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Ship Shape TV Spotlights Fishmaster Pro Series T-Top

Ship Shape TV Spotlights Fishmaster Pro Series T-Top
Read Time: 18 Minutes
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Pro Series is a Folding Solution for Anglers - As Seen on Ship Shape TV!

Ship Shape TV Logo


We're looking at some footage that we shot last year at the International Boat Building Exposition over in Tampa, Florida and there's actually quite a story behind this trade show. You see, my son Jonathan and I were there, and in about an hour, I get a phone call from my wife Tracy, asking:

"When are you guys getting home?".

"We just got here. What's going on?".

"Hurricane Matthew is making a straight beeline for Jupiter, Florida!".

OK guys. We immediately packed up. We drove across the state and we were in all out hurricane prep mode. We've got two buildings that we need to deal with, a couple of houses on the water, 20 different boats, and our other boat shop where we do a lot of grinding and painting and everything else that was jam packed full of our project boats and I had just bought this building right here.

hurricane matthew

boston whaler with fishmaster t-top

She's very concerned about her 19’ Boston Whaler Nantucket, which is right back behind me. Now. Want you to take a look at this 10’ tall garage door? OK, so we could get a little center console in here. 19’, no problem. But take a look at the height on this t top. It's actually about 10’ 3” tall. Now we remove the anchor light from the top of the t top and we tried to get it into the opening and it was still about 3” too high. Bird had a great idea. He said, Hey John, what if we deflate the tires on the trailer? We lower it and we could get it in. I mean we're in freak out mode. A major hurricane coming at us. It was still just a pinch too tall.

We're cranking down on the hoop frame to try to get it in and we did kind of stuff it in, but we damage the top of the ttop. We actually scratch the paint on the building and we damaged our shade and we kind of compromised some of the powder coating on this thing. Now, this t top originally was anodized and it was pitted. Back when we had it stripped and we had it powder coated and what I've learned is when you break anodizing from an aluminum t top, inevitably you're going to get corrosion. Even if you re powder-coated, OK, it's going to lift and we have some of those problems. Now. This year at the International Boat Building Exposition, I saw launched a new product that is not only going to solve my problems, but a lot of your guys' problems as well.

man pulling down motion

fishmaster goes under bridge

It's a folding top from a company called Fishmaster and it's good looking. It's not like some of these that you've seen that are kind of square and ugly and everything that you're going to put on the boat. This thing is sexy as all get out and today we're gonna learn about the advantages of this. Maybe you want to get your boat into a garage door. All right, you'll now be able to do it. I'll now be able to do it. Maybe you have a fixed bridge like in Jupiter. We have this train bridge, it's down a lot. I would love to be able to get this Whaler underneath that train bridge anytime of the day I want and we're going to solve that problem.

Who we have on the program now is Brandon Banning and Brandon is with a company called Fishmaster. I saw the Pro Series T-Top at the International Boat Building Exposition this year. And Dude, I'm telling you, this is really, really cool. I was hoping you could share with people in the audience because I'm thinking a lot of people are in the same position I'm at. They might want a t top on a boat, but they can't get it into a garage or maybe they can't get into a rack at a dry stack because the boat’s too tall with a t top on it and a lot of people have to deal with a fixed bridge. We have a train bridge that I'm trying to kind of get in and out of and I don't want to have to wait for the bridge to open. I just want it to be able to go, but let's start off with some features and benefits. Tell me a little bit about the material.

fishmaster t-top folding


What's this frame made out of? Of course, the most notable feature you're gonna see is actually the thickness of the tubing here. So this is actually a 2.25” diameter. What is the material? 6063 T6 aluminum. The finish on this? This is white powder coating. I think that's what matches to the boat. Really Nice. Yes. This is actually our bone white powder coating. We also have it available in a polished anodized aluminum finish. How many different pieces come with the top? Because apparently you can ship this in 2 boxes right to somebody's front door. Yes. So this is actually shippable in two boxes. There's going to be eight total pieces, two on each side support. And then you're going to have four equally sized pieces on the top section there. OK, what about the shade up here. This fabric, what do you guys use? We only use Sunbrella fabric. And it's available in nine different colors.

