Mobile Boat Cradle and Stands

With the boat bottom panels done, a mobile boat cradle was next on the list.

The Boat Stands

The Tango 17 plans include a drawing for a couple of stands which facilitate assembly and help to create the shape of the boat. A sheet of 3/4″ plywood is all that’s needed. One goes under the transom and the other under the front bulkhead location. Cut the pieces out and assemble while keeping everything square. The only change I made was to make them about a foot shorter since I needed to accommodate the height of the mobile boat cradle they’ll ride on.

Mobile Boat Cradle

Given how short I am on space, a movable boat cradle was a must. There’s nothing particularly special about it but it is effective. I assembled the cradle from 2×10 boards I had sitting around using corner clamps that held the boards at 90 degrees to each other. Instead of lag bolts, I used two structural screws at each corner. These are easier to use while having shear strengths exceeding 3/8″ lag bolts. That said, I would ignore their suggestion that you don’t need to predrill. Predrill. Trust me. I then cut out four plywood footers for the 4″ locking casters and mounted them at each corner. The footers served to add rigidity to the structure. See the picture above for the corner detail. Finally, I positioned the boat stands on the cradle and attached them to the 2×10’s using structural screws to lock in the entire structure.

Boat Cradle and Stands
Boat Cradle and Stands

With the moveable cradle and stands complete, I have a great deal more flexibility working within my limited space. And more importantly, it means I’m ready to begin the “stitch” part of this stitch and glue boat construction.

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