Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
OUTRAGE 25 CUDDY: Custom Hard Top
|Author||Topic: OUTRAGE 25 CUDDY: Custom Hard Top|
posted 09-13-2010 05:18 PM ET (US)
I am working on some plans for a custom canvas enclosure for my 25’ Outrage Cuddy. I really love the look and functionality of the Mills Weather systems for the standard Outrage boats, however, I’m not thrilled with the designs I’ve seen for the Outrage Cuddy models.
Currently I am still in the ideation stage – and as such, money is no object. I’m just trying to get some thoughts together for what would be functional and aesthetically pleasing.
To complicate this process, I am also looking for more room…not on the boat, but on the console – for devices, radios, antennas, etc.
I really liked my arch on my 18, and will probably install a radar arch on the 25 no matter what – but I’m wondering if I can get away with a unique modification.
I'm addressing this now so that I can spend wisely on canvas moving forward and not waste too much material/money in the process. It is likely that at least some of the canvas enclosure will come before the arch/top modification is made.
This summer I briefly cruised with 6992Whaler – John Raby. John has a 1969 16’7” hull and a 1992 23’ Walkaround that has a very cool factory hard top/arch combo that houses not only his antennas, etc, but also his electronics. The added space this would provide on my console would be appreciated!
Photo of John’s 23’ Walkaround with Hardtop
Question – in general, and with no other canvas flown on a 25’ Outrage Cuddy, would this kind of top look right? I envision either an arch with a hard top like this, or perhaps with a trampoline top over part of it with an electronics box in front to save weight.
Again, this is ideation phase so thoughts are welcome.
Here is my boat in its current, not-yet-restored/modified condition:
Note, for the sake of ideation – the boarding ladder on the stern will also be removed, so those “lines” will not be present.
posted 09-13-2010 07:25 PM ET (US)
Have you seen this on Cetacea page 67? http://continuouswave.com/whaler/cetacea/images/67/ localOutrageCuddy640x480.jpeg
It looks pretty good without canvas. Adding the canvas would be the tricky part, but I think it could be well done with the right color - something in tan or black, not that god-awful Pacific Blue (says the guy with the most Jockey Red canvas ever used on a single boat).
posted 09-13-2010 08:28 PM ET (US)
I think a question to be asked is "What are the experiences of people who have "Hard/T-tops" on their larger Whalers that tow them? I know there was no issue with the Radar Arch on your 18 but what will the height difference be on a 25' Outrage with Radar Arch or T-Top be?
I heard somewhere in the past about "sailing effect/flying effect" from people with T-tops who trailer a lot, which Dave does.
I too like the idea of having some of the electronics above your head for sight line & hearing purposes, not to mention as Dave said, storage & clearing off the console top.
Also I think it is much different connecting a weather canvas enclosure to a T-top/hard top than having a Mills type weather shelter under an arch that may also attach to the arch (turnbuckles like on Outre") to stabalize it.
I do like the way the windshield, side, & drop curtains on Johns Walkaround slide into a track on the hardtop instead of snapping and/or zipping to the top
posted 09-13-2010 08:35 PM ET (US)
I think a hard top could be a very nice addition to many classic Boston Whaler boats, but in order to maintain the whole aesthetic of the classic Boston Whaler, the hard top would have to be done just right. Here is my thinking:
--first, the hard top would have to be light weight. I envision a custom hard top that was fabricated from light woods, thin panels, and given a coat of epoxy and cloth to add strength. The top would be very light and never designed to tolerate much weight on the surface--you could never walk on it. I see it built like an airplane wing. It blocks the sun and rain, and is strong enough to withstand high wind loads, but it is not very heavy;
--next, the hard top has to be aesthetically pleasing and fit with the overall style of the classic Boston Whaler. It has to have curves that are very nicely drawn and proportioned. It cannot have many straight lines or square corners that stick out awkwardly;
--the support structure that will hold it up has to be very carefully designed. There should be strong tubular frames, with graceful bends, that attach the hardtop to the hull in a manner that prevents any obstruction of visibility, but gives excellent support.
