Sunday, 17 May 2009

DIY narrowboat gangplank / pole rack

DIY narrowboat gangplank / pole rack

I never know what to call the rack on the roof of the boat which holds the gangplank, boat pole and boat hook in place. I had a good look on Midland Chandlers website before entering this post in the hope of finding a pithy name for it, to no avail.


Some boats have racks welded to the cabin roof, but Wand'ring Bark is deficient in the rack department to the tune of one!


The boat came with a couple of brass gizmo's but sadly I lost one in the cut at Autherley which prompted the construction of Mark 1. In conception and construction is was great. It was light, inconspicuous and most of all it did its job perfectly - for two years. The problem was my choice of timber for the ends. I used some rather nice thick beechwood left over from a kitchen worktop project but the trouble was that it was laminated, which is to say that it was made up of lots of strips of wood all glued together.

The wood was up to the job but the glue wasn't. Within twelve months the wet had got in bits were breaking off, and within 24 months not all the screws on the world could put this Humpty back together again.



So, a Mark 2 has emerged like a phoenix from the ashes. The dowel poles have been recycled and fitted into new ends, this time constructed out of a plank of solid hardwood with a tight grain which should, hopefully, resist the weather much better and live out a long and unnoticed life of the roof of Wand'ring Bark.

5 comments:

NB Willawaw said...

Looks good. Most of us cheat and either have one on the boat at time of build or we get them from the chandler ready-made.
Have added your blog to my blogroll.

English Blogger (Davie B) said...

I need some of those......

Captain Ahab said...

Mr EB - will make you one if you let me have your dimensions.

Anonymous said...

It has been suggested that I make one of these for my cousins Christmas present, (he has just aquired a boat) I was wondering what the 'dowel'on the side is for?

Captain Ahab said...

The dowels are a design feature which is probably specific to Wand'ring Bark.
The rack sits alongside the rooftop handrail (we dont have a raised lip like many boats) so the dowel sits snugly under the rail and either sides of two of rail upright supports so locating it firmly and minimising slipping around.