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wal1809 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02/08/2013 at 9:39am
Alright fellas I am picking up the trailer Sunday.  I already know I have to put bunks on.  I have used carpet for years but I want to do something different.  So I searched here and did not really find an answer.  I want to use treated 20 foot boards with plastic strips screwed to it.  The problem is I am the cheapest DIY type of guy on the planet.  It gives me a rash to pay for some thing like HDPE strips that cost them hardly anything to make, but since they have a corner on the market they price it higher than a cat's arse.
 
So my question is has anyone used the slick side of the pvc boards from lowes or home depot.  I have to buy 80 feet so whatever it is will be expensive.  I just want the best bang for my dollar.
 
My second thought.  I have been making my own fuel for about 6 years now.  I make bio diesel for my 2 jettas, lawn mower and tractor.  I run straight grease in the bus and my Excursion.  I have a whole bunch of hdpe barrels that I will never use.  So I had an idea and I youtubed "Molding HDPE".  The melt point is 250 degrees.  I was wondering if I made a wooden mold 3/4 inches deep, 6 inches wide and 4 foot long.  I would have to pour 20 times to get all the plastic slats I need.  Then I could counter sink the screws and have a lifetime bunks for my labor and the cost of butane.
 
The one that looked like it worked the best is where a kid added vegtable oil to the mix so to better transfer the heat into the hdpe.  He claims it comes out in the mold and doesn't stay in the mix.  I have about 1000 gallons of oil on hand so that would not be an expense.
 
Please add your thoughts on both fellas.  I wanted to start a new thread because the other one seemed to have run its course.
I like boats. Wallis, Texas west of Houston.
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I'm looking at the slick side of PVC.  Used some of this PVC lumber on my house this past summer so as to end outside maintenance.  Nice stuff.  Really does work like wood.  Going to talk to some locals into boats up here and see what they think.  I'll probably try them soon.  Cut to length and width, route a rounded edge and counter sink SS screws.  Should last well enought to make it worthwhile.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/08/2013 at 11:30am
A friend of mine did the same thing to his pontoon trailer last year. He went to a big box store & bought the length & width he needed & cut them to fit & rounding the edges. He counter sunk the SS bolts to hold them down with & so far he is very pleased with the results. I talked to him just the other day & he said he has loaded/unloaded the pontoon at least 25 times & so far sees nothing that shows much wear & tear. His are 3/4" thick material so I would think they should hold up great. My trailer came the slicks already installed from the factory & they are very thin but are supposed to be very long lasting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wal1809 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/08/2013 at 7:47pm
Well dern it!  I guess I answered my own question with the results of an experiment.  I cut some 4 inch square pieces of an hdpe barrrels.  The results were poor.  By the time you get the hdpe material to melt it exceeds its flashpoint.  That means it bursts into flames.  I guess the factories that make that stuff get it to 250 on the nose and then extrude it.  Pouring it won't happen before it goes up in flames. 
 
So I am going to investigate the PVC boards next.  That would probably be better than puring my own anyway.
I like boats. Wallis, Texas west of Houston.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/08/2013 at 8:09pm
The only thing that beats a good try is a bad failure. At least you tried. AND you learned something so all is NOT lost. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wal1809 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/09/2013 at 4:25am
Well Sir you have a point there.  I think a lot of what is wrong with this country is nobody knows how to do or build anything for themselves.  HEck they hardly even cook for themselves.  I guess I am a throwback because I don't go buy unless it is impossible form me to biuld myself.  In my house supper is on the stove, not in a box.  Sunday supper is at 5:30 PM because the older family members don't like to drive after dark.
 
That sure would have been a fun project though.  Pouring my own slats of hdpe, knowing that would make a lifetime fix.  I swear every boat I have ever owned needs the carpet on the bunks replaced every two years.  My duck boat needs it now.  Well I have to get I am headed to the rice felds to shoot some prairie rats (Snow geese) for you eastern shore folks.  We call them prairie rats because they get in the wheat and rice fields by the tens of thousands at a time and will eat 100 acres in a matter of days.  So we do what we do best and shoot them, hopefully by the truck load this morning.  I can smell the gumbo already.
I like boats. Wallis, Texas west of Houston.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cattzap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/10/2013 at 11:58pm
I think that part of the process your leaving out is the factory has a more controlled environment, whit not alot of air/oxogen to the hot material and the heat itself is partially generated by forcing the plastic thru the molds and the product may not be mixed fully until moments before it is molded.  Don't over think the wooden bunks.  First of all, you don't need treated wood.  And a big mistake most people make is to either choose carpet that holds water, like a cheap foam backed carpet, and they tend to wrap the entire board with carpet.  All that does is hold water and keep the wood wet.  All you need is the top of the wood covered and if you choose to use carpet, staple it to the sides only, with stainless staples, and leave the bottom bare.  Getting the wood wet doesn't hurt it and if it can dry it will last a way lot longer.  Remember too that the pvc boards are not structural. You may still need wood boards behind the pvc planks.  Then there's the chance that if you don't like it, you end up getting the bunk slicks anyway.  And you really ONLY need bunk slicks at the front half of the bunks.  The tail of the boat usually floats away during the launch and the loading.  So to me, the most economical way, which is what I will do next time, is to get untreated wood, cover the back 2/3's of it with carpet, and the front 1/3 with bunk slicks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wal1809 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/13/2013 at 9:15am
Alright pontoon people.  My pontoons center to center are 69.5 inches.  The trailer was set up for 75 inch pontoons.  By that I mean the v for each bunk is exaactly 75 inches apart.  I don't want to cut the weld tabs that hols the brackets that bolts the pbunks to the trailer.  It is galvenized and I would be shooting myself in the foot if I do this. 
 
