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-   -   She's got a nice rack! (http://www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=45060)

23six 04-30-2007 02:09 AM

She's got a nice rack!
 
4 Attachment(s)
OK, I couldn't help it, needed a clever title to get you guys to view my handywork. Anyway, I've had my boat (the Kalea Kai) now for about a year. I've got about 135 hours on the engines and have decided to keep her for at least another year and maybe more. The vessel is a 2006 Angler 26' WalkAround. Why it's called a 2500, I don't know...perhaps because that extra foot really comes from the useless bow pulpit that I will likely never use except for re-enactments of the movie Titanic. So, having decided to keep her, I've decided to start all the projects I've been putting off. The first and foremost has been making a speargun rack. The existing rack on the market "off the shelf" from Spearfishing Specialties is a fine unit, but I just couldn't find a good place to attach them. Since the boat is a WalkAround style hull/cabin there isn't a whole lot of room for that sort of thing. After a year of working on this in my head I finally started about 3 weeks ago. After MANY design ideas I finally came up with what I feel was the best way to go. Unfortunately, it involved cutting into the gunnel caps. Thus, another reason I kept putting this project off. This being my first boat, and I'm not a regular "handyman" as it were, it was hard to start cutting. Well, after much inner turmoil and stress I started drawing some lines on the gunnels and busted out the hole saw to cut the rounded corners first. Once I was beyond the point of no return for some reason I felt relieved. This was basically the committment that "YES" I will actually be going through with this. I had purchased a 24" x 54" x 1/2" piece of starboard a year ago and was finally going to use it. I spent $120 on that thing at Outdoor World and now I'm finally going to use it. Now, where did I put that again?

So, once the project started I rounded up a bunch of materials and tools that I had very little experience with. I have never done anything like this but was determined to make something that could pass as a professional job from a short distance. I knew it wouldn't be perfect, but the plan was to be safe, functional, structurally sound and still not make the boat look hacked up. I think the only tool for the project that I already owned was a cordless drill. After cutting one hole with it I quickly realized that it wasn't going to cut it for all the drilling I would need to do. Oh yeah, I had a few drill bits and 2 hole saws - and the rulers, tape measure and utility knife if you want to get technical. A not so quick trip to Home Depot got me a table saw, drill press, belt/disc sander thingy, router table and some router bits. Additionally, I bought a new dremel kit with a flex shaft (don't even try to get by without the flex shaft attachment) and a cord-powered drill. Most of the stuff was of a non-professional grade considering I didn't see opening a business doing this sort of thing. You can spend over $500 on a decent table saw. $500 got me the table saw, drill press, belt sander and router table kit. So, off to West Marine for some Stainless hardware. OK, I have to buy what I want/need piece by piece - I can't buy a box of 100 screws. Whatever. The little "kits" they sell are really just for having spares too. Don't go thinking you can actually build something with those box kits. You only get 2 or 4 of any one size. I could go on. Anyway, here are some early pics of the tools used.

23six 04-30-2007 02:12 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
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Here is just the beginning of some materials. One thing I did learn for sure is this - you never have enough materials, you will always need to go back to the store for something else. This is ESPECIALLY true for hardware. I must have gone to buy more hardware 4 times. Each time I was thinking "cool, won't have to do that again".

23six 04-30-2007 02:13 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
I ended up using 4 of those big sheets I think. Not every bit of each piece, but the majority of them. I still have plenty of scrap pieces left now for all the other smaller starboard projects I've been putting off - so they will seem "almost free" since I already have the board material.

23six 04-30-2007 02:17 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
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Here we are passing the point of no return. Mind you at this point the plan is still just in my head. I'm just telling myself that the gunnel caps are replaceable anyway and not part of the permanent hull cap. If necessary I can still put the boat back to the factory original spec. You may notice that the background is dark. Most of this work was done at night after work in my back yard. Not exactly ideal, but what can I do. Sometimes you have to make due with what you have.

23six 04-30-2007 02:22 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
About now you're likely thinking "why leave the extra piece in the middle". Well, the starboard material was only 54" long and if I didn't seperate that into 2 sections I would have to custom order a huge sheet of starboard that would be very difficult to work with. Additionally, I wanted to give the whole thing an extra boxed brace right down the middle. The little pieces of starboard already mounted is where the factory installed rod holders. However, if you notice there are only holes for the rods to go into the aft section of the hull. Well, the only fishing poles I was able to fit there is my son's kiddie pole. You couldn't even fit the gaff hook in one of the rod holders. Really pissed me off to discover that fact. So, I took off the rod holders and left on the base pieces. I figured I could use them as a base to install further box framed supports for the gun rack.

