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How to Lace a T-Top Canvas

How to Lace a T-Top Canvas
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You’ve just received your Fishmaster T-Top - now what? It’s time to begin installing your new accessory on your boat and an important part in that installation is attaching your t-top canvas cover.

To make the process as simple as possible, we’ll walk you through each step of this process. Keep reading to find out how to properly lace your t-top canvas.

Temporarily Secure Canvas with Zip Ties

Before you can begin lacing your t-top canvas, you’ll need to have the top section fully assembled and gather your canvas cover and 4 zip ties.

First, lay out the t-top canvas across the top section frame and zip tie the two together in each corner, being careful to maintain an equal reveal for each corner. To do so, you’ll want to leave your zip ties loose at first and tighten as needed. These zip ties will not be removed until the canvas is completely laced and secured in place.

PRO TIP: Before attaching your canvas to the t-top frame, be sure the Sunbrella® tag is at the back and on the bottom of your t-top (like a shirt tag.)

pulling canvas over t-top frame illustration
t-top canvas with zip ties illustration

Attach Canvas to T-Top Frame

Now that your zip ties have the canvas held in place, it’s time to start lacing. We recommend starting from the front and working your way toward the back. Start by finding the center of your rope (marking that spot with a slip knot if needed) and running it through the first grommet to the left of center. With one end of the rope, work your way around to the right and then toward the back. Repeat on the other side. Starting at the center of the rope will provide significant time savings over starting at one end.

Starting from the center, run rope down through the next grommet, wrap it around the t-top frame from front to back, and run rope up through the same grommet. Repeat on every grommet around the t-top’s top section frame. This lacing technique provides maximum protection against wind uplift.

t-top lacing illustration

Tighten and Adjust

Once you have laced your canvas onto the t-top frame, it’s time to check the fit and adjust as needed. Start by tightening the side with the largest reveal between canvas and frame, keeping in mind that a medium-firm tug is all that’s needed to tighten your canvas.

Undertightening your canvas will lead to flutter which can cause premature wear and fraying on your canvas. Overtightening, on the other hand, puts excess stress on the entire canvas, especially at the outer edges where the grommets are. Canvas should have a snug fit and the edges should have a smooth, straight appearance.

Complete T-Top Lacing

Before tying off your rope, loop the ends around the frame roughly 5 times in the back. This helps to keep your lacing taut until you tie the knot and will give you additional length if, in the future, you need to remove and re-lace your canvas. Tie the ends into a bow then tie the loops of the bow into a square knot. Cut any loose ends to about 3 inches in length and burn the ends of the rope to prevent fraying and unraveling. Once that’s done, weave the ends of your rope into the lacing to hide them and achieve a polished look.

Once your t-top is tied off, you can remove the zip ties and finish your t-top installation.

Properly lacing your t-top canvas is an important step to keeping your t-top well maintained for years to come. For more helpful maintenance tips, be sure to check out our t-top maintenance guide.

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