It is a tall order. If you had the right design, I think you could fabricate the top for not too much cost. Since it would be light, there would not be a lot of material. Epoxy resin could turn simple materials like a canvas fabric into a strong material for making the surface of the top.
posted 09-13-2010 08:44 PM ET (US)
As Pat mentions, the disadvantage of a fixed hardtop is the increased vertical clearance required all the time and the added wind loading when towing. Since boats are often towed at much higher speed than they can reach on the water, the strength of the hard top would have to made great enough to tolerate wind loads of 70-MPH or more in order to survive highway towing at Interstate speeds into strong headwinds.
posted 09-13-2010 09:19 PM ET (US)
I am interested to see where this thread leads.
I have seen several 27 Center Console Cuddies with hardtops that have looked nice, and allowed for canvas enclosures. In my opinion, they looked far better than the Mills canvas I have seen for the center console cuddies.
I have never seen a hard top on a 22/25 Outrage Cuddy, just T-Tops.
I will try to find some pictures of what I have seen. It may not be what you want, but they may give you some ideas.
posted 09-13-2010 09:23 PM ET (US)
A forward facing arch would allow for an electronics box over head of the console, provide you with a place for the antenna to mount along with the immanent radar dome / array. It also still allows for a complete foul weather enclosure and a place for the large canvas bows to stow against when not in use.
This sort of design could also be done with a hard top and you could have weather curtains that drop from it. See the bottom middle of page two for the optional Hardtop Arch.
posted 09-13-2010 09:33 PM ET (US)
Look at the Outrage 32 Cuddy top.
Or have the top experts design and make one for you.
You said money was no object. The Dougherty RAMCAP top would be nice.
|L H G||
posted 09-13-2010 11:49 PM ET (US)
Dave - You have discovered the reason why I bought the pure Outrage instead of the Cuddy when I was shopping for mine: The Mills canvas system requires a windshield way forward of the console, making it hard to see through, and an overall canvas enclosure that is large, cumbersome and not particularly attractive.
But I would stay away from a hardtop, as they are hard on trailering, extremely inflexible in application, and simply unattractive on a design like the Cuddy, and simply not Whaler of this generation boat. They could be OK on a Revenge style boat, but not yours. You'd still have a windshield way forward.
I don't think any aftermarket canvas guy is going to come up with anything pleasing from a design standpoint, at least not better than Mills. Look at what Kalbus ended up with! The Cuddy is a tough boat to enclose for all weather protection. But I have an idea for you.
I have only two thoughts as a design oriented person.
1. My 2nd choice would be to live with what Mills has done. At least you'll have true quality and it's not THAT bad.
2. My first choice would be to try making the canvas system look similar to the highly successful design of the Outrage Flying Top system, where the windshied is at the console as it needs to be. Of some intrigue, might be to start with the off-the-shelf Mills Flying Top, windshield and side curtains, the thought being to try to complete, in canvas, the back half of the Forward Shelter as it mates to all of the standard Mills items, except it would begin at the back of the cuddy shell and then meet the bottom of the windshield and side curtains. You would be duplicating the look of the much sleeker Mills shelter, but in half cuddy hard shell, and half folding forward shelter. The bows of the shelter could be on a sliding track, to stow forward of the cuddy, on the gunwale edge, when not in use. It could look good if you could find a canvas guy to do it right. If it were my boat, this is what I would do. And I would do it in Toast color sunbrella.
Than you could install a radar arch similar to mine, clearing all of the canvas. And you could use the Outrage aft, or drop, curtains also.
posted 09-14-2010 12:02 AM ET (US)
Larry's suggestion has merit. The canvas system would use mainly pre-designed and off-the-shelf components from Wm. J. Mills & Co. The only specialty item would be the forward shelter to run from the cuddy to the console. If you rigged all the other canvas and had it fitting properly, a local canvas artisan could probably make the piece to fill from windshield and side curtains to cuddy. The frame portion would probably only need one hinged bow with perhaps a second bow linked on it.
posted 09-14-2010 07:50 AM ET (US)
A custom designed one-of-a-kind top from Everglades using RAMCAP would probably cost more than a used OUTRAGE 25, and a custom designed, bent, and welded frame to support it would also be expensive. They would be nice components, but it would be more economical to buy another boat that already had them instead of getting them custom made.
posted 09-14-2010 09:22 AM ET (US)
Thanks for that Larry - that's actually exactly what I was thinking until I saw John's top at Isle Royale, which got me thinking in another direction - but still not discounting that one.
