Projects: Hard Top and 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. 
Here she is when we bought her in all her multicolored glory.

We'll install our davits on the tower for our dinghy.

Lowering the hard top into place after positioning the tower.

Inside view.  Determining the final height.
The resulting clutter of a major project.

That track along the left is where we installed LED lights -
and you can actually walk on the top of that portion.
Hard top with lights.  There's a red just behind the helm, and eventually
there will be a dimmer...

Installing the braces.

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...


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

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

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

    1. 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.


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