How to Install a T-Top on a Boat

The Island Now


Generally, it can cost $3,500 or more to install a custom T-top on your boat or to choose it as a factory-installed option. However, some companies offer more affordable aftermarket T-tops. For example, Stryker T-tops have two standard models that are very affordable and are ideal for a wide selection of boats.

Below are the steps you should take to install a T-top on your boat in order to have the best island-hopping experience.

Clean the installation area

Because you are going to drill holes into the wall, you will need to check with the manufacturer about where the fuel tank is. Stryker T-tops mount on the center console corners so you will need to clean the installation area with acetone and tape the deck area where you will put the T-top feet using outdoor masking tape.

Combine the side rails together for effective mounting

Place the upper and lower side rails on the ground together, then carry them on board to determine the best mounting location. Measure the distance from the base’s back to the stern’s bottom and also to the cockpit’s edge. You also need to determine the measurements on the blue masking tape. Use these measurements to assess the location of the side rail on the console’s other side.

Put a T-square on the cross member for proper location

Lay a cross-member T-square to help you find the right place to drill. Make a mark at the desired location on the console and on the pipe. Drill holes in the console and pipe. When the T-top is attached to the deck, the stand-off can be installed.

Secure the T-tops using blue tape

Because Stryker T-tops have clamps to secure the top above the side rails, they can be used on a broad range of boats with consoles of varying widths. These clamshell clamps have pivoting hinges that appear to flop prematurely. Top them with the blue tape until the section above is put in place and until you are ready to bolt them down. Place the side support bases on the blue tape in their outline and raise the top into place.

Drill some pilot holes

Use a small drill bit to drill any pilot holes when the tape is still in place and the T-top device is properly positioned. Make sure you dig straight down and go roughly 2 inches deep. After drilling all the pilot holes, push the T-top forward, away from the holes, and cut the tape. Utilize a countersink drill bit to chamfer the hole and ensure that when you drill it with the larger bit or insert the screws, the fiberglass does not break. With a 0.15-inch drill bit, drill the main holes and brush off any loose fiberglass.

Fix the position of the T-top bases

Replace the T-top bases over the holes you drilled and place one person behind the rear base to keep it from slipping and raising the front end up in the air. Do this at both front locations and allow the person to stoop down while holding the top until the base is about an inch above the ground. Allow the person who did the caulking to partially insert the screws in place and screw them in just one inch. Then the person holding the top will turn ends and tip the back.


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