I actually already have a sketch of what that might look like - subject to a bit of refinement.
Thank you for the thoughts, and keep them coming if you have any others.
posted 09-14-2010 11:05 AM ET (US)
I had a nice T-top made for my 21 Bay boat.
Canvas area 10 ft. long by 6 ft. wide.
Total cost with extra's ( rod holders, E-box, lights,ect.)
Was $1300.00, made by a custom builder in S/W Fl.
I kept the height low enough so I could walk under the top
without "finding" the rod holder tubes with my head.
I had the canvas type, and did not have any issues towing
@ hiway speeds except for a slight decrease in mileage.
It also reduced the boats top speed by 5 MPH. But the shade & storage was worth it.
I plan to add the same to my 22' cuddy later next year.
If your "set" on the arch idea, check out the style used by Scarrab, Yellowfin, and Contender.
posted 09-14-2010 11:24 AM ET (US)
Of course money is a to be considered.
I'm thinking use a sun top on tracks as with Larry's idea so the top can be slid aft when the windscreen and forward shelter connector is to be used. As a stand alone sun top it can be moved any where along the track and locked. The radar arch just over the sun top.
posted 09-14-2010 11:53 AM ET (US)
Having a top that will fold down can save you a bunch of money if you go on a BC Ferry or if you are in piggyback dry dock storage.
posted 09-14-2010 12:36 PM ET (US)
As the owner of an Outrage Cuddy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about this same topic. Here are some considerations:
To keep the entire boat lightweight, a T-top and enclosure is the way to go. The beauty of these is that there is no fussing around. The shelter is there, the console is dry in the morning and the radio(s) are locked and out of the way all the time in the electronics box. The biggest advantage is that the gunwales are not all cluttered up with a bunch of hard top or arch mounts, flying top track and hardware, etc. There's nothing more annoying when single handing a boat or fighting a fish than having to work around a bunch or obstacles along the side of the boat. One of the nicest features of the Outrage model is the centered helm station, which allows you to easily approach a dock from either side, land and tie off without assistance. Similarly, fighting and landing a hot Chinook while manning the helm is a lot easier without all that clutter in the way, and is part of what makes these boats great.
Here's a photo of an Outrage 25 Cuddy with a gunwhale mounted hard top and enclosure.
Advantages: A lot of sheltered space; access to the cuddy cabin with the canvas up; and solid mounting for antennas; rod holders, radar domes, etc.
Disadvantages: Fully half of the 360 degree fish fighting circumference is lost, lousy access to the deck for line tending and anchoring (have you tried to anchor the boat from the cuddy hatch yet?), an absolutely huge wind profile, lousy forward visibility due to the long distance from the helm to the vinyl windshield, and last but not least, it's butt ugly.
This is what I think is a much better solution, a modest T-top with a well designed enclosure. Here's a photo of one I just happened to have handy, but I've seen many clean, well made variations on this theme.
Advantages: Plenty of sheltered space for running the boat, access to the cuddy cabin with the canvas up; and solid mounting for antennas, rod holders, radar domes, etc.; full 360 degree fishability; no obstacles on the gunwales for docking or getting in and out of the boat; No fussing with flying top adjustments and rattling hardware; easy access to the forward cooler/fish box; good visibility because the windshield is close to the helm (a glass windshield is an option); smaller wind profile; versatility (side wings easily removed); one system (as compared with an arch, flying top and curtains); decent aesthetics.
Disadvantages: Some wind profile (but less than a full gunwale mounted hard top; less sheltered area on deck;
Larry's suggestion is not a bad one, but the one downside is really losing the space between the console and the cuddy when the canvas is up. Getting to the cooler and companionway would be a crawling affair if the connector between the windshield and the cuddy shell were made low enough to provide adequate visibility.
