Adjustable Boat Stand

How-to Ronald Cook


Learn how to build a custom, fully adjustable boat stand for your trailer or car!






This is what the one for my van looks like when done.  I have another 2 for my trailer.  All are fully adjustable. 

1: The first thing you have to decide is how big you want the stand to be and how many boats it will hold. Next you figure out how much PVC tubing and fittings you will need for the project.  I use 3/4" schedule 40 PVC.


2: The rails that will support the boats are mounted to the main frame with "T" fittings that will be moveable. To achieve this I use a lathe with a boring bar and open up the inside of the "T" fitting (the main run) to 1.0". I glue the upright in before boring, this way any glue that drips inside the fitting will be bored out.


3: Slide the opened up "T" fittings onto the main frame rail and glue the ends up.


4: This is the first layer built and being checked for proper fit.  Do not use screws to put the stand together as this will weaken it. If everything test fits finish the build.


5: Take some 1"' thin-wall PVC tubing and cut a 1/4" wide slot along its length.  The tube is just below center of photo. It goes side to side.  Then measure the spacing needed between the rails that will support the boats and just cut the thin wall tube to snap over the 3/4" to hold them in place.  If you need to change the spacing simply pull off the spacer and make a new one or interchange some of the old ones.  This way you never need to make a new rack unless you want to!  You will notice that I do not have spacers on the outside of the rails, only one in the center to hold them apart. This is because with catamarans the hull actually keeps them from slipping outwards. For some hulls, such as monos, you will need to make spacers for outside the "T" fittings as well to prevent the rails from spreading apart.


Below is the van loaded going to a club race last year...a 2 hour drive one way. This is why I say glue it! I have 3 boats in there, a 10'x10' canopy, 4 folding chairs a folding table and the boat carriers.  This is why this stand is so handy. You sure can put a lot in one space and not damage a thing!




Ron   aka Love to Build.




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