Building a casting railing - construction ideas?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Jim Speaker, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    This railing idea is for the little 12' skiff I'm likely about to purchase from SpeySpaz post with the pics, coupled with adding grip to the casting deck so it's a safe platform on the South Sound inlets and bays.

    I'm thinking aluminum tubing and some kind of really solid clamps to form a V with a high apex on the bow, a couple vertical support struts 1/2 way between the bow and where it meets the gunwale on each side... I should put a light on there at the bow too so I don't get a hard time from johnny law at dusk.

    I'm also going to put in a wood floor between the seats with grip for safety, comfort and stealth.

    What would you do to make this a little fishin' machine?
     
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Roll up your sleeves and get to it! Sounds like taking a very good boat and adding some specific improvements. I've been pondering adding a kid containment rail to my 14' Livingston. The girls are great when we go out but mom would probably enjoy it more if there was a bit more "restraint" for them. I added a full casting platform that spans the entire bow area and two plank bottoms for the area in the deep portions of the hull so that it would be flat for standing / walking. I'm glad I made those little mods. I bet yours will end up quite nice.
     
  3. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    I want to be able to get up and fish when there's some chop, ya know... it's a small boat and if I'm gonna go stalk rezzies and SRCs with Jeff, we need to maximize how we can use this small space. Not sure how much reinforcement is on that front deck, but if it's not enough already I'll reinforce it so it's a full on casting deck where we can throw some line with confidence.
     
  4. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Wow, no nutty ideas about how to build a nice railing for a casting deck? I'm surprised given all the arm-chair engineers on this forum... :clown:

    Well, I did some digging around and found some suppliers with just the thing - aluminum tubing as I had hoped and some nice connectors and mounts. Shouldn't cost too much, either, so I think I'll go a "normal" route rather than trying to cut costs.
     
  5. sroffe

    sroffe Active Member

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    No ideas for the hand rail. I noticed something in those pictures you might want to be careful of. I can't tell if the battery is sitting on the floor of the boat or not. My father had an aluminum boat and kept a battery in it. The salt environment, and salt water on the floor combined with the battery what ever he kept hooked up to it, caused some serious electrolysis on the floor of his boat. He developed pin hole leak all over the bottom. He wound up scrapping the boat and buying a new one.
     
  6. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    In the picture it looked to me like it's sitting on wood, pretty sure he built a little battery box in there with a wood bottom, which is what the bungee cord is connected to. Thanks though, good to know.
     
  7. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Jim, consider the galvanized pipe available in big box hardware stores? You can get a series of "T" connectors that allow for twisting in of a short upright rise bar and two horizontal rails. The rails could be bent as needed to take the shape of the boat if straight lines are not what you are looking for. The uprights could be inserted into supporting clamps, countersunk into wooden fittings and secured from below, several options. I mounted some vertical pipe bars using an inserted "star nut" generally designed for bicycle headsets and they held on a wagon type cart very well. Just an idea from a know nothing guy that loves time in the shop tinkering.

    Ever consider some nice woodwork? Can't beat the beauty of wood though.
     
  8. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    Why not prowl Craigslist for beat up project boats in your area and find one with a rail that'll work? It's crazy but it might just work. Might even find a stainless one that could be more bendable for your needs.

    Keep us toasted. JR
     
  9. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Active Member

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    Standing up on the bow of a 12 ft boat doesn't sound like a very good idea to me, railing or not. You sure you don't want to set it up so you can stand on the floor more toward the center of the boat? That would be a lot more stable. Maybe give it a try before you go to the trouble of building a railing. Also - With a big railing up there it will be difficult to beach the boat and get out off the bow.
     
  10. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    iagree with Milt Roe!

    I have a 15 ft. boat with a plateform towards the bow. 99% of the time or more I am casting from the back part of the boat. The plateform is not a place which I feel comfortable casting from unless the water is totally calm. Other boat wakes is another problem when on the plateform. If you have the boat anchored in tidal current, you should be casting from the back of the boat to get the best water coverage with your casts.

    Roger
     
  11. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    I'm going to be putting in a wood floor with traction between the seats, which is where I would normally cast from. Unless the boat has two people in it, has the gas motor mounted balancing the weight, or it's a calm stillwater situation, I would not imagine anyone would be on the bow. This notion is to accomodate a second person being able to get a sturdy stance from which to cast. Jeff and I are both reasonably light weight.

    My first outing with this boat will be on small stillwater to get a feel for it and test it out in its current state. The actual implementing of any modifications will come after some test runs.

    Boat wakes, yes... understood. Jeff will certainly need to watch out for them when he's up on the bow - hehehe. But seriously, I know it's a small boat and understand that it needs to be balanced. If it comes down to it I'll probably look at ways of modifying that front seat / casting deck to lower it for a safer center of gravity, just hoping I don't need to. Bottom line is the price of this boat makes a big difference to me, saving lots of $ from my safety-net while I search for a new job after the demise of WaMu. I'll make it work for 2 people in the salt one way or another. And it's gonna be a stylin' stillwater machine for solo trips or two people.

    Railing / beaching a boat... damn. You're right. Hm, back to the drawing board on railing design to accommodate jumping out the bow.

    Craigslist, yep, I've been prowling it for about a month. Even though this boat is smaller than what I was originally looking for, I had to scale budget way back and it appears that this is a solid little boat at an amazingly nice price.

    Thanks for the input guys.
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff Member

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    Jim, by looking at the pictures, it looks like you could cut away some of the wooden decking/platform in the bow and have it act similar to the leg/pelvis support that drift boats have in the bow. Cut out the section right behind the back rest and create a little "walk way" into the casting station. That way the person in the bow (me I'm guessing :)) is standing on the floor of the boat, with support if the thing rocks a bit. Hell, you could even pad the edges of the deck so I'm nice and comfertable. ;)

    Just a thought.

    -J
     
  13. Kirk Singleton

    Kirk Singleton Capt Kirk

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    something to hold onto is really nice when you need to pee.
     
  14. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    The most useful attachment may well turn out to be a removable but solidly anchored aluminum pipe in the bow area, maybe forward of the seat and aft of the hatch. You can lean against it, hold onto it when running, put an umbrella in it...
    (my friends dad once was able to sail his powerboat back to port using a bow umbrella when his motor conked out, many years ago)

    In years of boating with small open boats this is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment I use. Should set you back about a buck four eighty.

    JR
     
  15. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    The hatch is actually big enough to step into. I'm going to move the battery back and put in some kinda padding so you can stand in that sucker like a casting brace.

    Good to meet ya today Bob! Thanks for the nice boat and motor, and the cool history on the hull - nice to know it's already got killer fishin' mojo.

    Cheers