Building a Rack
I am in the process of building a knock down luggage/kayak rack for my 21' Soft-Top Searunner. I am planning on using 1.5" anodized aluminum pipe and Speed Rail fittings. I am planning on bolting this to the top of the gunwale of the boat with an aluminum backing plate. Does anyone see any issues with this? I think I can build it for about $300-400. Anyone ever had one welded up? Am I saving any money?
Great idea. I seen it done on a couple of large river boats and they carried a lot of gear on the racks.
Pleas post some photos when it is complete!
I vote fittings
I think those type of fittings look quite professional. They look heavy duty and I would think they would hold together as good or better then the type that is used on stainless bow railing. Of course you need to check them for tightness every once and a while due to vibration. The question was the price of fabrication with fittings verses welding. Since I am/was a welder and have fabricated similar equipment, my guess is it would be cheaper to weld it together if you are doing the welding but cheaper with fittings if you hire a professional welder. I vote fittings.
My caution would be, don't make it too heavy. Putting weight up high in a boat is a bad thing. If you make it too stout, you could be adding hundreds of pounds.
Asside from that, sounds like a good plan, and with the fittings you have the flexibility to make it the way you want, and modify as needed. I'd expect a welded up rack to cost at least as much.
Swing by Silver Streak boats on dimond D (anchorage)... Just south of West Marine.
I had him a build a rack for by 20' Sea Runner soft top... $350 or so...
It is great. I have a ply wood deck and my inflatable strapped on top..
The deck serves dual duty... A glassing deck and can also be brough in under the soft top. I run them from gunwale to gunwale then roll out my sleeping pads and bags... Works great...
Last edited by WinMag; 05-08-2007 at 12:45.
Reason: thought photo failed to attach
Looks like its going to be 1.25" pipe, which should be fine. Strong enough for the load yet lighter.
Total price for all materials came in at $445. Thats is for a 10' long rack with 4 cross bars and 4 uprights.