Though some might think such a simple boat buying question is hardly worthy of a blog post, we’ll have to politely agree to disagree. The reason for the opposition, we routinely speak with boat buyers who are simply frozen in indecision trying to determine if they should or should not add a top to their boat.
The reasons for a boat with cover are plentiful with perhaps the most beneficial being shade from the elements. Anyone who’s ever spent the entire day exposed to the sun not only knows the value of sun screen and aloe, they most likely also see the error of their ways in not adding a top to their boat. The elements aside, a T-Top will often provide additional overhead storage and power outlets many times including additional power for electronics. Other agreeable advantages include overhead map or courtesy lighting or even an optional mister system. Another often overlooked benefit, a T-Top frame provides a great hand rail while at cruise and when moving about the vessel.
Regardless of what anyone might say in favor of top, it adds weight. Regardless of its construction your boat topper will on average, plus up the vessel’s load between 95-150 lbs which equals an approximate loss of about 4 to 5mph. Adding to the negatives, a t-top can impact fishing from time to time, as ultimately lines WILL get hung up. One final downside, adding a top also adds to the final cost of the boat.
Making the Decision
As a general rule to cover or not really boils down to your use of your boat. If you’re running bays and inlets and don’t foresee all day outings, you might be able to save a few dollars by leaving off a top. However, if you’re planning on running offshore with small children or older passengers over extended periods, we strongly recommend the addition of a T-Top.
If you’re still having trouble determining which boat is best for your needs, we invite you to take a look at few of our previous posts on the topic of boat buying. For the top features in bay boats, check out, Choosing the Best Bay Boat for the Money. If you’re looking for the best in center consoles, visit Sea Born’s LX Center Console Series. Finally, if you’re thinking offshore boats, take a look at the top reviewed SX239.