Construction woes…and the value of flexible materials

We discovered quite a while ago that boats, even fiberglass boats, are like houses. Things are not always square, plumb or true, no matter how good they look.

Toy Boat 2 was not as bad as our earlier aluminum hulls, but it did have a couple of things that caught us off-guard:

  • The console rail was not completely square in relation to the seat or the console
  • The front face of the console, under the seat, tilted very slightly to the rear. This makes sense, as the unit is molded, and would need some relief to make it easier to extract from the mold.

We started by assuming everything was square and straight, which meant the we had to re-cut a number of pieces before we got The Rack to fit properly. And if we were a little off…we let the natural flexibility of PVC pipe help us fudge the fit a bit.

The picture below shows the end result. The legs in front are longer because they sit on the deck. The legs in back are short because they sit on the console, at the same level as the console seat.

Completed Rack, version 1

Completed rack, version 1

How did we fasten The Rack to the boat?

Our best guess was that the weight of our tackle would keep the loaded rack on the deck. That meant that all we had to do was find a way to attach the rack to the console in a way that blocked forward and sideways motion.

We decided to use these rubber/velcro tubing holders (not sure what else to call them generically). While they might seem a bit flimsy, these gadgets have actually worked out really well. We have yet to have the Velcro pull loose, despite falling and pulling on the rack numerous times.

Velcro tube holder

Velcro straps with rubber tube holder

Velcro strap with rubber tubing holder connects console rail to rack

We used this gadget to bind the rack to the console rail.

All things considered, the PVC version came together fairly quickly. An afternoon’s work with the table saw, a hacksaw and a file, and we were all set!