i can show you pics of how "they" make an inexpensive covers for the long open part of the boat. There are about half a dozen old deadrise boats in my harbor and most use this tarp system that is pretty flexible and easy.
Agree that a tarp system is more flexible. Have a neighbor who crabs and oysters that's installing one now. Putting a 2X6 frame on the boat and then going to the finished tarp that he can tie down at multiple locations. He can have some shade and some open when he wants.
I just had a hard top added to my Albin 28 and love it. Got a great deal from Albert Martin in Deltaville. You can contact him through Andrea at Deltaville Marina 776-8900. He did it in less than three weeks and put it on in the slip...top quality and a great price. If you want to see his work...I'm in D-25 at Deltaville Marina.
I have had a wood top on my deadrise for five years now. Made it from 1/4 inch plywood, coated with boat resin and fiber glassed seams. It took three 4X8 sheets and several ripped 1x3's for ribs, two ribs per sheet. Forward end supported by the doghouse top and aft end by two by fours. Paint it every spring with a roller on a broomstick. works great