Back near the end of summer I drilled and pulled everything off of one of my 14.5's hulls...it had developed some cracks along the plug and play rails, especially right at the front where the foot braces plug in. This was a problem with a lot of these longer boats and something we have talked about before. My theory was that the plastic hull expands and contracts differently than the rails...placing a lot of sheering pressure on the plastic where each rivet is. I mentioned maybe cutting the rails into short 4" sections and riveting them back in place so I could still use the plug and play system. This would place less stress on the plastic where the aluminum rails attach and still let the hull expand and contract. This is also how Native made the older Mariners. Well today I had more paddlers than boats so I thought I would quickly slap the rails back on that one hull...and behold...it was very cold outside...and the rails were inside...the rails were all over 2 inches too long...the cold made the plastic contract that much!! So...I will indeed cut the rails into shorter pieces when I put this boat back together...and do the same to my other 14.5. If you have one...you may want to consider doing the same to yours...look closely at the very front of the middle long rail right at the end where it rivets to the hull...right in front of the foot braces...see any cracks??? If so, they are easy to fix...I will show you with videos and photos...and then think about cutting the aluminum rials into shorter pieces.
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Magic 14.5 ... Interesting Observation
1 reply to this topic
Posted 11 November 2011 - 07:17 PM
thanks for the info! Mine does not show any cracking, but I'm not exactly in a cold weather climate either :-) I'm worried about mine cracking from my big azz standing in it... but standing up and poling around/fishing is just too fun to sit down.
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