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Author Topic:   Conquest Hard Top Creak noise
tully_mars posted 06-06-2002 05:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for tully_mars   Send Email to tully_mars  
How are the the Whaler Hard Tops holding up for you Conquest owners. Mine creaks and you can see it flex when cruising out in the seas, I am afraid the welds will eventually crack if this keeps up.

Has anyone had theirs re-inforced? I noticed Whaler doesn't put cross trees on the front vertical bars on these tops.

Tully Mars

David Pendleton posted 06-06-2002 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Mine doesn't creak, but it will wobble a bit in big water. I tighten things up every once in a while.

Not sure about the 'cross trees' you are referring to. Does your hardtop look like this?

http://members.tcq.net/davepen/images/014_14.jpg

(sorry about the huge image - ~450K)

Dave

tully_mars posted 06-06-2002 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Actually, your top as the "cross trees" I was referring to on the front bars. My top is just like yours except I have only one bar on each side that bolts to the cabin roof. There is no diagonal support bar on either side. Otherwise they are identical.

Tully Mars

David Pendleton posted 06-06-2002 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
It's a factory hardtop?

Based on what you've told me, I would do the following:

1. Inspect all the points where the hardtop attaches to the boat. Tighten these as necessary, keeping in mind that there should be silicone in and around these connections. Don't for get about leaks.

2. Inspect every weld. There are a dozen or more, but it shouldn't take too long.

I have to admit, I don't know what I'd do if I found a weld coming apart. It can be fixed, I suppose.

Not much help, I'm sure, but I do what I can.

Dave

Riparian posted 06-07-2002 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riparian    
I see that you are making good use of that cup holder there Dave!
bsmotril posted 06-10-2002 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I have a 98 conquest 23 and have suffered two weld failures on the hardtop. Both instances it has been the flange weld of the forward of the two mounts on each rear corner of the hardtop. The stbd side let loose about two years ago, the port let loose 2 weeks ago. The dealer did not cover either as a warranty repair. The rework has held up ok so far. The last one broke in nice 1-2' seas at a 24mph cruise speed. There does seem to be an excess amount of side to side play in the top. I think it warrants some kind of diagonal bracing to steady it.
BillS
tully_mars posted 06-10-2002 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
As I figured it would. Thanks for the info.

Tully Mars

tim2me posted 06-10-2002 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
I Have 23 conquest, 1998. My top is predisessor to the one pictured above. It creaked loud the spring byt now its less noisy. No weld fairures yet! Does anyone know why they changed design in 2000?
bsmotril posted 06-11-2002 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
They probably changed the design because of the failures. I have the old style fron support as seen at http://home.austin.rr.com/smohome/images/Dscn1577.jpg

and

http://home.austin.rr.com/smohome/images/antennas_rearward_from_frnt_cntr.jpg

This is a pick of the rear mount, the flange weld on the right of this pick (most forward) is the one that broke http://home.austin.rr.com/smohome/images/Hardtop_mount_left_rear.jpg

Other pics at: http://home.austin.rr.com/smohome/new_conquest23.htm

BillS

David Pendleton posted 06-11-2002 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Bill-
I've seen your site before. Nice pictures.

What's with the dual Raystar's?

Dave

tully_mars posted 06-11-2002 07:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
bsmotril,

I remember touring your www site when I was looking at my boat. How do you like the 135hp engines? What size props are you running and what are your performance numbers. Just curious, mine has the 150 EFI motors.

Also, have you had anybody give you any ideas on how to brace your hard top better so it won't break again in the future?

Thanks

Tully Mars

bsmotril posted 06-11-2002 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Tully,
My
Opti 135s have Merc Mirage 17" 3 blade props. That is the way it came from the factory. With trim tabs up, 2 people, and 1/2 tank of fuel, these are my speeds via GPS:
2500 = 13.5 mph
3000 = 22
3500 = 28
4000 = 32
4500 = 37mph
5000 = 41.5
5600 = 45 = WOT
Best cruise is 3200 rpm 24mph, with 8GPH total fuel burn per hour. With tabs down and motors trimmed in, the boat will stay on plane down to 2800 rpm. I know the 135s have 2:1 gears versus 1.73:1 (I Think) for the 150s.
BillS
tully_mars posted 06-11-2002 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Wow, really surprised. The Opti's are a lot better motor than the older EFI's. I have 15.5x17" Mirage props too and my cruise speeds are right in line with yours. However, my top end has only been measured fully fueled with 2 people and was 40kts at 5400rpm. Maybe the difference is in the 400+ lbs of fuel onboard. (60gallons at 7lbs/gallon).

LOL, I will not comment on fuel consumption, just that EFI's are a not Opti's.

Tully Mars

bsmotril posted 06-12-2002 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Tully,
With full fuel, and 4 people, I top out at 42-43 mph. Your 40 knots is about 45mph, so the speeds seem ok to me. for full tanks.
BillS
bsmotril posted 06-17-2002 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
It looks like the Whaler factory has come through on my cracked hardtop flange weld. They are sending the dealer a retrofit kit to add additional sway bracing to the front of the hardtop. From their description, it sounds like it will look like the pics pf the model yr 2000 hardtop posted above. I'll find out for sure in a couple of days when it comes in.
BillS
tully_mars posted 06-17-2002 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Cool, email me some info if you don't mind I would like to try and get this too.