23six 04-30-2007 02:27 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
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So, I started drawing out some basic plans and making the box frame support pieces to go down the middle of the gunnels. I found that both port and starboard sides had to have unique measurements as the given areas from the factory were not identical. Also I started cutting out the actual rack pieces.

23six 04-30-2007 02:30 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
As the project was rolling I would discover new ideas and figured I could make those box sections actually have a further function other than just structural integrity. I used a hole saw to make a spot for the gaff and for extra shafts right in the gun rack. Note my high-tech CAD drawings, not to mention I made the basic plans AFTER starting the project! (what a dumb-ass) That's how you end up coming up short on materials and making other time-costly mistakes.

23six 04-30-2007 02:32 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
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Some pics of the first stage installed on the boat.

23six 04-30-2007 02:38 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
Once it starts coming together you start believing you may actually pull it off. Then, after you use the router to get that factory-looking edge...you get a nice smile on your face that just won't go away. I did end up rounding some corners that were unnecessary, but it was all a learning experience. As you see it here (above) is how I took the boat out with it for the first time. I knew that I wasn't finished yet, but should have a functional rack without the final nice touches. The bungie at the top is supposed to hold the guns in place. It is completely removable but designed to be unhooked on one end and then wrapped over the guns. I was originally thinking I would have room for 12 guns, but as it worked out I had room for 16 guns including 4 slots for bigger handled guns like the bluewater guns I plan to eventually have. A fully winged gun will not fit of course, but it would fit in the cabin if necessary. The 2 foreward-most slots on each side have bigger notches for the bigger guns.

23six 04-30-2007 02:40 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
Well, that first trip on the water was almost a success. Really, the only issue was that the single bungie up top was not enough to keep the Rob Allen guns from sliding out the bottom notch when in rough seas. The reason is that the Rob Allen guns do not have a loading butt. It wasn't a huge deal, but I already had a plan in mind for that as I did anticipate that would be the case. Other guns on the boat with loading butts had no issues whatsoever.

23six 04-30-2007 02:46 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
5 Attachment(s)
With the extra components in mind I started with building the extra support boxes and went from there. I also came up with a sliding-door type of system to better keep everything in place for longer hauls on land or water. All 3 doors are the same size and interchangeable with one another. I added another bungie cord (more permanent style) just behind the base of the rack to hold up to 9 guns without loading butts (mainly Rob Allen handle guns). The bungie being on the inside would mean slightly more effort in putting the guns in place but they were unlikely to fall out.

23six 04-30-2007 02:51 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
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I ended up using some "DockEdge" as rubber bumpers for the in-floor fishbox hatches. I'd been looking for some sort of door stop to use now for a year and noticed these at Outdoor World last week. I simly bought a couple of corner pieces and cut them in half with a utility knife. Works perfectly and costs less than every single door stop I found. Here are some more pics showing the slide-in doors.

23six 04-30-2007 02:53 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
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And finally...some pics of how it all works with guns!

23six 04-30-2007 02:55 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
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And this is what my once-clean garage and tools look like now...

23six 04-30-2007 03:03 AM

Re: She's got a nice rack!
 
All-in-all it has been a great learning experience and the result is a rack made for my boat by me that not only works great (in ANY seas condition), but is actually stronger than the original integrity and in my own opinion looks nice too. Patrick and Ryan seemed to like it well enough on Saturday as well - and for once nobody had to step over 6-10 spearguns lying on the deck or poke themselves in the ankles (Patrick didn't have to poke himself in the same ankle twice with the same shaft either). I'm not 100% complete as I know I still need to make some slight upgrades and finishing touches, but even if I stopped now I would be happy. Keep in mind that I have NEVER done anything like this before, I have never even taken a woodshop class or anything of the sort, never even built a birdhouse or something of that skill level. The only reason I mention all that is because if I can pull it off, you can too. Make common sense choices and ask for help when you need it. If you think you are doing something unsafe and/or stupid - you probably are. That's the little voice saying "now's the time to ask for help". Hope you like the post and pics, hope it gets you thinking of tackling those projects you've been putting off as well.


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