    Gestapo 

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