OK, so that's the best on the planet that you can get. Yes. I was told that at IBEX, that this t top is adjustable. Yes, this t top is adjustable. So on each side of that section you see these clamps and those will slide inwards and outwards when you're installing this t top to fit any center console 24 to 50 inches wide. So the Whaler is gonna fit right smack dab in the target zone there. So that's cool. Where's the adjustability? So the adjustability when you're installing it, there's actually screws up in these top sections that allow you to space these legs either closer together or further apart. Then you secure it down with these side stand off pieces as you see here. OK? So, you can cut that down and you can get it to fit whatever you have.

billet clamp fishmaster

quick release knobs

And then those clamps can slide along the pipe and everything's going to line up. So it's mounted into the center console with like a side stand off and then it looks like it's mounted into the deck of the boat. Yes. Four screws on each base. OK, I want to show everybody the folding ability of the top. And how does that happen? So on the, fold we've got our two side hinges here and here. This is the pivot point. What are these knobs about? These are quick release knobs. So all you gotta do is go ahead and turn yours out there. I'll remove mine right here. I'm going to show everybody this right here, kind of like thumb knobs.

And then, how do we fold this down? Once you get your quick-release knobs out, just go ahead and grab up on this top section and just pull it on down. Oh my gosh, that is easy. All right. And I want everybody to kind of check this out. Do you see the rod holder? Look at that in relationship to the height of the windshield, and if you can get your center console boat into that area with the windshield frame, this goes beneath it. We are in really, really good shape. We're not done. OK. This folding t top from Fishmaster actually folds the second time if you want, and the pivot point here is in the frame and so you can do the same knobs and that's going to fall down even further if you need it to be.

fishmaster t-top folded

rod holders fishmaster

I see that we have rod holders here. Does that come standard? Doesn't come standard, but we do have rod holders available as well as electronics boxes, a storage bag, led lights, all sorts of accessories, and we offer all of them in packages so you can buy it all at once. I think people are going to lose their mind. It's a great looking top. It's sexy as all get out. All right, but they're nice. They're going to need to know price. Is this an affordable t top or are we talking crazy money? No, it's very affordable so we actually sell this same t-top you're seeing here on Fishmaster.com, and it'll ship everything you need for $1899 out the door. Fantastic. Well guys, we're gonna be installing one on my wife’s 19’ Whaler. If you'd like to watch today's episode again, go to our website, shipshapetv.com, and watch it free on any device anytime, anywhere in the world today. It only took three days for Fishmaster to get me the folding ttop. To teach us how to install this t-top, here is James Kayney.


Maybe you could teach me and then we could teach everybody at home if they want a ttop, but they have a fixed bridge or they'd like to fold it down and protect their boat in their garage for the first time. I think this is really, really a big deal. Comes in two boxes. Pretty much everything you need to install. The folding t top is in these boxes. Where would we begin on the installation? The installation. You're going to start with the side up rights. How many pieces make up an upper two pieces are going to make up the upright, the bottom section and the top section. OK, and can you show everybody at home? Can you show him the hardware that we're going to be using to bolt this together? It's going to come with socket head cap screws, number 10, the allen keys supplied with it as well.

fishmaster installation

fishmaster side supports

Let's build the side uprights outside the boat. And, I know that we're going to have to build the top part, the frame here, the canopy. How many pieces make that up? There's going to be four sections to the top section gets mounted down in the same way, kind of the same way together as the same way with the socket, head cap screws. Could you help everybody at home? How to do the landing pads to attach it to deck. And then I also want to get into the standoffs, but let's start off with the deck. We're going to be putting in some self tapping screws that are stainless steel. What size hole do we drill? You're going to want to use a 316 inch drill. We're going to drill through the gel coat and the fiberglass. We're going to go into the core material of the deck, right?

