Photos Video, drawings and more about a full cabin mini - cruiser style boat fashioned from an old ski boat hull. Also features articles on the the budget DIY marine and RV air conditioner (not an ice cooler) and other DIY boat parts. The Explorer 300 Blog and Polecat Boats. As seen on Parramatta River, Sydney.

DIY Boat Bits

Some of the most expensive parts i needed could be made quite easily, i found, by using common everyday parts from bunnings. Below are some examples and how i went about saving some cash. I dont vouch that they will last 20 years like the real deal, but if i get few years ill be happy, One thing ive learnt from motorbikes and cars is no to throw all your money at something when you are still learning....

Tie Rail:
Whats wrong will stainless steel? It costs heaps and its hard to weld. So i made a nice little tie rail from some 12mm tube i hade lying around. Now this is thick wall tube think its 1.6 or 2mm so it was ideal for welding to some 3mm foot plates i made from 32mm flat bar (again more scrap) and by painting the lot in primer and a matt paint i get nice cheap rail (cost me $10 for paint) that only took a few hours to make. I bent most of it by hand using a round steel drum i have as a jig. Sure its a bit wire-ry in some places but it was very cost effective. I can always replace it later when i get into welding stainless.
As seen finished in a mocha color. I hate this choice and am going to re paint it orange soon.

Black cat approves this product or thing

My extra large welding bench at work. Lots of tacks to get it lined up then a hard session of welding to complete. Best to have a helper around to move the rail each time. Also : tell them its hot!!!!

Roof Racks
Why does my boat have little racks?? Well many reasons: 1. I think they look good lol, 2 . practical storage of life jackets, inflatables and other crap we'll end up buying...and grat handrails for working around and using the boat. They also support my el-cheapo radar-rack style aerial bar. A rear bimini/canopy will aslo mount from this. Again i wanted DIY but lightweight, so  a trip to bunnings netted me some 16mm tube $13..$16mm mddle brackets....$1.60  ea and 16mm end brackets ($3.00 pair) . With tese i have made the side rails, Aerial bar and side ladder, total cost for all would be $30 for the side railsand bar and $20 for the new side ladder.Its all joined with self drilling button screws, they will corrode eventually and i can replace them with rivets. Im just too lazy for now..ha!

The new ladder

My impression of the many racks and rails