I had a full Mills system on my Montauk, and I'll be the first to say that it was a well made, well designed system. I'll also say that it was a lot of work to set it up and to stow it, it made getting to the bow to anchor a real hassle, and as well secured as it was, it still rattled and flapped a lot in rough weather. There's simply no way to make a folding frame shelter that's as rigid as a fixed frame shelter like a T-top (or rigid shell cuddy cabin for that matter). The price for more versatility is less convenience and a less robust system underway.
Here's a photo of my 22 as rigged for towing. Note that there's not much more wind profile than a naked Outrage.
For my money, this is a pretty good looking rig, with nicely configured tubing and an appropriately sized top.
Here's another Outrage 25 Cuddy with a modified T-top. I think the aesthetics are pretty good.
Finally, here's Royce's Outrage 25 Cuddy with T-top, another good looking example of the breed.
posted 09-14-2010 01:12 PM ET (US)
I thought you already had a nice set of canvas...
posted 09-14-2010 02:14 PM ET (US)
That is funny indeed, Hart.
I think it may also be a reasonably accurate photomontage of the very concept that Larry is proposing, though perhaps scaled down due to perspective. I like it, the use of standardized Mills Canvas with minimal customized connections.
posted 09-14-2010 04:05 PM ET (US)
I too like Larry's idea, Dave had already bantered the idea around too. I think the cut down version of a forward shelter covering the area aft of the cuddy attached to a windshield closer to the helm, flytop, side curtains, aft curtain is the ticket.
The guy who did my Camperback canvas made it to attach to my existing Mills flytop, windshield, side curtains on my Revenge 22 WT. He also made some adjustments to my Mills Canvas (zippers so the flytop canvas can be removed from the framework, etc) There are plenty of guys out there who can do custom canvas work.
Incidentlly, Kevin Albus makes fun of his "Big Red Canvas" the same guy who did my camperback did Kevin's canvas, it is butt ugly, but it is a well made, quality piece of work, personally, I have always thought all of the Mills Canvas is a bit unorthodox looking, I mean Ugly, but it is functional, well made, and All Whaler, I've come to think of it as Beautifully Ugly.
While I like Andy's ideas, I think Dave tends to boat, cruise, and boat camp in harsher, colder climates so a full canvas enclosure would fit his needs better.
Andy's ideas re: open access for fishing, docking, etc are valid, but I also think the full canvas enclosure wouldn't be a major hinderance for Dave because he's already been there done that with his Outrage 18 with full mills canvas and gunwhale mounted radar arch. The Man knows how to work a boat...LOL.
posted 09-14-2010 05:02 PM ET (US)
That photo is one of those accidental shots that turned out really cool. The first time I saw it while it was downloading I thought "WTF? Whose boat is that?", then I realized I was looking at two boats lined up perfectly to give that illusion. All that said, the basic concept is sound, cover the area between the cuddy and the console and get the windshield closer to the helm. I would add, as a Phase II, getting a removable camperback, like Pat's, to extend the shelter all the way back to the transom.
|L H G||
posted 09-14-2010 07:33 PM ET (US)
And, expanding my idea a little further, I think I would also just buy the Mills Forward Shelter CLOTH ONLY, omitting the SS bows. Why waste time and a lot of money having some guy try to match up all the other Mills component zippers on the lower windshield, side curtains, and gunwales, when the shelter will have this all done perfectly, and include the gunwale clip fittings, tie downs and lashing cords.
So in profile, you would have the aft portions of the Mills shelter shape, which gives a lot of headroom underneath. Then it would simply be truncated, perhaps at a 20 or 30 degree angle down to the cuddy cap. It could be a nice curved line where it meets and snaps to the cuddy, not straight across like the cuddy back wall is. At least a foot of the cuddy shell would be covered in the center. It might look VERY SIMILAR to the way Mills did the re-designed canvas on the Ribside 21, which also has a forward deck, but is not totally unlike the raised cuddy shell.
