So, you want to build a PWC Rack? Here's my version: Shown above is a rack custom built for the '06 SeaDoo RXT (SC-IC) platform. This view is shown from the front of the rack.
While this view is from the rear. This rack has been finished w/black spray paint and trimmed out in foam pipe insulation and yellow electric tape.
Let's begin - Tools Needed: Hack saw*, measuring tape, and a pencil (or pen/marker) for marking lengths of pipe to be cut. *A chop saw will make the job go faster, but it isn't required.
Materials Needed: 50 feet of 1 inch, schedule 40 PVC pipe, and the following "Slip" joints for 1" pipe: (L - R) 36 "T" Joints, 32 "L" Joints, 21 "Cross (+)" Joints, and 10 Coupling Joints. You will also need two ((2) 16 oz. cans of Heavy Duty (clear) PVC cement. Also some rags or paper towels for clean up (not shown).
At left is a correct union of joints: "Lovey-Dovey". The union of joints on the right is incorrect and shows a gap: The interior coupling is either too long or was not seated correctly.
To start you will need to create some "interior couplings". They should be 1 & 7/8 inches* long. You can start w/ 3 dozen but you'll need more as you go. These interior couplings are used to connect joints to each other. *Your actual size requirements may differ - check your joint dimensions.
We build this rack from the bottom up, starting w/the "Spine". The bottom of the Spine is the scuffed up area.
I've laid out these pieces for the Spine. Don't go by the pix exactly. The joints are laying down just to show where they fit, but not necessarily the direction.
In this pic. I've added the forward bottom "T" joints. You will cement them standing up. See the next pic...
Important: Notice the two "T" joints left and right of center, and look as though laying down. They need to be set at an approximate 45 deg. angle. These two "T"s are for attaching to the PWC. They're also the aft end of the Spine and always face the rear of the PWC.
This pic. shows the Spine completed. Notice the two "T"s left and right of center, on the bottom. You can see them set at the correct angle here.
Now we expand the Spine w/footings. Add two forward lengths of pipe, each 8 & 1/4 inches long. The two aft sections are 5 inches long. Each footing should have an "L" joint standing up on the end.
The expanded Spine completed.
Next we build the bottom of the Basket. This pic. shows all the pieces, but not all the interior couplings. Rem. - you will need interior couplings any time joints are connected. All the other sections of pipe shown are 5 inches long.
As the bottom of the Basket comes together, notice all the "L" joints are standing up and the "T" joints are down. I've also added bottom "Extenders" to the forward and aft ends (left and right). These Extenders are 7 & 1/8 inches long and determine the width of your rack. (The center "T" standing up on the right is upside down...)
The bottom of the Basket is now complete.
Back to the Spine: Now we add the "Risers". The Risers will allow the "Basket" portion of the rack to be elevated enough to be as wide as you choose. The Risers are 4 & 1/4 inches long. Each "T" and "L" joint needs a Riser.
All the Risers are in place and the only empty holes showing are the angled "T" joints for attaching.
With the Risers set, connect the bottom of the Basket to the Spine.
Next we construct the Rear Wall of the Basket. Notice the only two pieces of pipe (except interior couplings) on the Top Rail are 5 inches long (this must match the bottom of your Basket). The three center pipes are 11& 3/4 inches. The top and bottom of the left and right ends are 5 & 1/4 inches and are joined by a "T".
A closer view before connecting.
A closer view of the completed rear wall and ready to be connected.
The rear wall attached, and next to a completed Rack.
A closer view of the attached Rear wall of the Basket.
Next we construct the Front wall of the basket. All the vertical sections are 5 & 1/4 inches. The two center horizontal sections are 5 inches to match the Basket bottom. The two Basket extensions (two on the left & right) are 7 & 1/8 inches.
The Front wall of the basket shown next to a completed rack.
In this view, you can see where the Front wall attaches to the Basket...
... and is finally attached in this view.
The final piece of assembly are the left and right Basket end walls. Remember, the "L" joints aren't quite yet in the correct position in this picture.
The end is coming together and the "L" joints are now in their final position.
The End wall is now finished and only needs to be attached. You will duplicate this part of the build to complete either side of the Basket.
The End wall is in place and shown next to a completed Rack.
A closer look at a completed and attached End wall.
With the opposing End wall now built and attached...
...this PWC Rack is nearly finished. Let the cement "cure" for at least 48 hrs. prior to painting and/or load testing and use. Keep in mind it's important to protect your Rack w/paint. Over time, sunlight will break down the PVC and cause it to become brittle. If you want a white rack, then use white paint.
The only work left is painting: I've used this brand w/success. Keep in mind to follow all instructions on the can. Prior to painting, be sure to wipe the rack down w/ a damp cloth. Do not paint your rack in direct sunlight - it will cause the paint to dry too quickly and wrinkle. Three cans should be sufficient.
