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PVC diameter and strength

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
I’m about to build a rack to hold my 4 sunfish and two sailfish. I’m trying to decide if 1.5 inch schedule 40 PVC Is strong enough to support itself and the boats or if I need 2 inch pipe. No span will be longer than 5 feet, except for the side supports that I’m hoping to leave as 10 feet each.

Does anyone have experience or thoughts on whether 1.5 inch will be strong enough? I can of course add additional side vertical posts, but the cost of the additional T-connectors is not insignificant, so if I can avoid that I’d like to do so.

Below is my model I had fun putting together last night. The BLUE bars will have an additional support section down the middle exactly like the yellow end supports on either side, and I may put in wood or plastic slide rails as well.image.jpg
 

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
I’m about to build a rack to hold my 4 sunfish and two sailfish. I’m trying to decide if 1.5 inch schedule 40 PVC Is strong enough to support itself and the boats or if I need 2 inch pipe. No span will be longer than 5 feet, except for the side supports that I’m hoping to leave as 10 feet each.

Does anyone have experience or thoughts on whether 1.5 inch will be strong enough? I can of course add additional side vertical posts, but the cost of the additional T-connectors is not insignificant, so if I can avoid that I’d like to do so.

Below is my model I had fun putting together last night. The BLUE bars will have an additional support section down the middle exactly like the yellow end supports on either side, and I may put in wood or plastic slide rails as well.View attachment 54000
Buehler?
 

uncutproducts

New Member
Could use threaded 1” black pipe and pipe foam. Pretty cheap. Baller would be speed rail.

I’d be worried just having glue joints using pvc. You’re looking at about 8-900lbs up in the air.
 

LVW

Active Member
PVC glue joints are rugged: Under enough stress, the pipe itself will break!

The highly-specialized glue is sold in at least three values. There's scant difference in price, so I'd buy the glue formulated for wet conditions. (My "rainy-day" PVC glue has a blue-colored label).

Though more complex and costly, I'd suggest a "hybrid" PVC rack: 2-inch pipe below and 1½-inch pipe above. I'd consider securing an outdoor rack against a fence or tree. A strong wind could create havoc! :eek:

PVC is sold in different wall-thicknesses, or "schedules". I'd suggest "schedule-40" as a start. Internally, PVC pipe can be strengthened further with more re-purposed pipe or wood.

Your pipe can be sleeved externally to provide a "PVC roller"--or sleeve it externally with sections of slippery black plastic water pipe. This flexible water pipe is cheap and non-marring.

Because one project can be transformed into another, I prefer working with wood and "lag-screws", but availability and price could change that.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Crickets chirped because I don't remember seeing anyone using PVC to build a big rack that would hold 400-800 pounds of boats plus its own weight.

Will you have helpers when putting boats in the rack? If there is a helper we'd go with a tree rack style, 3 per side and use wood and deck/lag screw construction.

What surfaces do you have to work with? If you have a smooth floor I'd put the two bottom boats on furniture dollies. We've been storing more boats on their side on dollies recently, very easy to move around.
Can you use walls or overhead structure for racks? Maybe bottom boats on dollies/carts and top boats on hoists?
Inside or outside?
Show a photo of the storage space if you can.

IMG_7147.JPG
 

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
Crickets chirped because I don't remember seeing anyone using PVC to build a big rack that would hold 400-800 pounds of boats plus its own weight.

Will you have helpers when putting boats in the rack? If there is a helper we'd go with a tree rack style, 3 per side and use wood and deck/lag screw construction.

What surfaces do you have to work with? If you have a smooth floor I'd put the two bottom boats on furniture dollies. We've been storing more boats on their side on dollies recently, very easy to move around.
Can you use walls or overhead structure for racks? Maybe bottom boats on dollies/carts and top boats on hoists?
Inside or outside?
Show a photo of the storage space if you can.

View attachment 54027
I so wish I could have it indoors. It’s going to be outdoors, however I do plan to reconstruct my 10 x 10 x 20 tarp carport into a 10 x 10 x 15 over the whole structure.

In the same way that I learned so much about boat restoration from scratch, I’ve been learning about chainsaws and tree/brush clearing . The new landlord did say I could “trim” anything I wanted

I’ll take some pics in the morning light. There was a snafu in hauling away branches brought about by a well-intentioned (but personally infuriating) act on the part of a new friend who handed over $100 to a random guy with a truck, so little old me didn’t have to do the heavy lifting, and a man could help me out.

yeah, that guy never came back and now I’ve got to find a way to clear all the branches and limbs so I can have enough room for my rack.

