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I like to make my own out of finished birch plywood. I attach them with NRS U bolts and sex bolts to create a smooth finish on top and allow the crossbars between the back and front to still be moveable. I've done this for several years and on a couple of different boats and I'm about to do it on my new boat. I like how it looks and functions.

Lots of pics here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WJYsb3z7egf1cn7r7

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So its only attached on the 2 ends. I like that. Looks clean. Are those "T" nuts ? Where did you get those ?
 

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Yeah, it has worked very well for me. The only issue I ever had was when I strapped something around the board pulling hard inward and it made the board budge a bit. I tightened down the sex bolt and it fixed it, but on my next iteration I think I'm going to do a pair of U bolts on each end instead of just one.

Those sex bolts for attaching to the U bolts can be tough to find or just really, really expensive. I haven't been able to find them in stainless at a price I'm willing to pay, so I've been using these: https://www.grainger.com/product/1CJW1
 

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I also went the birch plywood route and routed in slots for tie down points. Instead of bolting mine down, which was the original plan, I ultimately decided to strap them on using 1' straps. For traction, I mixed some large glitter flakes into the poly. Sparkles and safety :)
 

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I'd like to see your sparkles! I thought about adding traction in on mine but I've never had any issues with them getting slippery. Still thinking about it for the ones I'm about to make though. I'm also adding slots for attaching gear on my new ones but still bolting down the ends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also went the birch plywood route and routed in slots for tie down points. Instead of bolting mine down, which was the original plan, I ultimately decided to strap them on using 1' straps. For traction, I mixed some large glitter flakes into the poly. Sparkles and safety :)
Cool. I like to use salt for the non skid, just in case there is some Tequila on the trip. Or, I could use sugar in anticipation of some Mojito's.
 

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That's a great detail, bcpnick.


1mauisurf: NRS u-bolts are 5/16-18. There really isn't a good substitute--they're about the right size/diameter/length, they're stainless, and they have that great flattened bend that you don't get with a hardware store u-bolt. When you compare the cost of a SS hardware store U-bolt, they're quite comparable.

Coincidentally the same size thread as Roll-a-table legs. I don't know what you should do with that information, but it's interesting to me!


The Grainger nuts linked are not stainless. It wouldn't hurt to use some anti-seize on them...or even Loctite (which also tends to keep water/air out and corrosion down)

MontanaLaz, you can also use crushed walnut shells for traction. They're not quite as abrasive as sand..but the glitter sounds awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's a great detail, bcpnick.


1mauisurf: NRS u-bolts are 5/16-18. There really isn't a good substitute--they're about the right size/diameter/length, they're stainless, and they have that great flattened bend that you don't get with a hardware store u-bolt. When you compare the cost of a SS hardware store U-bolt, they're quite comparable.

Coincidentally the same size thread as Roll-a-table legs. I don't know what you should do with that information, but it's interesting to me!


The Grainger nuts linked are not stainless. It wouldn't hurt to use some anti-seize on them...or even Loctite (which also tends to keep water/air out and corrosion down)

MontanaLaz, you can also use crushed walnut shells for traction. They're not quite as abrasive as sand..but the glitter sounds awesome!
I meant the T nuts being the right size. I do love those NRS U bolts. I use them for other things as well.
 

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We used marine grade plywood and 2 hose clamps at each end. No issues or concerns after 15+ years. Marine grade plywood can be price. Pressure treated plywood with spar varnish could be a good alternative.
 

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Pressure treated ply can be pretty nasty stuff. Not something I like to get a splinter.
I'd rather stick to untreated ply, but epoxy saturate and then varnish.

FWIW, most doug fir marine plywoods use the same resorcinol glues as exterior ply; they just have fewer or no voids, and the glue tends to be spread more evenly. Doug fir still checks when it gets wet, so regular coating with spar varnish is a really good suggestion.
 

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I went with a 3' section on either side of the oar mount, for a total of four 3' sections on my frame. It was pricey, but glad I have them.
 

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I used the same hardware as Nick (Thanks again for your help when I was sourcing the nuts a couple of years ago). Instead of plywood I used MDO signboard for the rails, and then painted with a deck/patio paint. Works great and two seasons later they're holding up fine.
 

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Here is my latest rendition.

For wood I used 3/4" CDX painted with several coats of Cabot deck correct.

I Just attach mine with about 6 or 8 heavy duty zip ties.

To maximize the deck area I rest the deck on the fittings, and then use whitewater machine works threaded plastic puck to help provide support where there is none. This also makes a great gap so that you can run straps through.
 

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Based on bcpnick's model, I did the same thing, but attached them fore, aft, and on my seat bar. I can still adjust most of my frame, but three points made me feel happier!
 
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