Projects: Hard Top and Tower

6 Comments
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Lifting the tower

Raising the “Tower in a Box” with the boom for installation
Installing a hard top and tower is a major project that we’ve had in the works since we bought Luna.
We agreed to use the boat and learn what does and doesn’t work for us before doing any major projects.  But we knew from the beginning that our roomy cockpit needed some adjustments.  Who wants to live in a boat and only have lounge space down below?  Not us – we want to be outside as much as possible! So we are creating a giant back porch.
In Savannah, that means you need protection from both sun and sand gnats. We originally had a fabric dodger and fabric bimini.  They were functional.  But they didn’t match – nothing on the boat really matched.  And the bimini was quickly coming to the end of it’s life – it was riddled with patches and was reliably leaky. To top it off, there was no connecting piece from the dodger to the bimini, so if you were crazy enough to stand near the companion way (aka front door) during a storm, you’d get rained on.
dodger bimini before copy
Here she is when we bought her in all her multicolored glory.
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We’ll install our davits on the tower for our dinghy.

 

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Lowering the hard top

Lowering the hard top into place after positioning the tower.

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Inside view.  Determining the final height.
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The resulting clutter of a major project.
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That track along the left is where we installed LED lights –
and you can actually walk on the top of that portion.
hard top lights  
Hard top with lights.  There’s a red just behind the helm, and eventually
there will be a dimmer…

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Securing the hard top

Installing the braces.
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Luna Sea 2015
Finished Project.
While our dealings with Atlantic Tower did not go as smoothly as we would have liked, we are really happy with the outcome.  We’ve gone sailing since installing the top and have not noticed any significant differences.  That said, we haven’t really seen any winds over 20 knots yet, so we’ll see…  I’m currently working on a Strataglass dodger and sand-gnat-proof screen walls for the remaining portions/walls. Another project I’ve never done before, so keep your fingers crossed!
Do you have a favorite project you’ve done on your boat?  I’d love to hear about it.  Not that our list needs to get any longer before we leave…
6 Comments
  • LittleCunningPlan.com

    Reply

    I'll bet you never regret that hard dodger. Our hard dodger is one of the things we like most on Galapagos.

  • Anonymous

    Reply

    Any thoughts on using the hard top to collect rain water? Ken

  • Sailing LunaSea

    Reply

    Yes, absolutely! We just haven't gotten that far… its also the home of our solar panels. We will research options for collecting rain and play around with what will actually work for us.

  • Sailing LunaSea

    Reply

    I actually can't wait on the screen portion. Those sand gnats keep us inside way too much!

  • Fabian

    Reply

    Nice looking hardtop. I am looking for something similar, although I would like to reuse the frame for the soft-top and have a built-in rain catching system, which would likely mean a small lip of some sort. Would you recommend Atlantic Towers? And do you mind sharing the price you paid for it?

    • Jennifer

      Yes – we would recommend the Atlantic Tower in a Box. It is working out really well for us!
      We are actually going to add a small channel/something or other for rain collection. Should be super easy – and the top diverts a TON of water. We just need to control where it goes.
      The price over all is obviously variable. I think the tower cost is listed on the website. We have a quasi-custom top. But if you’ve already got the frame work, maybe you can make yours for less. We were unable to reuse our pre-existing bimini.

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