Things in south Alabama have been a bit hectic since we got back down here. Getting ANYTHING done right now is just a pipe dream, as everyone is covered up with post Sally work. Add to that the fact that Barefeet is still really messed up. We just got the new wheels from the foundry yesterday, but we haven't been able to get scheduled for haulout anywhere. I'm trying to get divers to pull the wheels in the water and put the new ones on, then do the shafts and struts when I can get into a yard.
So, the D-Rat is still in the early stages. Per Ray's suggestion about a plasma table, I talked with my metal fab guy and he's come up with a really good plan. He can cut the spider web out of 5/16" aluminum, and then I can use a metal router to round the top from both sides, leaving the appearance of tubing, but with a flat bottom. It will require some Dremel work in all of the corners, but seems like it would be a lot less work than doing it all in tube. The added benefit would be the flat bottom, which would certainly be handly for plexiglass. He's doing some sample pieces soon.
I've bucked out the dent on the port bow, and I'm drilling and replacing some rivets as time allows. I have a metal polish guy (Deep South Polishing in Robertsdale, AL) that is going to polish the boat from the bottom rivet line up. He has some sort of ceramic coating that he puts on pontoon boats that is amazing. I saw one that he did two years ago and it still looks like a new Lockheed Electra back in the day. I'm going for that, for sure.
The two aluminum tanks that Don had in the engine compartment are being polished, as well as some motor pieces and other goodies. My metal fab guys dad builds some really nice retro cars, and has offered to help us design the sheet metal for the engine compartment, when it's ready.
Sorry to hear about the big boat. You've got a great attitude about it though, and I hope the damage is not as severe as expected.
I love the web idea, and I'd absolutely do it in tube like the OCC bike. (...I remember that episode. I was in an extended hospital stay at the time and got hooked on that show. It's my Reality TV dirty little secret. ) If I had the welding chops I'd offer to do it. Sadly, that's a skill I don't have yet. If it needs a data plate or a custom 'D-Rat' bow logo, you know where to find me.
"Kiss my ass, I bought a boat; I'm going out to sea." - Lyle Lovett
Making all the individual pieces of tubing would indeed be a major process. The finished product, like the pieces from OCC, would look great, but the time spent might be too high a price to pay for cool.
Ray, thanks for a great suggestion. I hadn't thought about a plasma table. My stainless guy has one that would be plenty big enough to do it out of plate, and that would probably allow lighter material as well.
Don, that retro cover on the CC is absolutely cool, but WAY outside of my fabrication skill wheelhouse. It would be a jaw dropper, for sure.
JR, the recent event with the big boat is just a part of having one. Sh** happens, usually when least expected, and almost always the resulting chaos is directly related to the size of the boat. Almost all nautical problems can be resolved with the proper application of time and money. Then it's wash, rinse, and repeat when it happens again.
Perhaps we were overdue. We logged 20,000 miles with the sailboat, and almost 8000 more with this vessel, and this is the first 'accident' we've had.
Marc, I'm like a little kid in a candy store. I can envision so many really cool things to do on the D-Rat that I'm going to have to kind of rein in my enthusiasm. I made a ton of mistakes on the white DR, and don't want a repeat.
The spider web insert in the engine compartment 'hood' has been on my mind since I bought the D-Rat. They make a tool to notch larger tubing for frames and roll cages, but I can't find anything for small diameter light weight tube. It must exist, and would sure simplify the process of fitting all the little pieces. After fitting, a spot weld at each joint, followed by finish welding by someone far better than I am. Sounds so simple.
Patience has never been one of my virtues. Hell, at my age, I won't even buy green bananas.
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I like the web idea, I think that could be cool... What pattern what what pattern to make lol!
polishing the engine compartment, would look sweet as long as the engine is nice and pretty to match too. I think once you polish the engine compartment it might stay longer, not sure though.
A nice white would give a good color in the compartment possibly with some other color to match the boat or engine as an accent. I Know you know how to paint a feathercraft white!
Clear lexon or something similar would work with the webbing as a clear cover... Done right it could look nice too.