You either hate them or love them. These are plenty of reasons why a T-Top may work for you, or not.
Why have a T-Top on a boat?
When I first bought my bay boat, a Pathfinder 2200V, I had no idea if I would like the T-Top or not. After fishing out of it for a few years I discovered that I really loved the Pathfinder, but had mixed feelings about the T-Top.
It has been both a blessing and royal pain in the ass.
Why I like my T-Top:
- provides shade during the summer time (huge relief when it's hot)
- gives me a spot to mount my all-around white light higher and in a place it can't blind me in the dark.
- I can mount my radio antenna higher
- a grab rail for friends to hold onto while we are underway
- there is a lot of utility (places to tie bags to, put stuff like pliers and the landing net)
- it is something I can hold on to while walking the gunnels
- I can "sail" the boat using the T-Top as a sail and the motor as a rudder. It actually works pretty well for drifting shorelines and oyster beds.
...and why I don't:
- takes away casting space
- during the winter it blots out the sun, making the boat a lot colder than what it has to be
- people snag it when casting, even experienced anglers
- a fishing rod was broke on the T-Top (enough reason to never have another)
- more fishing rods were also mercilessly beat on the T-Top
- It's one more thing that can break. There is already a crack through one of the support arms. It's more cosmetic than anything. I still hate looking at it.
Wind Makes It Worse
The added surface area of a T-Top is another aggravation.
Trolling motor use is difficult when wind is constantly grabbing that giant sail in the middle of the boat.
Low-profile boats do much better in windy conditions, because there is less surface area for wind to push on. A benefit of this is prolonged trolling motor life.
But this benefit is lost with the addition of a T-Top, or anything else that would present more surface area, like an elevated console or tower drive.
Some bridges are impossible to pass under with the T-Top installed. Sometimes I have had to take the long way around because of this. I don't like that.
Choosing a T-Top depends on you and your needs. I can't tell you what's good for you, but I can share my experience.
My next bay boat will not have a T-Top. It will feature less frills and no liner. Liner, gelcoat, extra frills and shiny polished surfaces are one more thing to take care of. I don't like that.
Why? Because working on my boat falls into my least favorite time category: Time spent not fishing.
Have Questions? Then head on over to my forum, Louisiana Fishing Reports. You can get all the boat advice you want.