Viola! A completed rack. I finished the rack by trimming certain areas with inexpensive foam pipe insulation and some colored electrical tape to match my ski.
Here's some more views of a completed rack...
So how big is this rack? What can it hold?
The interior dimensions are approx. 39 inches wide...
...by 19 inches deep.
And can easily hold two 5 gallon tanks of gas and an approx. 30 quart ice chest...
... with a little room left over.
Going for a distance run? You could remove the ice chest and fit four 5 gallons of fuel. That's right, 20 gallons of spare gas!
To hold my "cargo" in the rack, I've found that these "monster" bungee cords (Walmart) work great.
And, of course, they come in various and adjustable sizes.
To attach the Rack to the PWC you'll need the following: A length of 1 inch foam pipe insulation (self adhesive) and two nylon webbing/ratchet sets. (These are also referred to as "come-a-longs".)
You will also need two "home made" webbing slings. The slings will be made from the leftover webbing of the ratchets... (shown a little later)...
The "sling" on the right will be made from excess webbing removed from the ratchet/come-a-long & webbing on the left.
First we measure how long to make the Ratchet & Webbing so we can use the leftover to make a sling. To attach the Rack, place it on the rear of the PWC and be sure it's centered.
Now cut the foam pipe insulation and fix under all contact points of the Rack. This will protect your PWC gel-coat and matting. Be sure to also place insulation where ratchet webbing will drape over the rear rub rail.
Attach the webbing/ratchet sets as shown: Right Spine hook, back then over Basket bottom to left bottom PWC tow hook. Repeat for the opposite side. BE SURE THE SPINE BOTTOM IS RESTING ON THE THE REAR DECK AND THE BASKET BOTTOM IS NOT TOUCHING THE "HUMP". ALSO, THE TOP FRONT OF THE BASKET SHOULD BE JUST UNDER THE REAR SEAT CENTER GRAB HANDLE. Snug down and cut off excess webbing. With the excess webbing, create the sling via the water knot: http://www.animatedknots.com/waterknot/index.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com
Notice the foam pipe insulation between the webbing and the rear rub rail and just above the rear tow hooks. After removing excess webbing, relax the ratchets so that the Rack will slide around easily.
To secure the rack ready for water use, start by attaching the front of the rack. With the excess ratchet webbing made into a sling, you'll need to secure the front of the Rack where shown above, via a Girth Hitch: http://www.animatedknots.com/girth/index.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com
The front webbings should pass through the rear-side grab bar and then into the rear upper tow hook. Repeat for opposite side. Also, notice that the front of the basket is just below the rear seat grab handle while the bottom is above the rear "hump" on the ski deck.
It'll help to attach one side w/the rack pushed either side of center to gain slack on the sling. Once you finish one side, then secure the other.
You should now have both slings attached to the front/center tow hook. Now, pull back on the rack to take up any slack in the slings. Verify that the spine is still on the rear deck. If the spine is wanting to come off, you'll need to shorten your slings. You should get them as short as possible w/o the basket bottom touching the rear seat "hump".
With the rack pulled back, now re-tighten your ratchets to secure the rack to the ski. Work each side a little at a time.
Here's an attached rack. Notice I left out the foam insulation for a better view. A correctly installed rack would have foam insulation on all contact points of the rack to the ski and the ratchet webbings to the ski.
A view to show how far the rack sticks out pas the end of the ski...
... and the same in relation to the width.
START HERE FOR THE DIY VERTICAL (Rocket Launcher) ROD HOLDER. Tools Needed: Hack Saw, pencil (or pen), measuring tape, Phillip's screwdriver and 1/4 inch wrench.
Materials Needed: 4 Foot length of 1 & 1/4 inch Sched. 40 PVC pipe (4' feet will make 4 holders), Slip Coupling: 2*, 1 Inch Conduit Hanger (w/hardware): 2*, 1 & 1/2 Inch Conduit Hanger (w/hardware): 2*, 1/4 X 1/2 Inch SS screw: 2*, 1/4 SS Locking Nut: 2*, Heavy Duty PVC Cement (You should have some leftover from the Rack), Rags or paper towels (not shown) for cleaning excess cement of off joints. *Multiply these materials by 4 and you can make 4 rod holders.
To begin, cut the pvc pipe to 9 & 1/2 inch lengths, then simply glue a coupling to each end.
Next, by using the screwdriver and wrench, attach the smaller conduit hanger to the larger one ("back to back") via the SS screw and locking nut. Place the screw in the small hanger and the locking nut in the larger one. You'll make two of these per each holder.
The completed hangers. Notice, when attached, the smaller hanger has a "horizontal" profile, while the larger one is vertical.
Now secure a connector combo to each end of the rod holder. The 1&1/4 inch connector should be tightened to the PVC and snug against the coupling.
Now, with the remaining connector hardware, connect the rod holder to the Rack.
