Brian Raises the Roof! - Hampton Safari Boat Club

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Brian Raises the Roof!

Dry Dock > Safari Projects

Brian Raises the Roof!  (replacing Hampton Safari canopy rollers - an illustrated guide)

The canopy on our Safari had become increasingly difficult to open and close, and I always had to go outside to push and pull whilst Jan did the same from inside. After a few tugs and a lot of effort …sometimes it would open a foot or two. Came the day when we thought enough was enough...

With the kind assistance of Keith (Lanson) and another friend we managed to complete the whole job whilst moored on the river. The job could have been done by two ..but three made it easier...

If you want to do it on your own boat then we hope that these photos will help.....


  • There can be multiple causes of excessively heavy to move canopies:

a) Seized or badly worn rollers. Seixed rollers can sometimes be freed up with WD40 spray. Worn rollers must be replaced.
b) Rotton roller supports inside the canopy - this might be checked by viewing the alignment of the canopy with the deck to see if the wheel have disappeared on one corner or side of the canopy...
c) Badly damaged track - should be obvious if you can get the canopy fully open - not as common as the two prevous causes.
d) A combination of any of the above.

  • Purchase your new rollers ready for fitting....(see details below or here)

Raising The Roof (Using the "low tech" method!)

  • Add 3 men with muscles and a photographer (Jan?).

  • Pick a fine dry day!

(or be the muscles working on the inside! )

  • Open the canopy at least 18 inches.

  • With a man each side lift the rear of the canopy and support it with sturdy 3"x2" blocks on the rear roof section as you go.

  • Place a  9 ft 3 x2  timber across the inside of the boat to support the canopy approximately in the centre

  • You can now remove the rear blocks

  • Lift each side of the canopy in turn to place another block on top of the  9 ft timber

  • With careful fore and aft adjustment of the blocks you will be able to have the canopy nicely balanced…

  • It will then be easy to swing it up or down to work on the front or back rollers

  • We purchased our rolllers from Coburn Sliding Systems, Bottom Roller Mortice Pack  Ref No 64402

  • They are not cheap - including VAT and postage they cost £200.00 for the set of four. However,  being exact replacements they fitted directly into the existing morticed slots, saving on cutting/adapting new housings etc.

  • Each canopy wheel is secured by two screws

  • The rear wheels are not that easy to access but it is do-able. (Be careful not to drop tools or yourself over the side! )

  • The front ones,  after swinging the canopy up, can be reached more easily from inside the boat

  • After doing the job we examined the old wheels.... and found that three of them had flats worn into the wheels…


  • They had not been rotating....just sliding (badly)!

  • Now Jan can open and close the canopy on her own with just one hand!

  • Well worth doing this job and many thanks to Keith and Keith for their assistance.

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