The original Mills shelter canvas could then be altered as necessary to acomplish this, and you would have the extra material from the front half to work with, maybe even the window component. The pockets for the framing are already there. Only the new framing would have to be re-designed, probably mounting on top of the gunwales like it does on the ribside, and it could be designed in a similar way. Mills has done all the pre-design work for you and your canvas maker! Stowed postion would also have to worked out, but it would probably rest on top of the cuddy, also like it does on the ribside.
So there you have it, and I'm not even going to you charge you an Archtectural Design Fee. And the boat will still look "All Whaler", and not like some aftermarket cobb-job canvas system.
posted 09-14-2010 10:38 PM ET (US)
As I mentioned in another thread, I'd give consideration to locating the company that did the OEM smoked plastic windshield in that series and see if they could fabricate one slightly higher and in clear. Snap the flex glass to the top of it.
A lot of good ideas here.
posted 09-15-2010 02:04 PM ET (US)
When considering canvas options for my Outrage Cuddy, the problem that always arises is how to maintain access to the cuddy with any sort of system that connects the helm with the cabin shell. The hatch to enter the cuddy is pretty large, and to open it enough to get into the cuddy without bonking your mellon requires it to be opened to at least a 45 degree angle. This photo of my boat illustrates the size of the hatch.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v408/andygere/2005%20Rendezvous/ 04BWRendezvous018_1.jpg This photo (taken on the Napa River with fellow CWer Ron Giachello) shows how much clearance is needed to open the cuddy hatch. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v408/andygere/ Fleet%20Week%20Cruise%202006/IMG_1945.jpg
I think this is why Mills brought the forward windshield to the forward side of the companionway hatch. One possible way to solve this might be to find a windscreen from a Revenge Cuddy, and tie the flying top/soft windshield to the top edge of the curved plastic windshield mounted on the cuddy shell.
These photos are of one of Don's boats, and they shows the OEM plastic windshield. I remember seeing some photos of the canvas system he had made for that boat, perhaps he could post a few of them.
This photo illustrates why I really don't like the folding canvas systems on this boat.
Look at all the straps, tubing and other stuff that you have to navigate around to get in and out of the boat. Forget about landing a fish from anyplace forward of the leaning post. All that aside, this particular Outrage Cuddy is one of the nicest restos I've seen.
Here's a shot of an Outrage 22 Cuddy with a sun top and radar arch. It shows a side profile and again illustrates how cluttered the gunwale gets with all that structure.
Looking at this photo does give me an idea. Instead of trying to somehow join the Mills Outrage system with the cuddy shell, why not simply have a vinyl windshield made for the sun top, but locate it at the forward edge of the console rather than the forward edge of the top. This allows the larger top to be used to provide shade and light rain protection, but does not inhibit access to the cuddy and foredeck. In effect, make it similar to the Mills Outrage Cuddy system, but shift the windshield and side curtains back so they start at the forward edge of the console. A zipper door panel could allow access forward when the windshield is deployed, or could be rolled up or removed when not needed.
For reference, here's a shot of the Mills Cuddy canvas system.
I still think a T-top based system is the cleanest, and minimizes clutter while providing good visibility and maintaining walk around capability and easy access to the cuddy and bow deck. A few examples of the concept:
Anyway, a fun way to spend a coffee break...Dave will no doubt wow us with something really innovative that suits his particular needs the best.
posted 09-15-2010 04:11 PM ET (US)
How hard is it to remove the access hatch cover? I would think that given Dave's style of cruising, once the shelter was up, it'd be up for a while. A five minute job doesn't add much to the prep time for a trip.
posted 09-15-2010 06:35 PM ET (US)
Here's the thread with links to some nice photos of a couple of Revenge Cuddy canvas systems, including Don's.
Upon closer inspection of the photo supplied to me by Bob Mills, it appears that the boat in the photo is actually a Revenge Cuddy. Note what appears to be part of an aluminum windshield frame on top of the cuddy shell. Hmmm...
