Forum: WHALER
  ContinuousWave
  Whaler
  Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
  Installing Bimini / Sun Top On a Nauset

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Installing Bimini / Sun Top On a Nauset
SpeedBump posted 12-30-2003 10:13 AM ET (US)   Profile for SpeedBump   Send Email to SpeedBump  
My Mills Suntop has arrived and one of my winter projects is to get it installed properly. I have done a search and have read some interesting posts on the subject including Jimh's install on his 15, but of course I have a few questions for those that have installed a Mills sun top or Bimini on a Nauset or early Montauk.

The top has a SS frame and blue sunbrella with a boot cover for stowing when folded down. I understand the recomended installation is to have it stow forward in the bow. My boat has side rails but doesn't have a bow rail.

I understand the mounting of the top hardware will be on the top side of the gunwales. I would prefer to have the top stow aft between the engine well and the stern seat I have installed and outside of the side rails. I prefer this to avoid clutter and blocked locker access in the bow. To do this type of install do I need longer tracks and if so how long?

When installing the hardware on the gunwales should 3M 4200 be used under the fittings for added strength?

Any Recomendations would be greatly appreciated for the placement and installation techniques.

whalersman posted 12-30-2003 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     
SpeedBump,

I prefer to have the Sun Top mounted forward on top of the gunwales and in front of the bow rail. Even though you don't have a bow rail, the forward position would keep the top completely out of the way as it does not cover the bow locker in this position. I believe his sliders are 3 feet in length so it will go completely forward.

Here is a link to a friend of mines boat. Don't pay much attention to the first photo as the top was temporarily installed backwards..
www.sisqtel.net/~blewis/Montauk/montauk.html

The top, mounted aft, for me would be in the way and stand more of a chance of getting dirty from the engine and hoses etc..

If you choose to mount it aft, I would suggest laying the folded top where you want it to be and mark the mounting position with a pencil. Then, with the help of a friend, place the top where it should be in the raised position.. Mark the mounting spot with a pencil... Measure the distance between your pencil marks, add a few inches, and this is how long your sliders should be...

The original tops were mounted forward but inside the boat and did cover the bow locker... The newer design I feel is much better.

Good Luck and let us know how it comes out.

SpeedBump posted 12-30-2003 03:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Whalersman thanks for the pictures. it appears that the frame is wider than the rub rail when stowed forward. Is this correct or just looks that way from the angle of where the picture was taken from.

If the frame is inside of the rub rail having it this far forwward would be a good compromise and perhaps cutdown on some of the spray that comes over the bow in heavy weather.

Thanks for the reply.

whalersman posted 12-30-2003 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     
Everything is inside the rub rail right on top of the gunwale. Measure the width of your boat where the sliders are going to be, subtract about 4 to 6 inches and this is how wide the frame should be.. This will give you a couple of inch taper from the mount to the top.

You do "not" want the frame wider then the distance between the center of the gunwales of the boat.

SpeedBump posted 01-02-2004 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Slight change in the suntop specs. The one sent from Mills has no track, it is a fixed point hinge and from the install directions it appears it mounts inside the top sides @1" below the gunwales and @ 6" forward of the forward side rail mount.

In the unmounted static position the SS frame is @ 88" wide and I believe the beam of the boat is 74". When pulling the two mounting points, SS Eyes, of the frame together to the 74" dimension there seems to be a lot of outward pressure. When mounting inside the topsides that wouldn't seem to be an issue as the outward pressure will be resisted by the topsides, but mounting on top of the gunwales I would think there would be a tendency to pull the fitting off of the gunwale deck. I recall reading else where some one also had this problem with a frame that was wider than his boat. I assume the frame which is bent outward @ 15 degrees in the last foot of the frame towards the terminal end is correct and is intended to stow forward above the front lockerinside the topsides not on the rubrail or Gunwales. The taper from the three top bows appear correct towards the terminal ends on both sides and the top is @ 55" wide wherethe sunbrella is fastened.

Can this style of top be mounted on sliding tracks and if so where can one get the tracks and do you mount them inside the topsides like the fixed point hinge or on top of the gunwales ouside of the side rails?

whalersman posted 01-02-2004 03:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     
Speed,

There were different variations of the mounting of the Sun Top through the years... I didn't know you had ordered the inside the rail style. The inside the rail was used on the Montauk up until around 1999 and then they changed to the outside mounting on top of the gunwales and using a slider.. I believe yo have to order the specific style you want..

With the original style, the bottom of the legs were bent to clear the bow rail as it dropped down inside and forward..

I misunderstood you when you said you were going to mount this "on the top side of the gunwales".. With your style as you mention, the mounting point is on the inside between the side rail and the bow rail.. This is how this style mounts and I don't think you can change it..