So I placed a sheet of plywood behind the boat and outlinded the rear of the pontoons on that plywood so I could easily set it on the trailer to measure with.  In the photo you can see the black line on the plywood.  I took the liberty of freehanding in red what would essentially be the 2 by 6 and the way it would sit on the trailer to make this work.
 
My question is this.  Would it hurt the bottom of the toons to sit nearly flat on the 2 by 6 on the left in this photo?  This is the only way I can lay it out and not cut the trailer parts.  The other bunk will be angled up on the outside.  The one on the left will be only slightly angled.
 
Post your thoughts.


Edited by wal1809 - 02/13/2013 at 9:16am
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wal1809 View Drop Down
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This drawing is about the right angles they would be sitting.
I like boats. Wallis, Texas west of Houston.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS-Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/13/2013 at 10:25am
I think you will be fine.  With a 2x6 running the full length of the pontoon tube you should have plenty of surface area so as not to dent the tubes.  The only thing I would question is how well it will load  As long as your out side bunks are tall enough you shouldn't have a problem with it "self centering".  Worst case you can always add some load guides to the inside later if you have issues.
Feel free to contact me for help on your project!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wal1809 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/13/2013 at 11:13am
Alrighty then I am going to go with it then.  I will pick up the lumber this afternoon and start this evening.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/13/2013 at 11:35am
I agree with PS-Guy. I don't see a problem either. I would go ahead & add the guides just to be on the safe side since you are doing all this work on the trailer anyway. Probably easier to do now then later I would think. The older you get the harder it is to crawl under the pontoon while sitting on the trailer working on things. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wal1809 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/14/2013 at 9:52am
Well I got off work and headed to Home Depot.  They had 20 foot 2 by 6 lumber and the 6 inch wide pvc slats in 10 foot sticks.  Don't ask me how I transported 20 foot 2 by 6s in an Excursion.  I thought for sure any little bump was going to whip the board ends sitting on the dash and send them through the windshield.
 
I got the two inside bunks on and put the pvc on.  I drilled 1/2 deep holes and then put the lifetime deck screws in the countersink hole.  I LIKE IT!  I am going to do my other boat the same way.  I should finish by the weekend and that way I can get that boat on the trailer, into the barn and out of the elements.  I should have done this to my other boat a long time ago.
I like boats. Wallis, Texas west of Houston.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/14/2013 at 10:56am
Good deal. Glad you found what you were looking for. I think you will be happy with them. Post a pic when  you get a chance so others can see what they look like. My friend did the same as you & he is very pleased with them. They appear to be holding up very well for him. 
Les
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wal1809 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/14/2013 at 2:57pm
I ran out of light last night for good picture taking.  I need to buy some brackets before I finish out the outside bunks.  I can't wait to get that boat on that trailer.  Then I can make some fur fly towrds the finish line.
I like boats. Wallis, Texas west of Houston.
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Nothing like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And when you thinks it's all done you come up with another idea about doing something else & you start all over again. LOL Ask me how I know. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wal1809 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/15/2013 at 8:30am
Well it is funny you say that.  I was trying to not spend a lot and trying to not cut any of the galvenized on the trailer.  To get the outside bunks to fit I was going to have to pay $80 for galevenized bolt on brackets.  I figured what the heck.  I am going to cut off the two tabs on each cross member that the 3 hole anlge is bolted to.  I will go today and buy 10 of the galenized adjustable "V shaped brackets that are adjustable and do this job right.  It is only $160 more dollars but in the long run I think I will be a lot happier with the end product.
I like boats. Wallis, Texas west of Houston.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/15/2013 at 11:25am
It's like I have always been told: Bring On Another Thousand.  Clap 
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