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  97 Conquest 23 Hardtop support Cracked

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Author Topic:   97 Conquest 23 Hardtop support Cracked
pashopper posted 11-08-2004 02:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for pashopper   Send Email to pashopper  
Last year while fishing off shore NC, I noticed a crack in the port, small rear aluminum hard top support (piece is about 9in long) just aft of the passenger podium seat.

I didn't think it was a big deal at the time, but while driving home in 2-3ft sea the whole hardtop began to become unstable. I then noticed that the screws holding the 2 front supports and the two rear supports had almost completely vibrated out. They were not through bolted nor was there a baking plate as I would have expected in a Whaler.

Fearing a major loss of my hardtop (vhf, gps antennae lights ect.) I quickly stopped and tryed to re-screw the screws. The tower had some tork to it and the seas made it problematic so I couldn't do it at sea. Using my extra moring lines I lashed the hard top down on either side to the forward and center line cleats on either side and slowly made my way back home.

I found a great tower place in Wanceese, NC (opposite direction from Manteo)and about 10 miles from Oregon inlet. They replaced the screws and bolted all the supports with heavy duty washers and cut off and replaced the broken support. Cost was an unbelievable $100 cheap. End of Story right? No..........

About 3 months later the same support cracked again in the same place. Brought it to the same place and they cut off the old piece and welded on a new one.

At this point I wrote Whaler a nasty letter as a Warranty claim and to my supprise they descriped to me where the tower had cracked and offered to add additional supports front and back at no charge to me.

Work is all done now and I have made two fishing runs with no events.

You whaler owners that have 2 hard top supports on the bow and stern and not the new 4 forward and aft beware.

All that and I am still happy with my Conquest 23.

BW23 posted 11-08-2004 04:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
I know exactly what you've described

I recently had mine repaired/retrofitted. Very strong now!!!

23Conquest posted 11-09-2004 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for 23Conquest    
Common problem with 97-99 HT. I too got the retro-kit from Whaler but had to pay for shipping ($72) and welding ($200). HT very sturdy now.
David Pendleton posted 11-09-2004 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Speaking of hardtops for the 23 (mine has the additional supports already), I am looking for a source for weather curtains and hardware.

Anybody know of any? I checked Mills, but it was not listed on their site.



bsmotril posted 11-11-2004 10:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Mine cracked in the same place, once on each side on two different occasions. I told my dealer, and told him of others on this forum who had the same problems, even gave them the thread links. Dealer had a response form Whaler in 2 days, Whaler sent a free upgrade kit of extra braces for the front, and stouter rear supports. Whaler also picked up the cost of welding and mounting the bracing. The braces are the same as used on later model boats, so the factory certainly knew this was a problem. Do a search of this forum, and you can find a lot more in older threads about this same problem. I'm happy with the response I got, and the repair has held up, and the top does not move side to side like it used to. And, I never needed to get nasty with anyone to get results. Note: My boat was a 1998 model, and this all happened in the 2001-2002 timeframe. BillS

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