Tully Mars

tully_mars posted 08-28-2002 06:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Well, the top has failed, two broken welds found today.

BSMostril, can you get your dealer info or a contact at Whaler for that kit?

Thanks

Tully Mars

David Ratusnik posted 08-28-2002 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Tully- I've been following this thread since I have a modest T-top on a 22'OR (pic 45) plus have an interest in a "late model" OR like yours. Sounds like bad welds on yours plus possibly many others. I beat the hell out of mine and it doesn't come apart. I'd dump it at your nearest Whaler dealer and ask "what gives????". Show them this thread.
David
tully_mars posted 08-28-2002 11:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
I wrote Chuck Bennett today reminding of a phone call I had with him in May about how much flex was in my hard top. You could actually see it move back and forth while out on the water. I will let you all know the response. My T-top in my Outrage was tough as nails, but it was made by Blue Coral Towers and has held together well.

Tully Mars

bsmotril posted 08-29-2002 06:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
My dealer finished installing the reinforcement kit on mine 2 weeks ago. I'm taking it fishing for a week starting tomorrow. The difference is very obvious. Before, you could shake the top side to side a good 1-2 inches at the top. Now it is rock solid, no give, totally rigid ! The kit consists of two short stubs with flanges that replace the two smaller diameter rear mounts with full sized tubing. These are the pieces that actually broke on my top. For the fron you get to flanged diaganol braces that attach to the existing diaganol front brace just above where that brace is welded to the main front leg. It extends down towards the center of the foredeck and bolts to the foredeck about 2' from the existing leg. Also got the round mounting flanges for backing plates inside the cabin. I'll take some pictures and post them to my web site after I get back from vacation.
BillS
tully_mars posted 09-11-2002 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Resolution, Boston Whaler is sending me the retrofit kit for my hard top. They stated up front labor is up to me so which my shop up the road estimated around $350. But they are also going to add a brace between the two uprights on the back of the top to keep the back from moving. This will force a curtain change which they are including, but that ought to do it. If anyone wants I can post some pics after it is finished.

Thanks BSMotril for you pics. Looks good!

Tully Mars

bsmotril posted 09-11-2002 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
There was a post on another boating board regarding what kind of coating was used to coat the welds on aluminum hardtops. The consensus of several folks who worked in that business was to use silver Rustoleum paint. I'm going to go get some and try it on my naked weld repairs this weekend. Can you elaborate a bit on the rear bracing and describe it and the curtain changes?
BillS
tully_mars posted 09-11-2002 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
They put a bar between the vertical uprights in the back and through bolted it to the to in two spots. They said this would use the strenght of the top to help steady it. This was done first and said it stiffened up the top enough that the extra "K" braces in the front weren't necessary, but we did them anyway since I am going to add a Cobia tower to the top. I will post some pics some time tommorrow.

Also, yes, I have used Rustoleum Silver paint as advised by my local shop on the welds. It will make the welds last longer also. I sprayed the silver paint on my radar mount to make it look better and it did a great job. I'll post a pic of this too.

Tully Mars

tully_mars posted 09-17-2002 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Ok all, here are the long awaited pics I promised of my hard top repair. To be exact, this is not a Whaler Retrofit kit since Whaler drug their feet on repairing. Thus, this is a product of my local repair shop just a few miles from my house. They have done really nice work for me before and for my friends. There is no way for this top to move now.

BTW all, the guys when at Island Towers told me when I went to pick up the boat that this was the most solid boat this size they have ever worked for mounting tops. They were really impressed and, to quote, "Liked it better than the Regulator Express" they had just finished a hard top on.

http://www.advanced-eng.com/images/ht.htm

Tully Mars

Captain of O-fish-ally Hooked

tully_mars posted 09-18-2002 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Also everyone, not on the first picture if you look at the electronics box area on through the port "curtain window" you will see an access port. I added this for quick access to my fuse panel up there.

So find out where your fuses critical electronics fuses are because you know Murphy, he will blow one when you need it most and can't disassemble the electronics box to replace it.

Tully Mars

tully_mars posted 09-18-2002 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Sorry for the bad english up there, was writing in a hurry.

Tully Mars

bsmotril posted 09-21-2002 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Nice job on the hardtop. If you were to sting some netting between the rear and mid cross supports up under the hardtop, you would have a perfect place for overhead life vest storage. Add a zipper in the middle for quick release. I have seen this type of storage built into some Pro-Line hardtops, and it helps free up interior storage, and puts the vest in an easy to get to location.
BillS
tully_mars posted 09-22-2002 02:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
BSmotril,

That is a great idea, I had seen it before but really hadn't given it any though here. I will be looking into that soon as I might run a few dive charters eventually.

Tully Mars

David Pendleton posted 09-22-2002 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Nice looking work.