We don't want any spider cracking. We wanna kinda champer out the top side of that whole. Then that joke, people can do that either with a counter sink or they could use like a number three phillips fit or something like that. Open that up. What do you use to actually seal off the holes and to act as an additional fastening device for this frame to the deck of the boat. We're gonna use 3M 5200 and that comes in the package. What you do want to make sure those holes are sealed? You want to put 3M 5200 on that footpad. Again, it's going to be 316 grade mechanical fasteners to the deck. We've got these stand offs that we're going to have to figure out once things are level, how much we've got to cut them, and then we're going to need to drill into the center console and on the standoff guides. You've got your fender washer right here, as well as, the bolt that goes on the inside of the console, and that's how that kind of attaches.

fishmaster stand offs

fishmaster t-top

We still have the hoop. OK, we got the top part of the frame. Do we bring it into the boat now and kind of set it into those little cradles mounted. You're going to take the top section of the hoop and you're going to set it into cradles on top of the t top. How does it permanently kind of mount there? With these caps right here in these cabinets are going to have socket head and cap screws as well. OK, fantastic.I know that there are a lot of different color choices. They only use Sunbrella fabric. Guys, I opted for red, but you can kind of get whatever color, nine different colors, and you can get that on their website. All right, but I really want you to help us to lace the top and kind of take us through the grommet and the actual string.

OK, how do we lace the top onto the frame? You're going to start at the center and the front of the t top with the canvas. And you're going to start by lacing your rope through the Grommet, over the tubing, back through the Grommet, and then over to the next grommet and repeat the process. OK? And we're going to go all the way around? That's right. Get us into tying it off. Turn it off. You're going to take one side and loop, not take the other side. Pull it tight through the loop. Now guys, they do come in different finishes. I opted for powder-coated white. You can also get it anodized. They also offer a lot of accessories. OK? And I was big on some rod holders and these are really nice. They clamp on it, make a lot of other accessories. We also manufacturer an electronics box with mounting brackets. That's designed to fit our t top, as well as antenna mounts, a navigation lights, running lights, light bars, a vertical stand-off kits. We have a full line of accessories that are designed to fit our two ttops.

lace up t-top

OK, so guys, here is the whaler with the original fixed t top on it, the one that was too tall to get into the building or to get under a fixed bridge. Here is the whaler without a top on it. So you're just looking at the center console. Here is my anodized frame that looks pretty good. Here's my wife’s. Now with a white powder-coated frame. I think it looks awesome and I thank you so much. We need to go to break. We'll right back.


Welcome back. You're watching ship shape, TV boat improvement. Maybe John's going to want to fold this top down. In order to fold this top down, you're going to want to install these quick release knobs. To install these knobs, you're going to take the bolt out of the rear leg and the leg as well. The knobs are going to go into the top hole of each leg on the rear leg is going to go toward the inside. The front leg is going to go on the outside. You're going to repeat this process for the opposite leg. Now, in order to fold this top down to get underneath lower bridges or in your garage, you can fold it down with these knobs in a matter of moments.

People, Boston whaler news. Take a look at that package. I mean, it's that sexy. Look at that. I look at the ttop, look how everything is color coordinated. We've got the white powder-coated frame. I want to give you a little tip though, when you're stringing this umbrella shades, OK, before you start threading, everything takes some tie straps and kinda center the shade in the middle of the frame just temporarily until you start trying it. You remember that stringing process, and then once you're done, you can cut those off also after you finish stringing the line and you're going to want to take a lighter to kind of melt the line so that they don't fray. Now I went with the white powder-coated rod holders. They have a lot of different accessories. And again, if you want one of these, go to fishmaster.com. I'm telling you, we're now able to get under that train bridge!

over head fishmaster t-top on water

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