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Old 20 September 2019, 21:07   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Shoreline
Boat name: Nagual
Make: Zodiac Hurricane 590
Length: 5m +
Engine: Yamaha F150TLR
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 13
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Adjustable Tie Down System for a Rib

Inquired at a NW rib dealer a few years back if they had a tie down track system available I could install on my Hurricane. "Just use pad eyes!", he said with condensation. Didn't tell him that I knew pad eyes would be dumb, because no matter how much you think it through, pad eyes won't always be where you need them. So here's a system I came up with that I've proven out over a few years of use that I love -- it's strong, durable, and adjustable! My boat is smallish, Hurricane 590, so my loads will never be all that heavy, though I do also use the track for 2 fuel bladder tie down points. Bladder with 50 gallons gas will weigh in something over 300 lbs, plus G loading, plus safety factor, so yes, it needs to be ready for substantial loading.

Anodized sailboat T-track solves the problem. The 1" track I used has been perfect for my needs. Lots of different travelers available, although these will get spendy if you buy name brand. I found some cheap 316 stainless Chinese made travelers online that are great. Two big ones for the fuel bladder and a bunch of smaller travelers that I welded rings onto handle any other cargo I throw at them -- fuel cans, bags, coolers, whatever, with 1" ratchet straps it stays put. Don't bother trying cam straps, they don't hold, you need ratchet straps. Highly recommend these folks for reasonably priced custom configured straps made to order and shipped fast: customtiedowns.com.

The deck on my '94 Hurricane is balsa cored, no holding power for a screw in that, and getting to the bottom side is essentially impossible. Here's what worked for me. After doing a screw layout for the track I drilled through the top lamination into the balsa. Then using about an 1/8" plus allen key with the long side in a drill motor (short side of key cut down considerably) the balsa, or foam if you have foam core, can be hogged out back under the deck laminate. Alternate with vacuuming until there's a nice clean, broad void down to the bottom laminate. This I then injected with West System epoxy, cured it out, shaving excess flush before full cure. Redo the screw layout, drill and tap holes for threaded fasteners. Install T-track and fasteners bedded into 3M 5200 or comparable Sikkens product, and you're good to go camping. Yes, I do move the travelers around depending on size and nature of loads. 1" ratchet straps are probably powerful enough that the track/traveler system could be damaged with them if I tried, but I've always been able to get things strapped down tight without ever seeing any signs of stress. I've installed 4 pad eyes additionally where the track became impractical to install, using the same epoxy deck strengthening method.
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Old 23 September 2019, 09:57   #2
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Country: USA
Town: kansas city
Length: 4m +
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Looks very handy and useful!
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