I love the suggestion to go with both 2” and 1.5. I bought all 1.5 schedule 40, but then updated my model and realized I need an additional 12 10’ pipes still
 

uncutproducts

New Member
My Google engineering degree comes up with this. At 40” span with supports, sched 40 1.5” is rated to hold 143# per table 3


Not sure I’d go the 1.5” pvc route as main supports. Lumber came way down in price. Right way would be to do concrete footings, use pressure treated 4x4 for vertical posts and 2x6 for horizontal. Either through bolt with washers or use deck hangers. Rip pvc on table saw and screw down as sliders. Could do a little roof out of corrugated steel instead of having to get carport. If you live anywhere with wind having all that weight hung on pvc won’t end well.

Alternatively you could keep eyes peeled for cantilever pallet rack and slide boats in from sides. They come up cheap on CL or marketplace.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
There's a special place for low lifes who take money up front and disappear. That group is mostly down in Florida now, preying on storm survivors. Even companies we dealt with before, our lawn service, started to go down that path, took money up front to haul off hurricane debris then didn't do the work. I wrote a check, so I had a trail to follow legally, and they gave the money back.

I understand your thinking on PVC, I went the same route on a couple of projects. My learning lesson though was that by the time I bought all the fittings, pipe glue etc...I wasn't saving much money compared to building a stronger structure out of wood. None of my PVC creations survived in the long run.

Uncutproducts post about a hybrid structure is interesting though...
 

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
My Google engineering degree comes up with this. At 40” span with supports, sched 40 1.5” is rated to hold 143# per table 3


Not sure I’d go the 1.5” pvc route as main supports. Lumber came way down in price. Right way would be to do concrete footings, use pressure treated 4x4 for vertical posts and 2x6 for horizontal. Either through bolt with washers or use deck hangers. Rip pvc on table saw and screw down as sliders. Could do a little roof out of corrugated steel instead of having to get carport. If you live anywhere with wind having all that weight hung on pvc won’t end well.

Alternatively you could keep eyes peeled for cantilever pallet rack and slide boats in from sides. They come up cheap on CL or marketplace.
Eeeeeeek! Okay, earlier today I was feeling okay on just forging ahead, but now I’m realizing that I’ve got almost $350 in PVC invested in this, but not a single cut yet made. I’m going to return it all and go the lumber route. It’s simply not worth the potential disaster. Thank you to everyone!!
 

Mama H Chicago

Mother of sailboats
Eeeeeeek! Okay, earlier today I was feeling okay on just forging ahead, but now I’m realizing that I’ve got almost $350 in PVC invested in this, but not a single cut yet made. I’m going to return it all and go the lumber route. It’s simply not worth the potential disaster. Thank you to everyone!!
Erm - what about my just using two of these?

Xtreme Garage® 53"W x 72"H 3-Shelf Rack at Menards
https://www.menards.com/main/p-1444422057172.htm

never mind. This would only hold three boats. I’ll try drawing up a lumber plan tonight. If anyone happens to know of existing plans or a site that helps one design/plan, I’d be very appreciative of being pointed in the right direction!
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I think you boat would sit on that shelf real nice, the keel under the daggerboard trunk is probably the strongest part of the boat.

One boat on the floor and two above it. Use the third shelf for spars.

Shelf weight capacity 2000 pounds...
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The surprising thing about racks is that it is easier to get them up into the rack than it is to get them down safely. The most damage I've inflicted on boats was lowering them, and we don't trust the bow handle. Rolled gunwale boats easier to deal with than aluminum trim boats. What goes up must come down.

Last decade, my 5th, I was at the age where I didn't mind lifting up to my shoulders. 2 decades ago I was cartopping on a Suburban. Now I am at the age where I am happy lifting to my waist or turning something on its side.

I'm trying to calculate how high up the top boat would have to be...Height of the Sunfish 16-18 inches, height of the shelf? With a little space in between. it's creeping up on 4 feet I believe for that third boat.

So if there is a way to build this so you don't have to rebuild it 10 years from now...

As you have probably figured out, there needs to be room for the lifter(s) to maneuver around a rack while lifting a boat. When Skipper taught sailing they had 4 people per boat to put the Sunfish in the waterfront stack racks. Hopefully Alan will wander by and share how they do it on Lake Cazenovia.

Not our trailer, but these folks must have been strong or plenty.

Trailer Sunfish utility.jpg
 
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