Shari & Tom Roberts
The installation was not without challenges. Our concerns were making 100% certain that the top was rock solid and securing the legs to a .100 of an inch thick floor wasn’t going to get it. If you have an aluminum boat, our suggestion is to take the time to do it right. I promise you Fishmaster will be right there with you. To make a long story, we decided on bolting down two strips of T6061 38” x 4” x .375 aluminum to the stringers of the boat. This would give us a rock solid base and the ability to basically install the top in a position that would give us the most protection from the elements. After all, that’s the reason we started this venture.
When we first opened the two big boxes, we were in awe. It was evident that there was a lot of forethought and engineering put into the design of this top. The materials used are first rate and no matter “how pretty” the pictures look until you put your hands on the top, you will not fully appreciate it. The provided instructions are very well written with supplied photographs. We took our time with the installation and while we had our moments with a couple of broken taps and a few choice words, in the end we are extremely pleased. The T6061 is bolted down to 4 stringers and then we drilled and tapped the material and secured the legs with stainless machine screws that went through the T6061 and into the floor of the boat. Since the console in our boat was a bit lower than the horizontal brace on the legs, Greg suggested we use the Vertical Standoff Braces. We placed the order and within 12 hours they were at our door. The braces make the top of the frame as solid as a rock and you can mount them pretty much anywhere. The accessories offered by Fishmaster are every bit as outstanding as their T-Top. The Vertical Standoff Braces are stout and well designed. We also ordered 4 Rod Holders and they are nothing short of top notch.
We took the time and effort to write this in hopes that it may help others make the “right choice”. We did and it was a Fishmaster T-Top. If you are in the least bit hesitant to order something “sight unseen”, hopefully this will have eased your concerns a bit. Greg and Fishmaster provide a top notch product and support that is second to NONE! Now I shall digress a bit. At the outset I mentioned the “other company” that makes a folding t-top. I did receive a response 3 weeks later after FOUR requests. Did I respond? You bet, I sent them pictures of my new Fishmaster T-Top!