Saturday, January 8, 2011

It is just a Stick

I have spent more than a week working on my side bumper rails.  Sure they look like a couple of sticks attached to the side of the boat but they are much more than that and very challenging to build.  When I think that I will just go down in the basement and a make something up in a few hours I should know that I am just day dreaming.  On the surface it looks like it will be an easy task but with a boat, there are curves everywhere and this was no exception.  The side of the boat has a curve up and down, along the horizontal axis with a nice twist.  Now the chore was to mount a straight bumper rail just at the right location.

The first thing I did was take my time and that paid off by building a stand to hold the wood into position.  Every time I put the wood back into position it was in the same exact spot.  Then I only had to measure, mark, plane, cut, and sand for two full days to get it fit just right.  I am very happy with the results.

I decided to epoxy T-nuts into the bumper rail making hard points so I could bolt them on from the inside of the boat.  This way I could pull to rail to the side of the boat making a perfect joint so I could clamp, caulk and epoxy them into position.  One trick that worked out well was to put wax on the bolts so the epoxy would not stick to the bolts while I was setting the hard points.

Now that the bumper rails are done, it is time to start working on the steering linkage.