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Cockpit Upgrades

Last Updated: 11/30/2017

Helm Seat


Hard Top

Our SF 44 came with a well-built dodger frame and arch.  But top of the cockpit enclosure was Sunbrella.  Between the parts of the frame, the Sunbrella dropped, and therefore water puddled in the low spots.  Since Sunbrella is hard to keep waterproof, we opted to build a "hardtop" to replace the Sunbrella top.  Here are some of the design criteria:

1.  Be as light as possible

2.  Support a man walking on the top

3.  Support 4 permanently mounted solar panels

4.  Have a water catchment feature

5.  Overlap the cockpit edges so water drips OUTSIDE the cockpit

6.  Have a slight forward slant and a slight curvature, so water drains to the forward outboard corners (part of the water catchment system).

7.  Provide a way to affix front and side curtains

8.  Be strong enough to handle sustained winds over 60 knots.

There was a guy (Jonathan) associated with our marina who had already built several hardtops for other boats, both monohulls and catamarans.  We worked with him to design the approach, around our existing frame, and then he and his workers actually fabricated the top.

Frame before Top Added


Frame 1 Frame 2

Fabrication of Hardtop

Note tabs for Solar Panel Mounting
and holes for water catchment

Fab1 Fab2
Fab 3 Fab4
Fab5 Fab6

Mounting the Hardtop on Existing Frame

Mounting1 Mounting2
Mounting3 Mounting4
Mounting5 Mounting6

Solar Panels Mounted on Hardtop

SolarPanels1 SolarPanel2

Shade and Clear Curtains for Enclosure

SideShade SideCurtains

The Full Set of Pictures for fabricating and installing the hardtop is here:


Future Addition: Strong Helm Seat

Current Seat
Our Current Seat
AtlasT's Seat
AtLasT's Seat
Changing Spots' Seat
Changing Spots' Seat
Tackless II's Seat
Tackless II's Seat


Future: Added Winches