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Author Topic:   Flying top storage
Taylor posted 11-29-2001 02:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for Taylor   Send Email to Taylor  
Many of the pictures I see of whalers show the flying top stored in an upright position, like an arch with the canvas furled. How is that done? Can it be done with the forward shelter?

My flying top has one strap per side going aft, and two straps forward, one from the main hoop, one lower down from the smaller strut/hoop.

I'm not sure if mine is Mills or not, I've not found any tags, but I was told it came with the boat new, its the right color, it drops forward inside the rails.

Problem is that the kids like to ride up on the bow and they keep walking or kneeling on the stowed top and forward shelter. I'm afraid they are going to bend the tubing. I'd rather not yell at them, I'd rather cary my canvas aloft.

As mentioned before, you can see my flying top on the montauk at Sorry to post the same old photo, but the weather here is not good for pictures now!

andygere posted 11-29-2001 04:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Your top looks like my Mills, although in the photo it lacks the tensioning lines that attatch the forward bow to the top of the center console rail. I don't think there is any way to store it upright unless you convert the rear tension straps to solid rods. The factory (but non Mills) bimini on my dad's Dauntless 16 is set up this way, however it does get in the way, and shakes around quite a bit in choppy conditions. Have you considered putting quick release pins in the lower hinges so you could remove the flying top completely when you don't plan to use it?
jimp posted 11-29-2001 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Taylor -

I had an 82 Montauk (1988-1996) and had no problems leaving the flying top & forward shelter down. Also fighting for space forward were 2 German Shepherds, two kids, and sometimes a large halibut (up to 160 lbs). I agree with Andygere, need solid rods for an upright configuration. I'll send you a picture of the tensioning lines he was talking about. Your top also looks to be mounted a bit further aft than mine was... the tensioning lines might not work as well.


Taylor posted 11-29-2001 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
The previous owner just handled me the canvas from the garage. What did I know? Maybe my lower straps going forward are actually supposed to be the tentioning straps you are talking about. They are loose around the small hoop, they could slide up to the front. They would help with the lateral rocking. I'll try that next time I'm out.

Andy - are you talking about pins with spring loaded balls? My lower attachment points are nylon with a machine screw through a tab. Can you get those pins small enough to replace say a #8 machine screw?

Thanks for the pictures, Jim. I pushed them up to and so others could see.

andygere posted 11-30-2001 02:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Your second photo shows the cords with sliders fastened to the console rail that I was talking about. Mine does not have the forward straps. Perhaps these were added by a previous owner. You could probably drill the hinge points out to accepts a spring/ball type quick release pin.
jimp posted 11-30-2001 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Taylor -

I think one thing you need to do is keep the top from moving. The fore & aft straps keep it from moving fore & aft (thats novel!) and the straps to the console remove side-to-side motion. Figure when you're cruising at 20-kts into a 20-kt breeze, you're pushing 40-kts over your canvas. Or, heaven forbid, you trailer down the highway with your canvas up at 55!

One of your original questions was about stowing in the upright position, or letting the kids climb over while its down. Do you have the protective boots (covers) for the bimini (flying top) and forward shelter? They do take a beating, but the stuff stays clean inside it. I'll send you another pic of a dog & kid climbing on the canvas on the deck.


Barnett Childress posted 11-30-2001 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barnett Childress  Send Email to Barnett Childress     
Great pics. I've decided to go ahead and purchase the Mills canvas system next spring for my Montauk and want to install it myself. Can any of you share any tips to help me get a good install? Especially how/ where to locate the mounting points for the flytop and forward shelter frames? Also how I can get the canvas nice and tight as shown in the pic of Jim's Montauk with the forward shelter deployed? I'm also interested in any pics you might have with the canvas stored, as I do a lot of fishing from the bow.

Jim do you have any drawings or info for the rod holder on the rail?

By the way those Montauks look fantastic & the canvas really dresses them up.

andygere posted 11-30-2001 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I'll hunt around and e-mail you some photos of my canvas, set up and stowed. One of these days I'll get my Whaler pics up on my website!
Taylor posted 11-30-2001 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Well, I won't leave these up forever, so if you are reading this thread in 2002, the links may be dead. But here is Andy's flying top and Jim's bow area with dog and child. The dog is on top of the stowed top and foward shelter. (Andy, is Namaquoit the name of the boat, or a place?)

Every one of these pictures makes me ask questions... whats this, whats that...?

On my boat, the forward shelter stores across the foward hatch, inside the rails, the flying top comes down pretty much right on top of it. Yes, Jimp, they have boots, two seperate ones. The think I've learned here is that I'm going to have to go and put up my windshield and side curtains too, and then adjust the straps on the flying top angle of attack to get everything to fit right.

andygere posted 11-30-2001 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Taking a second look at your pictures, I noticed that your flying top does not have the rear support pole that rests on the lip below the gunwale when the top is set. That explains the tensioning straps going forward. Perhaps it was modified or Mills changed their design.

Namaqoit is both the name of the boat and a place. Namaqoit point on Little Pleasant Bay (Cape Cod) has been a favorite beach/picnic/fishing spot for my family for a long time. Many happy days were spent there in my old 13, and I liked the Whaler tradition of taking boat names from New England locations. The photo was taken on the California Delta by Jim Hooper during the 2001 NorCal Rendezvous.

andygere posted 11-30-2001 04:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
That's Namaquoit, sounds like nam uh coy. I used to know how to spell and type :)
jimp posted 11-30-2001 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Looking at the 3-photos with the tops up. Taylor - yours looks like its mounted further aft (behind the forward support for the side rail?). Andy's and mine are mounted just aft of the forward rail.
Dan posted 12-01-2001 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
Whaler and Mills says not to store fly top in upright position while underway. The hardware isn't meant to handle the side to side shake. If the top is open and secured with straps -- that of course is how it was designed. The newer Whalers are too narrow in the bow to permit storing forward, and stern storage can get in the way of aft seating and prevents motor from being tilted out of the water. Just one of those things.
Tom W Clark posted 12-03-2001 02:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
First of all let me say how much I enjoy seeing those pictures of the Montauks full size. Taylor, I just love those shots of your boat at Baby Island. Andy, that shot of your boat makes it look brand new, are you sure it's a '79? Jim, where in Alaska are those photos of your boat taken?

Taylor, your canvas is not Mills. Do you know where your boat was sold originally? I would guess Hawley's in Everett. At any rate, it is rare to see real Mill's canvas out here in the PNW. Mostly the dealers had it made up locally. King Marine here is Seattle made the lion's share of it and I suspect that is what you have. Their flyingtop (or Bimini) was generally built significantly longer than the Mills and so was their forward shelter, thus the flyingtop seems further aft. Looking at your photo at Baby Island, I would say it is set up just perfectly, apart from the short straps not going to the console rail where they belong.

One of the problems with the King Marine canvas was that it was not as well thought out in terms of storage. It did not lay down as neatly within the hull as the Mills did. They also used aluminum (in the earlier versions) and nylon fittings instead of the stainless steel of the Mills. The canvas itself is (most likely) Sunbrella just like the Mills.

jimp posted 12-03-2001 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
The first two pictures are on the north shore of Great Peconic Bay in the Hamlet of Laurel, on Eastern Long Island, New York, fall of '88 (jims montauk stb side, jims montauk stern). The last one (jims montauk bow) is was taken in Womens Bay, Kodiak, Alaska. The U.S. Coast Guard Base is in the background, about 1990.

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