Choosing the Right Boat T Top
Many of already well know that a boat t-top is a wonderful boat upgrade investment. For primary center console boat owners, particularly those who are looking to sell their boats, it adds a lot-of-good functionality, more-than-just shade from the sun. In addition, with the popularity of boat shows on the rise, a t-top becomes a very attractive, functional piece of boat decor. But, for people who are not yet boat lovers, and who would really want one, or who happen to be thinking of buying a boat this year, what should they look out for when shopping for a new one?
A boat t-top has three main types. First of all, there's the standard, or the traditional boat t-top. This is the most classic design and is the usual one you will find on most boats. It is in fact the first thing that strikes anyone's eyes upon seeing a boat, especially from a distance. While it can work well for many people, especially those who are not boat lovers, it is certainly not the best choice for everyone.
The next type of boat t-top is called the adjustable width boat t-top. These flexible boat t-tops come in various different designs, with some having an adjustable width from six feet up to 10 feet. With these kinds, you can raise or lower the height of the seat just by using a lever on the side. You could also adjust the height of the console to suit your height and build of the boat. Of course, these kinds of t-tops would require some adjustments to its mounting points, as compared to its traditional counterpart.
The next type of t-top is the collapsible t-top. These types feature three or more leg sections that collapse fully to make a secure base for the console. These kinds of collapsible t-tops have steel legs and are therefore heavier than the other two kinds. While this may be fine for driving larger boats, they may not be the best choice when it comes to getting onto a smaller vessel. They are not as easy to set up as the other two types of t-tops, since the legs have to be collapsed fully and the top section has to be secured to the trailer to make it stable.
Finally, there are the standard boat t-top and the fiberglass or plastic marine t-top. The fiberglass or plastic types are the least expensive ones, but they are not the easiest to assemble and use, as they are not easily adjusted. On the other hand, the standard t-top features an easily assembled, easy to use and adjustable console that is built to withstand wear and tear. However, the biggest downside of the standard t-top is that it does not provide any ventilation or storage space. If you will be using your boat for long periods of time at sea, this disadvantage may not matter as much.
A popular option in boating hardware stores and online retailers is the folding t-top. This kind of boat t-top frame allows for easy storage and transportation, while offering a sturdy framework that can support a wide array of weights. You can store this kind of boat t-top frame flat on top of a bed of compressed dry ice, and fold the canopy in half to allow storage in small areas, such as lockers or cargo trailers. This kind of folding boat t-top frame makes it very convenient to store when not in use and can be transported with ease on a trailer, carrier, or small pick-up truck.
Most folding boat t-tops feature a marine grade, powder coated aluminum finish. Aluminum offers the advantage of a sleek, modern look while providing the durability of steel. The finish is highly resistant to cracking and chipping, making it safe to use for prolonged periods of time in harsh marine environments. Some models of this style of canopy feature a smooth finished exterior with subdued black painted hardware. These finishes are suitable for use on deck, but may not be as durable as the unpainted variety.
Another common option for folding boat t-tops is a brushed aluminum finish. Brushed aluminum is a high-quality metal that looks similar to stainless steel. It is available in a large selection of finishes including gunmetal, gold, silver, and more. Brushed aluminum has anodized edges, making it suitable for rugged applications and a powder coat finish that resists scratches and mildew. This type of t-top has the advantage of a powder coating that makes it completely weatherproof and will not need any other treatments to maintain its look over time. Powder coated finishes also require very little maintenance and should last for many years.