Sailcloth vinyl top for my truck questions...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by White2098, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. White2098
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Monterey

    White2098 Junior Member

    hey guys, i don't own a boat, but i have a truck with the same material that a lot of boats use and i had a question about it.


    i've been having a hell of a time seeing with my soft top on. i backed into a car last year because of it. the problem is they make these things with no side windows and a small little back one, so i basically lost 90% of my rear visibility when i put the soft top on.

    here is a picture of what the soft top looks like(mines white).

    [​IMG]

    now off to my question, is it possible to do custom cuts to add windows to the vinyl top? if so, where is a good place in the Monterey bay area to do it, or is it easy enough to do myself?

    thanks for any help guys!
     
  2. Knautcal
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Mississauga

    Knautcal Junior Member

    Hi
    Yes it is possible to create greater visibility. To find someone to do it for you then contact your local marina they could recommend a reliable company in the canvas/dodger business. Just be sure they use 20 gauge or higher window material as 10 gauge is to flimsy and excites a cheap price. You get what you pay for.
     
  3. White2098
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Monterey

    White2098 Junior Member

    thanks Knautcal, i'll keep that in mind going down to the local shops.

    one more quick question, would it be possible to get a material that is easier to see through/keep clean? the window i have on the back is always dirty and whenever i fold my top up it gets all crinkly and hard to see through. i'm not sure what gauge it is, but it seams pretty thick.
     
  4. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    It's darn near flat - I bet it collects all kinds of dust. You're in Cali? Lucky you! Check out some antique auto swap meets. Many of the oldies used aluminum or stamped steel frames to attach glass to fabric tops. If you don't find one large enough, you might be able to solve your problem with a series of them.

    I'd use plexiglass if you go this route. (Home Depot sells it.) The oldtime windows were vertical. Installing them in a near-horizontal position will pull on your fabric, so the lighter the better.
     
  5. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    kenJ Senior Member

    window

    Looks like you have 2 options. Either widen your current window to give you a "wrap around" effect or add a triangular window to each side. Might want to print out a couple pictures and play with some different styles. Any good boat canvas shop should be able to sew it up for you.

    With the window being so close to horizontal it will be hard to keep it clean. Meguires plastic cleaner works well to clean and remove haze. I've had good luck with "Purple Magic" a spray on cleaner. Works like "rain-ex" making the plastic a bit more slippery so dew/rain slides off. Helps keep the dirt from sticking. PM is available at most boat shows or on line.
     
  6. White2098
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Monterey

    White2098 Junior Member

    thanks ken, i'll do a little photo shop work later today and see which one i like. i had planned on a triangle window, but i have a couple months before i do this project so i have plenty of time to think lol. do you have any idea how much it might cost to do either one?
     
  7. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    kenJ Senior Member

    RE cost

    Since it is a modification it should not cost much, materials and a couple hours of labor. No idea what CA labor rates are now.
     
  8. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Ohio

    longliner45 Senior Member

    thats a good looking truck ,,I think a small missin and sail would look really cool too
     
  9. White2098
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Monterey

    White2098 Junior Member

    double post
     
  10. White2098
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Monterey

    White2098 Junior Member

    missin and sail?

    that's actually just a picture off of the soft top site, here's mine... sorry no pictures of the soft top yet.

    [​IMG]

    thanks again for the help guys, i appreciate it a ton!
     
  11. dockdave
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: long island

    dockdave Junior Member

    I've been making custom canvas for 20 yrs. even made a few of the bronco covers you are talking about. .030 or .040 gauge clear vinyl is what you need. Strataglass is a trade name for the clearest and most scratch resistent pressed polished clear vinyl. If you go check out either EZ2CY or Ranier's website you can find the best fabricators in your area. Any of these companys can do whatever you want
     
  12. White2098
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Monterey

    White2098 Junior Member

    perfect, thanks dave!

    and since you worked on some of the tops, is there anything i can do about a color change? from what i've heard you can't, but you seam to be the expert on the subject.
     
  13. dockdave
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: long island

    dockdave Junior Member

    i've heard of people dying some materials. I would never entertain the thought, the materials are the cheap part. In your case i have one thought for ya, from the picture looks like a fairly new paint job on said truck would you trust your dye job wouldn't RUN out of the fabric.
     
  14. White2098
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Monterey

    White2098 Junior Member

    sorry for the late reply, been outa town.

    the paint job is pretty old, but still in good shape, so i wouldn't want to risk it. i'll ask around some more and see if anybody around here does anything special that works well.

    i was messing around with a picture i took and came up with an idea for the windows. please, if you think you have a better suggestion don't hesitate to say so.

    this isn't exactly what it would look like, it's just a quick photo edit to give you an idea, but this is basically what i have in mind right now.

    current look
    [​IMG]

    afterwards, wider/taller back window and side window,
    [​IMG]

    by the way, that dent in the back right was due to the soft top giving me no visibility. you shoulda seen the other car though lol
     

  15. dockdave
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: long island

    dockdave Junior Member

    looks ok but i would try large radiused corners. It helps to blend the uneven material lines. photo shop it . don't forget it is also possible to enlarge the rear window (especially upward) looks like it would be tough to see out of rear view mirror
     
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