Rick Dewees posted 01-02-2004 04:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rick Dewees  Send Email to Rick Dewees     
Speedbump,

I am in the same situation with the same top on my '77 Montauk, except I have the front rails to deal with. I believe the pre '96 Mills Suntop for the Montauk all have a narrow "top" as you mentioned and a reverse curve transition in the frame ends making the attachment points of the frame fit between the front and rear rail stanchions with the majority of the frame inside the rails when folded down. In my case, because of the stanchions, it is physically impossible to use any kind of slider. Newer, post-'96 Suntops and most aftermarket ones have a straight frame and the whole top can be either inside or outside the rails, allowing for the slide mechanism. Without front rails, I believe that you may be able to use some kind of side mount slide system mounted to the inside of the gunnel, but the major portion of your top frame, because of the narrower top portion, will still store between the gunnels and not on top.

Although not my preference,and in concurrance with Joe, I have accepted not having a slide capability, but still have a couple of other concerns that we may share:

1. I also have a new top with ss frame ends wider than the gunnels. As you said, this puts an outward pressure on the mounts/hinges, puts a bow in the frame and might not be structurally sound in some cases. Would it be difficult or inadvisable to bend the ss frame to a slightly different angle to alleviate the problem? How do you do it?

2. Because I don't wish to drill unnecessary holes in my boat, I have temporarily mounted the top in the original '77 hinges located on the ledge on the gunnel attached to a teak block. I would like to get the top up about 4" higher and would prefer to find a way to attach a side mount hinge on the front vertical part of the side rails. Does anyone know of a source for such a piece of mounting hardware? I've seen plenty of top hinge mounts on horizontal rails, but not side mounts on the vertical. Any ideas?

SpeedBump posted 01-02-2004 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Rick and Whalersman- Thanks for your insight to this little problem. The top I received is correct for the nauset,eastport,sakonett and early montauk.

The only problem I see in taking some of the width out of the static shape of the frame is getting the angle of the terminal ends corrrect. a tubing bender such as used with conduit would easily make the bend but unless you have some experience with this it could be disasterous.

I will be visiting West Marine and be looking at their tracks and fittings. Since I don't have a bow rail and do not intend on installing one I think a 12-16" side mounted track inside of the gunwales/topside will allow me enough movement to get the frame all the way forward when stowed and still avoid the problem of outward tension on the mounting points. Any tension will be against the track and fasteners not across it where it will pull out. This will help keep the top out of the way. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to stow it aft the frame taper at the top of the three bows isn't wide enoungh to fit outside of the side rails or outside of my eastport style stern seat.

BTW whalersman- was the top in your friends boat installed backwards for a reason or simply a mistake that took a while to recognize?

whalersman posted 01-02-2004 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     
Speed,

We installed the top backwards only because it would not lay flat when stowed. We need to put a bend in the lower main legs so it will lay flat on the gunwale when mounted properly. This is an aftermarket top purchased from Cablea's I believe.. A nice inexpensive top but needs that minor adjustment on the main lower legs..

If we turned this top around properly, it would lay flat when folded down towards the stern. It would also clear your stern seat (if there is enough room between the seat and the engine when the engine is tilted) and rest on top of the gunwales..

In the past I have mentioned another option for stowing the top forward when a bow rail was present. My Sun Top on my 1978 Montauk was the same style as you have.. Inside the boat... Here is what I did..
I had quick disconnects (thumbs screws) at the two mounting points. I then lifted the top out and over and in front of the bow rail like the newer models. I then tied the top to the rail stancheons at 2 points... It layed flat on the gunwales and could not go anywhere. It was really easy to put back up again when needed... I didn't use my top that much and this worked for me...

Here are some photos of my former Montauk.
www.sisqtel.net/~jkriz/Montauk/montauk.html
The first photo shows how mine was mounted inside. Mine did not have the bends.
The 3rd, 4th, and 5th photos show the top stored outside the bow rail except for the very end of the legs which were tied to the inside bow rail stancheons. It worked great for me but I had the bow rail...

SpeedBump posted 01-02-2004 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Rick - I browsed the West Marine catalog for Biminie Fittings. Taylor makes a stainless rail fitting for 7/8" and 1" rails that could be mounted on the top of the side rail or the front leading edge of the rail just above the standoff. they are $28.00 each but you don't have to disassemble the rail to install. West model # 467954 and taylor #11749 for 7/8" and #11750 for 1" rails. They would probably give you the additional height you are looking for and take the outward pressure of the bows.

I think I may start out trying these as I wont have to do any drilling for the mounts.

Rick Dewees posted 01-02-2004 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rick Dewees  Send Email to Rick Dewees     
SpeedBump,

I've seen them before and considered the possibilities. They might work well on a horizontal rail but am not sure of the clearances needed for a vertical rail mounting, since the SS end cap attaches at a severe angle. Look at this web site for possible better prices on the item though:

http://bosunsupplies.com/products2.cfm?product=DL7801

I can't explain the price differences considering they are both 316SS. At <$9 each, it might be worth the risk.