Could the hatch be removed? Sure, it's just a couple of screws, but then you lose the ability to lock the cuddy. In addition, on cold nights, closing up that little cabin makes a world of difference in terms of keeping warm. I have a bit of canvas that I fasten over the louvered doors to keep the drafts down to a minimum.
posted 03-23-2013 12:11 PM ET (US)
I came back across this thread while looking for some other information on CW this morning. To help maximize the information content to future searchers...here's what I ended up with:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Buckda/ 1983%20Outrage%2025%20Cuddy%20Restoration/Canvas%20Project/Comparisons. jpg
Not perfect, but seems pretty good to me (so far!).
posted 03-24-2013 07:48 AM ET (US)
Hi Dave! Your new canvas enclosure looks great. I do not recall seeing anything quite like it on an OUTRAGE CUDDY before. It should be a big improvement over the previous set up when going to windward.
posted 03-24-2013 11:21 AM ET (US)
Very nicely executed Dave. It has handsome proportions that are suggestive of a pilot house, a good look.
posted 03-24-2013 01:14 PM ET (US)
Andy's idea in the photo where the entire console with what looks to be canvas top on probably a aluminum frame is a real nice look that keeps the lines together accomplishes what's important and that is dry cover from above and easily allows one to move around the entire boat at ease. This is very important for docking quick maneuvers anchoring etc. If you have to keep on opening zippers to get through all the layers its going to quickly become old and tiresome and possibly a bit dangerous in some situations where you really have move quickly to avoid hazards.
I would take that design which I believe many companies already have a preset for the haul for example (Atlantic Towers) and customize a roll up canvas that fits underneath the arch/frame. One at the front could pull down and snap into the cuddy enclosure. Another for the side and if you want to get a little out of hand you could add the same idea to fit the entire back portion good for overnighting by keeping the boat dry and warm.
posted 03-24-2013 01:19 PM ET (US)
After thinking about it a bit further you could probably fabricate the arch/top to breakdown with large SS pins (4) that allow the top to pull forward when trailering or not in use. Not sure about expense but at this rate with all the other expenses it may be worth it. Trailering on a ferry is expensive as well clearance is another issue bridges residential areas turning radius with wires etc.
posted 03-24-2013 03:13 PM ET (US)
I like it, good job Dave.
posted 03-24-2013 06:22 PM ET (US)
I have to laugh at how close that came to the original accidental picture from Sturgeon Bay. Do you also have side curtains and a rear drop curtain?
posted 03-24-2013 08:21 PM ET (US)
Totally missed the dates when I commented! but yes I like the work that was chosen as well and the color blends in with the classic color of the Whaler.
posted 03-24-2013 09:01 PM ET (US)
I am looking forward to seeing this fine canvas in person, and soon.
posted 03-28-2013 03:56 PM ET (US)
Hi. I have a 22' Cuddy and am almost finished with it, well, to a good stopping point, as boats are never finished. I am leaning toward a pivoting forward arch with bimini, similar to the factory arch on a Concept [CONQUEST?]. That way the gunwales are not too crowded, [and the arch] can fold down for trailering. Now to get an [estimate of the cost to make such an arch] from the local T-top guy.
posted 05-21-2015 12:43 PM ET (US)
I realize this is an old thread, but wanted to add an idea to this very informative article.
I would build a mild weather shelter for an Outrage Cuddy in the form of a hybrid T-Top that attaches to the boat on the aft side of the cuddy at the gunwales, and to the centre console. The full height, overhead coverage would extend from the cuddy to aft of the helmsmen seating. It would have two removable closure options: 1) an eisenglass type windscreen mounted from the console to t-top above to be used for running in poor weather; 2) a second 3-sided closure attached from the cuddy to t-top, including side curtains to gunwales, that can be put up when camping.
This trades 360* fish ability for 270*, yes, but would provide unobstructed full length gunwale access for two person landing/netting of fish when in "fishing mode", lots of full height rain/sun protection, provides a near field windshield for travelling in the rain, and a removable option for closing in the boat for overnighting.
I'm still looking for the right Outrage cuddy for this project.
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.
Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000