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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Upstate South Carolina
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2006 260DA
    Engine(s)
    350 MAG Bravo III
    Posts
    5,980

    Camper canvas installation

    Yesterday I installed my camper canvas for the first time on my new 260DA and I found it quite frustrating. I had to ask the service department for some help because I first thought the canvas just didn't fit. After seeing what they had to do by way of pulling and stretching, zipping and unzipping, etc, I was a bit dismayed that installing the canvas was this difficult. Even after we finished, there were two zippers we couldn't get fully closed. They indicated that if I get the boat in the sun and get things heated up, those zippers should close. I should also mention that on my boat I have regular snaps on the top of the windshield rather than the rubber channel that Sea Ray has used in the past.

    So for all you experienced folks out there, should I expect that next year will be just as bad or will the canvas take a "set" and stretch a bit after being up for the winter making it easier to install next year? How many of you have experienced this kind of difficulty installing your canvas? Any tips you can offer will be appreciated.
    2006 260DA............Former Sea Rays..... 1999 210SD ...... 2002 240SD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, N.C.
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2006 185 Sport
    Engine(s)
    4.3 L 190 HP
    Posts
    3,916
    Dave,

    I am not familiar with the camper cover so hopefully others will help out with the question. But I would assume it is alot like the regular canvas cover. The first time I tried to put it on the boat I would have swore there was no way this was for my boat. But over time it has stretched and now is easy to put on. I would say give it some time and a couple of putting it on and taking it off and you should not have a problem. Now for the professionals to help...

    Wesley
    Wesley
    2006 Sea Ray 185 Sport; 4.3L 190HP
    Alpha One
    Charlotte, North Carolina


  3. Dave

    When I had my 250DA, I centered the top canvas without anything on the sides yet and not tied down in the front by measuring using a tape. Once I had it centered, I marked the stainless frame where tyhe canvas should be using a sharpie. I always started at the front and worked my way back. For me, the most frustrating thing was finding one side of the boat tight and the other loose.

    It will get easier once it's had a chance to stretch a bit and doing on a hot day is going to be a lot easier.

    S
    Skip
    (AKA BassDude)
    y.i. Otter
    1988 340 Sundancer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Norman, OK
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    280 Sundancer
    Engine(s)
    Twin 4.3L MPI with Alpha Drives
    Posts
    58
    I installed my camper canvas for the first time last week. It had never been out of the bag since the boat was bought new by the first owner in August 2004. I laid all of the pieces out in the sun for about an hour before I began to warm them up but still had a heck of a time with several of the zippers, espicially the port and starboard rear panels. In all I spent two hours getting everything to fit properly including slight adjustments to several of the snaps along the windshield. Like you, I still have one zipper that will not close all the way...but it's pretty close.

    I'm hoping that next year will be easier too!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    OCEAN BEACH
    Boat
    SEARAY
    Details
    460 SUNDANCER 2001
    Engine(s)
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3
    Posts
    149
    Dave, Looking at your boat picture sides and back camper panels.I zipper first then snap. Don't snap first you will pull stitches out of zipper. Warm weather will help. If you have ceramic heater plug it in back of boat let canvas heat up a little then snap.

    OCEAN BEACH
    2001
    460 SUNDANCER
    M&M'S PLAIN PEANUT
    JOHN R.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee/NW Florida
    Boat
    Sea Ray & a Boston Whaler Dauntless (75hp Merc)
    Details
    1996 450DA
    Engine(s)
    3116 Caterpillars
    Posts
    8,362
    Typical for good fitting canvas, Dave.

    The bigger the boat the worse it is, but it is far better to have tight canvas than to have it bag and catch water. My tops sound like a drum head if you thump them with your finger.

    If there is a cause and associated trick, it has to to with temperature. You are likely not going to get cold canvas up because of the shrinkage of both the Sunbrella and the isinglass. Next year, pick a warm or even hot day, put all the canvas panels ouside the boat in an area where they can warm up during the day, then put up the enclosure in the sun when you are ready.

    From where you are now, all you can do is wait for a warm day and try. One trick is to releax the center bows on the tops and inch or so. That takes pressure off the canvas package all around the boat and may allow you to get it fastened/zipped. When all the closures are done, loosen the top bows and push them up......sometimes a little on successive warm days.

    Putting up cold canvas is hard on the canvas, isinglass, stitching, zippers and snaps not to mention you and your frustration quotient.
    Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
    Boat
    Four Winns
    Details
    v358
    Engine(s)
    twin 5.7 vp duoprop
    Posts
    368
    First of all, be thankful you have snaps instead of the window channels. My 260 had channels and I would not buy another boat with them.

    Things will loosen up. The mostly canvas panels will just strech with use. The mostly isenglass panel will strech and contract with temperature. I leave my full canvas up all week when I'm not there and sometimes at night when we are there. After one season, even on warm days I cannot fully zipper all the isenglass panels, especially on the front edge of the arch.

    Sometimes you can help things a little buy moving the snaps on the windshield, if you unscrew them a little they will slide around.

    Finally you really want one of these Ironwood top snappers, overpriced but the best $25 you can spend :

    2008 Four Winns V358 - Twin 5.7L VP Duoprop - on ice till spring

    2005 300 DA - Twin 5.0L MPI Bravo 3 Drive - Traded

    2001 260 BR - 7.4L MPI Bravo 3 Drive - Traded

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brick, NJ
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    Boatless...for now
    Engine(s)
    None
    Posts
    3,909
    Dave, It will get easier with practice. I find it MUCH easier when I start the zippers first about 4" or so THEN do the snaps and finally zip the rest of the way. If you zip first you will find it almost impossible to snap the rest in place. This has been the best method I have found with my 260DA. Good luck, Brian
    Previous boats
    2006 SeaRay 300DA. Twin 350 Horizon Bravo 3's
    2004 SeaRay 260DA. 350 MPI Bravo 3
    2003 SeaRay 220SD. 260 MPI Alpha 1
    1988 Wellcraft 210 Classic. 260 HP 5.7 EFI Bravo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    320 Sundancer, Mercury 310 Sport Inflatable Tohatsu 6HP
    Engine(s)
    350 Mag V-Drive - Kohler 5ecd
    Posts
    3,220
    It gets easier with practice. But it is always really tight. Until it is up and sitting in the sun.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Upstate South Carolina
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2006 260DA
    Engine(s)
    350 MAG Bravo III
    Posts
    5,980
    Thanks everyone for the tips and relating your own experiences. And thanks to jrcinnh for suggesting the Ironwood Top Snapper too. I just went out to West Marine this morning and bought one! That tool also will solve the problem of how to resnap the center panel from inside the boat since it will occasionally be removed for things like extra ventilation or getting up to the bow to deploy the anchor.
    2006 260DA............Former Sea Rays..... 1999 210SD ...... 2002 240SD

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