Topsecret Boats Hardware

Product Review Article ...





TopSecretBoats Hardware is no longer a secret! A look at this top quality hardware for your next builds. Made in the USA and available worldwide!






Deciding which hardware to use on your boat can sometimes be quite a challenge. There are many manufacturers out there. We here at strongly suggest you use whatever hardware the boat manufacturer recommends for their product. In many cases though, the manufacturer doesn’t recommend any particular hardware leaving you with a sometimes difficult choice to make.


Should you have to make this decision, one hardware manufacturer you should consider is They have been around for some time now but they were not that well known to most model boaters. This is changing fast!


I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Garrett, owner of Top Secret Boats at the 2007 Orlando Winter Nationals. Bill had a lot of hardware there on display and I had a chance to take a closer look. When the time came to order hardware for my I-Box I knew exactly where to go!


Top Secret Boats LLC is based out of South Carolina USA. They are manufacturer and distributor of their custom CNC hardware. I could go on explaining their services and policies but they have a very complete website with a good FAQ section that explains it all!


I contacted Top Secret Boats by Email to place an order for my Crackerbox hardware. I told Bill what boat it was for and he prepared and shipped the hardware to me. Service was excellent. Shipping was fast and the product excellent.

The hardware is all produced of 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum, brass and stainless steel. The parts are precision machined to a smooth finish. All mounting hardware is made of stainless steel. Top Secret Boats hardware is currently available in natural and blue anodized finish. Other colors of anodizing might be available at times so see the website for up to date information. Available hardware includes: trim tabs, struts, rudder assemblies, drives, pipe mounts, engine mounts and a LOT more! {sidebar id=14}


Image ImageHere are some pictures of the hardware I received for my crackerbox. You will notice the double trim tabs. In most cases these will work fine, as was the case with my crackerbox. The fact that they are joined together makes installation a lot easier. I would however like to see some individual trim tabs available from Top Secret Boats for installations where you do not want or require double tabs. Where doubles are required, these fit the bill perfectly and look great too!







Image ImageThe turn fin is machined of a single piece of angle aluminum. The fact that is a one piece part makes it strong and simple in design. It does not however offer kick back protection in case of a hit. This is not such a big deal with turn fins but it is worth mentioning in case this is a priority to you.







Image ImageThe strut is of conventional design. It comes with a piece of 5/16” brass tubing already installed in it. The available brass bearing (bushing) fits snuggly into it. This is perfect for square drive setups. If you are going to use this strut with a collet (welded cable) setup, you will want to order the strut without the 5/16” brass tubing insert or take it out yourself to allow your 5/16” stuffing tube to enter the strut.







Image ImageThe rudder assembly pictured here is a double water pickup, wide blade. There are different sizes and shapes available. You can also get different bracket lengths. This one is a 4” version to meet Crackerbox regulations. The linkage arm is detachable as is the mounting bracket and pivot block making this rudder assembly easily convertible for left or right side installation. The rudder features kick-back protection by means of a small 4-40 “sheer” bolt.







All of the parts were supplied with stainless steel mounting bolts and t-nuts for inside the transom. If you are not familiar with T-nuts, they have prongs that allow them to grip in the wood when they are tightened the first time. Later when the time comes to remove your hardware or simply retighten it you will be able to do so easily even if you have a radio box or other items mounted next to the transom. No need to get in there to hold any bolts! They are great and make things so much easier! Just make sure they are stainless steel!


Here are some pictures of a drive I ordered from Top Secret Boats for my new Stryker Y6 Mono (to be reviewed in the next issue). Again, a top quality product with simplicity in mind. This is a bullet proof drive suitable for both collet and square drive setups. It features a removable cartridge for removing the cable on square drive setups. The cartridge is secured in place by double set screws. It also features a hole for lubricating.




Overall I really like the hardware by Top Secret Boats. I can honestly say that it is some of the best quality hardware currently available to model boaters. In addition to the high quality of the products is the excellent customer support and the flexible payment options available (Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Money Orders, Business or Personal checks). Also, if you are fairly new to the hobby, the hardware comes assembled so you do not have to guess what goes where. This may seem unimportant to some, but I thought it was a nice touch that would be appreciated by newcomers.



Contact Information:


Top Secret Boats LLC


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 843-322-0006 (shop)

Toll Free Phone: (888) 747-0671 (US, Canada, Puerto Rico)




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