Has anyone seen a side mount hinge installed on a vertical rail?

SpeedBump posted 01-02-2004 10:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Nice fittings. the DL version looks just like the Taylor unit and is @ the same price. Given the taper at the mounting point for the bimini there is probably a greater angle of position aft but thinking about it more the verticle rise of the rail would prevent the Bimini frame from extending back.

You would need to have the point of attachment offset either inside or outside of the rail if used on the verticle part of the siderail. Perhaps a longer bolt with a 1" SS or nylon bushing would do the trick for the offset so the frame would bypass the side rail on either the inside or outside..

SpeedBump posted 01-06-2004 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Was able to speak with Bob at Mills this week. It appears that the installation for this version of Suntop, the OEM top for the Nauset-Eastport-Sakonnet and early Montauk, can not be successfully modified. The only possible modification would be a track mounted on the inside of the topsides but Bob did not recommend this.

The fixed mounting point allows the main bow of the frame to rest against the side rails at the proper angle when in the raised position. The frame has two large rubber bumpers that will rest on the rail which helps support the entire unit. The extra bow in the unmounted static position is normal and the lateral force would indeed pull the screws of a deck mounted or Top of Gunwales mounting out. So much for stowing this aft..

I also learned that if you put one or two twists in the forward and aft webbing stays it keeps them from fluttering in the wind.

Thanks to all for their input on this. will try to get some pics posted after the install is completed.

Rick Dewees posted 01-06-2004 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rick Dewees  Send Email to Rick Dewees     
SpeedBump,

Thanks for the update.

The instructions that came with the top call for a pair of 3/8" holes to be drilled on each side, and to use the well nuts supplied. This is according to instructions specific for my hull number, prior to 3C2126. A pair of 3/8" holes about 1" apart is a little severe and I'm very reluctant to do the kind of drilling into the hull of this boat.

My original ss hinges are similar to Joe's on his '78, except mine, like others I've seen, were mounted on 1"x1"x4" teak blocks. After reading your post, though, I'm now considering attaching a small teak block to each side at the specified location with an adhesive (4200?) and drilling into it to attach the ss side hinges, thus avoiding drilling big holes in my hull. If the blocks are installed at the specified location, I expect it should provide the correct results.

Any thoughts?

Rick

SpeedBump posted 01-07-2004 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Rick- I have the same mounting issues as you with my hull, now wood in trehplace the bracket mounts just foam... I understand your concern about the size of the holes for a 2" long mounting bracket. Keep in mind that as the well nut is tightened it expands on the inside of the fiberglass and mushrooms out creating a very tight seal.

I like your idea of the teak blocks, you may want to measure carefully to ensure the additional offset of 3/4" on each side due to the mounting block doesn't preclude the main frame bow from properly resting on the side rails for support when raised.

If the 3/8" holes are of concern why not just 3M 5200 the SS hinge bracket in place and forgo the screws? You could use tape to hold the mount in place as the 5200 cures and that certainly would not go any where once dry, then you don't have to worry about holes in the hull or an excessive offset in the frame mounting point from the teak blocks.. You could also use self tapping screws and the 5200 sealant. The screw simply gives a finished look to the mount and the adhesive sealant does all the work holding the mount in place.

SpeedBump posted 01-07-2004 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
Lets try this again -- fingers got ahead of my thought process ;-).

Rick- I have the same mounting issues as you do with my hull, there is no wood in the top sides where the bracket mounts just foam...

I understand your concern about the size of the holes for a 2" long mounting bracket. Keep in mind that as the well nut is tightened it expands on the inside of the fiberglass and mushrooms out creating a very tight seal.

I like your idea of the teak blocks, you may want to measure carefully to ensure the additional offset of 3/4" on each side due to the mounting block doesn't preclude the main frame bow from properly resting on the side rails for support when raised.

If the 3/8" holes are of concern why not use 3M 5200 to mount the SS hinge bracket in place and forgo the screws? You could use tape to hold the mount in place as the 5200 cures and that certainly would not go any where once dry, then you don't have to worry about holes in the hull or an excessive offset in the frame mounting point from the teak blocks.. You could also use self tapping screws and the 5200 sealant. The screw simply gives a finished look to the mount and the adhesive sealant does all the work holding the mount in place.

Rick Dewees posted 01-07-2004 08:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rick Dewees  Send Email to Rick Dewees     
SpeedBump,

Before you drill into that hull, you may want to see this:

http://www.sea-dog.com/327100.pdf

It looks like the slot holes will be sufficient to attach the ss side hinge and may give the ability for vertical adjustment up and down the side rail. The question remains about the support provided by the side rail but I may look at one of those adjustable supports anyway. For me, it is worth the risk of twenty bucks or so to find a way to avoid drilling into the hull. The bracket is available at go2marine.com but their url is too long to put on this page for the specific product.

Rick

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:


Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.