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Author Topic:   help! mounting t-top/re-coring ideas while deck is off
mbm74 posted 06-09-2004 12:48 PM ET (US)   Profile for mbm74   Send Email to mbm74  
I am mounting a t-top I had fabricated. I pulled up the deck on my 83 22' outrage to have it re done and am wondering best way to add additional support backing for t top. I was thinking of having aluminum plates glassed in the wood and tapped then using ss bolts to screw it down. Is this a good idea? What else could be done? Thru bolt the top to deck then put it on? Would the ss screws into the tapped aluminum plates be a problem b/c of the different metals used?
rtk posted 06-09-2004 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
I noticed this spring that the screws in the deck holding the t-top down were loose. From the t-top moving underway they opened up the holes in the deck and the screws would not bite. Some water did get in and the deck and wood was a little wet adjacent to the screw holes, a very small area. I didn't want to open the deck so I made four plates out of 1/4 inch aluminum about six inches square. Mounted those under the feet of the t-top with screws and 3M 5200. I then mounted the t-top to the plates by tapping 1/4-20 holes and bolting and gluing the t-top to the plates.

I don't think it is going anywhere and in my opinion it doesn't look too bad. I used sealer on the bolts so I don't think the dissimilar metals will be a problem.

Boat is a 1997 21 Outrage with a hardtop t-top.


dfmcintyre posted 06-09-2004 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I'd probably go with what Rich described in the above post, with the following addition:

Drill through the cover using a larger drill, say by 1/2 the planned on screw size. On the underside, use small s/s wood screws to hold the plate(s) in place temporarily. Clean the plate and scuff up the area around the plate for the eposy to adhere to. Epoxy the plate(s) in place, and let dry. Pour straight epoxy into the large hole, from the top and let dry. Drill through the epoxy plug to the plate and do the normal tapping. This way, even if water seeps past whatever bedding compound you've used, it will not hit wood.

You might want to think of making two strips of aluminum plates running lengthwise instead of six inch squares or disks. Will spread the stress load more.


mbm74 posted 06-10-2004 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for mbm74  Send Email to mbm74     
I talked to a Whaler tech. and he told me that I should just scre it into the wood w/5200 ??? Any other ideas??
rtk posted 06-10-2004 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
That is the way mine was originally attached except they did not screw the front two bases into the wood, they just went into the balsa floor. But the rear was into the wood, and the screws still worked their way out. The t-top was also bolted to the console in five places. I don't think they used 3M5200 though, it was too easy to remove the caulk they did use. Seemed like it was just white silicone which likely led to my problem.

This is a pretty big hardtop t-top. It really moves around alot when running. A t-top with the canvas top may not move as much.

The typical installation I have seen is the method the Whaler tech recommended. I really have not seen any tops made with a circular base diameter larger than about three to four inches so I guess it does work for most. The fact that the front bases were not on the wood was the main reason I wanted to get a bigger base under the feet to distribute the load better on the balsa deck and to reach a portion of the wood on the deck.

With nice new wood in the deck attaching it to the deck with 3M5200 and screws may just work for you. A couple attachment points to the console will certainly help.

If you have the deck open you may want to have a good couple of inches of plywood or mahogany there to screw into.


mbm74 posted 06-14-2004 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for mbm74  Send Email to mbm74     
What about re-coring with phenolic Whaleboard? Any comments on tapping the whaleboard and that is it/like on new Whalers?
JohnPDX posted 06-15-2004 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnPDX  Send Email to JohnPDX     
I am not familiar with the 22' but I am installing a large 4 leg tower on my 89' 18 Outrage. My method is to take a 1"x2"x1/4"x32" aluminum right angle channel that will replace the channel now holding the center console to the deck. The longer channel extends beyond the console (forward) to meet the forward tower leg. Between the forward tower legs sits the cooler/seat assembly. Multiple 1/4"x2" flathead screws will anchor the aluminum channel to the deck. I will not use 5200 other than to caulk the screw holesl as I do not want the deck gel coat ripped up if the bracket works a bit. I will also through bolt the outside channel to a channel angle that is inside the console and again screwed to the deck in alternating bolt hole pattern to the outside channel. The tower then bolts to the angle channel assembly and as well the upper console sides. This spreads the load across the angle channels with multiple for-aft screws. I don't think that there is any way a large tower can be secured to the deck with singular mounting pads at the end of each leg considering the structural integrity of the deck material. Those aft legs will take a large load when the boat pounds but the tower tries to continue going forward. My tower is about 7' wide by 5' long and will hold a radar and other antennas as well the electronic console.


Jerry Townsend posted 06-15-2004 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
mbm74 - Realize that the front legs/mounts will be normally loaded in tension (i.e. pulling) and the aft legs/mounts will be normally loaded in compression (pushing) while underway or while trailering. Therefore, consider using a relatively large (at least 4 x 4 x 1/4) backing plate under the deck with a tapped hole in the center to accept a mounting bolt. And, while not necessary because of the loading, consider doing the same thing with the aft mount. These backing plates could be screwed to the underside of the deck just to keep them in place.

Consider using a reasonably large stainless pad welded to the T-top for bearing support on the top of the deck. Consider using a thin (1/8 inch or so - inner tube rubber works well) rubber pad on the underside of the stainless pads to protect the deck glass and help stop any "worrying" of the joint.

Consider using stainless backing plates instead of aluminum and stainless bolts - compatible materials, stronger and can be kept tight, which is important. The stainless will weigh a bit more - but that is insignificant. ---- Jerry/Idaho

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