Dave

BW23 posted 09-24-2002 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
Tully,
Thanks for the heads up regarding the factory hard top. I do have one and will check all of the welds. I also like the idea of painting the welds with silver Rustoleum.
On another note,have any of you had to touch up the paint on the cuddy door frame? Mine is corroding and chipping at the bottom. If so, what brand and color code of paint did you use? Might change from year to year.
Thanks for all of your help.
Dave
tully_mars posted 09-24-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Mine is due to be repainted too. This is one of my only complaints with BW, powdercoating. In a nut shell don't do it on saltwater boats!!

Whaler powerdercoats their aluminum which is what the door frame is, except they don't prime it first. So eventually it just bubble's off after time. My hand rails did it in 1 year on my 1996 Outrage.

Solution:
Strip the aluminum, acid wash it to etch the aluminum, then prime and paint with White Imron. (Imron is made for aluminum since it is used comercially on air planes).

When I did my handrails 3 years ago I spent about $100. I did all the prep work and had a body shop do the spraying. I brought them the paint and all. Looks like I will be doing it this fall on my cuddy door trim too.

Tully Mars

BW23 posted 09-25-2002 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
A few fellow boats recommended to remove the frame, acid wash to remove all of the old paint, then clear anodize it so it will never happen again. A good occasional polishing should maintain it just fine.

Not sure what I'm going to do just yet.

Dave

tim2me posted 11-28-2002 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
my top failed the same as Bills. I Emailed Dealer & BW - No Response! I Guess I'm on my own. Do any of you have any pictures of the retrofit work or custom work so I can Fix?
Thanks
tully_mars posted 11-28-2002 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
tim2me,

Sorry about your top, been there done that and I feel your pain. Stay on Whaler, they are very slow in their communications as I found out. I had already gotten my top fixed before they sent me the retro-fit kit. So if worse comes to worse I can send you my retrofit for the top. Look up above in this topic, there are pics of what I had done to my top.

No matter what you do you will be responsible for the labor on fixing the top, but having the parts can save some labor money on forming and fitting.

Tully Mars

tim2me posted 11-29-2002 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
tuley
what does the retrofit kit look like installed? is there any pictures on the net?
Your job looks great but what about the anodizing, can it be done on the boat or do you have to take the whole frame off an have it dipped?
tully_mars posted 11-29-2002 07:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
tim2me,

The pipe when installed is already anodized, so no additional work is needed. As a finishing touch a throrough shop will "paint" the welds with silver aluminum paint to make the welds last longer. The retro-fit kit is pretty big with several pipes. BSmotril has had this installed on his boat, maybe he can provide some pics.

Tully Mars

bsmotril posted 11-30-2002 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Give me your email address and I'll send you pics of the retrofit kit.
BillS
tim2me posted 12-18-2002 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
bill,
the dealer got back to me today and said whaler only provides the two replacement members in the rear and not the two cross braces in the front. they said the would provide labor to repair and thos two parts. Didn't your whaler dealer repair & replace the two front supports too? It would seem to me that the same thing will happen if they dont correct the rocking of the top which is why they supplied the front pieces for you?
thanks
bsmotril posted 12-19-2002 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
My dealer replace the two rear stub supports with similar pieces made from larger diameter tubing than the originals. They also supplie two new diaganol braces for the front. I believe the diaganols contribute more towards fixing the problem than the rear stubs as they are what stops the side to side sway that broke the rear mounts originally. Look at some picks of later model year tops, they all have front diaganol bracing. Maybe you can compromise and split the labor cost, dealer does rears, you pay for the front welds, and Whaler supplies all parts ???
BillS
bsmotril posted 12-19-2002 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
My dealer replace the two rear stub supports with similar pieces made from larger diameter tubing than the originals. They also supplie two new diaganol braces for the front. I believe the diaganols contribute more towards fixing the problem than the rear stubs as they are what stops the side to side sway that broke the rear mounts originally. Look at some picks of later model year tops, they all have front diaganol bracing. Maybe you can compromise and split the labor cost, dealer does rears, you pay for the front welds, and Whaler supplies all parts ???
BillS
spk2 posted 12-20-2002 07:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for spk2  Send Email to spk2     
I had the same problem with the broken stubs or short supports on my top.
Took a month or so but Whaler supplied the new front braces, new stub supports and a whole new wrap arround support at the rear of the top which bolts to the boat, welds to the existing frame and bolts to the hard top.
Material and installation covered 100% including relocatng the fresh water shower outlet. No complaints with whaler or the dealer on this one.
tim2me posted 12-20-2002 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
when did this occur and where? This may be of help to me when discussing it with my dealer. Also, do you have any pictures of the job?
thanks
tim
spk2 posted 12-20-2002 09:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for spk2  Send Email to spk2     
The dealer I bought the boat from took care of it about a month ago. They ordered the prefabricated parts from Whaler and had a local welding shop take care off the rest. I don't know if the welding shop or dealer did the dry bolt up of the parts but whoever did a first class job. Nice turned aluminum backing plates on the inside and all caulked up tight. I have not had the boat out since but I sure don't see any future problems. I can send you pictures but not until neek week.

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