I found the Smart Bungee System at Lowe's is versatile and helps me secure the rod in the holder while cruising through the chop.
START HERE FOR THE DIY HORIZONTAL (Trolling) ROD HOLDER. Tools Needed: Hack Saw, Garden file, pencil or pen for making cut marks, and a pair of pliers.
Materials Needed: (These joints/fittings are for 1 Inch, Sched. 40 PVC pipe.) Top Row (L to R): Slip "T": 1,
Slip Elbow/"90": 1, Slip Coupling: 1 (I know, the pic. is wrong - it should be a slip coupling ), 3/4 Female Threaded Adapter: 1, 1 & 1/2 X 3/4 Slip and Threaded Female Bushing: 1; Middle Row (L to R): 3/4 X 3 & 1/2 Galvanized Nipple: 1,
3/8 X 2 Fender Washer: 1, Interior Coupling: 2 (See PWC Rack Build Thread, Step 1: http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=117108)
Bottom Row (L to R): Shown is an Attwood Wire Rod Holder. They can be found in WalMart and run about $13.00. The Attwood Rod Holder includes: Triangular Washer, Rubber Coated Rod Holder and Wing Nut (http://www.attwoodmarine.com/store/product/5--and-10--Angle--4--Stem).
To begin, you need to notch out two pieces of PVC into one end of the "T" slip joint. This will stable your Rod Holder as it's being used. To do this hold the "T" long ways up. Slip the stem of the Attwood Rod Holder into the "T" and, with a pencil/pen, mark the width of the Holder.
Now, use you Hack Saw and cut each line marked, as shown.
Once your marks have been cut you can now remove the notches on each side of the "T" with the pliers. You may have to work in and up and down motion to get each "tab" to come loose.
Once the tabs are removed, clean up your notches with the garden file. Your "T" joint should now look like the one above.
Next, we connect the notched "T" to the "90" by using an interior coupling.
The "T" will be cemented in at an angle, and it's very important to get a "good" angle. This angle will determine how high up your rod tip will be pointed when trolling. Make a mark across the joints while they are dry fitted; this will help you to maintain that "good" angle.
Once you've selected your angle, cement the joints together and set aside for later.
In this step we want to use the file again to remove the "wrench grips" located on the threaded end of the 3/4 Inch Threaded Female Adapter. You want to remove enough material so that it will easily slip into a coupling or other joint.
Remember to only remove material on the outside of the threaded end of the Adapter.
Now cement the other end, that is the "unthreaded" end of the Adapter, into the end of a Coupling.
Next, connect the Coupling/Threaded Adapter to the remaining bottom of the "90" Joint that is connected to the "T" Joint.
Your Rod Holder should now look like the one above.
Did you file enough material off the threaded end of the Adapter? If not, it will not slip "easily" into the Cross Joint on the End Wall of the Rack, and you'll notice a gap.
File enough material off and the bottom end of your Rod Holder should slip right in (and spin, easily).
Now, take the Galvanized Nipple and screw it into the bottom of the Rod Holder (Threaded Female Adapter). Hand tighten only! Do not use wrenches, as the nipple threads get larger - use a wrench and your apt to split the Adapter.
Once again, insert the Holder into the Cross Joint on the End Wall of the Rack. The bottom portion of the Nipple should be showing at the bottom of the Cross joint. Now take your remaining piece of PVC fitting, the Slip/Female Pipe Bushing and hand tighten the Holder to your Rack snugly. Hand tighten only! (You'll notice in the above pic, that there is a "gap" in the bottom of the End Wall Cross Joint and the bottom fitting used to secure it. Ideally, no gap should exist... you can remedy this by checking for a gap during a dry fit and 1, Try a shorter Galvanized Nipple. Or, 2, removing some material and "shorten" the length of the Female Adapter's upper/unthreaded end.)
Finally, insert your Attwood Rod Holder: The rubber coated portion goes through the top of the "T" Joint on your holder; the base of the rubber coated section should fit down into the notches. With the bottom threads of the Attwood unit sticking out of the bottom of the "T". Secure to the bottom of the "T" in the following order: 1. Fender Washer, 2. Triangle Washer, 3. Wing Nut. Your Rod Holder should now be secure on your Rack and ready for use.
Is your Rod Holder pointed in the right direction? If you were trolling, the Rod Holder (in correct configuration) should hold a rod pointed towards the rear of the ski, with the rod tip up. The rod should also be on the "outside" of the Rack, so as to not interfere with the opening of an ice chest lid.
Another view, showing the versatility of the rod holder.
I found this inexpensive "kit" at Lowe's. And it came w/quite a bit more lengths of bungee and adapters than that sown. If found multiple uses w/the PWC Rack (and for the back of the truck).
I even used it to hold down the lid of the ice chest while store in the PWC Rack.
Locked down, now the lid can face the front of the ski w/o me worrying about it blowing off.