Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rubber Baby Boat Bumpers

Float cabin maintenance is an ongoing task. Our good friend John helps us and other cabin owners keep ahead of the game. Recently, Wayne and I worked along with John on one such project. I called it installing "rubber baby boat bumpers."

Old tires are used as shock absorbers on float logs and other cabin structures. John gets old tires for free from local dealers. It's good for them, they don't have to pay for the tires to go to the dump. It's good for cabin owners, they can get free construction materials. It's good for the environment, unwanted discards get a new lease on life.

John was asked to remodel a low deck used for a cabin boat dock. The deck was quite unique. It was made entirely from one huge old growth cedar log, cut in half lengthwise. Unfortunately, it was rubbing on the cabin logs, thus damaging both structures. To prepare the tires, John first cut a flap at the top of each one. To get through the steel belts on the tires, he used a large grinder.

After the flaps were cut, the tires were worked into strategic locations between the dock and the cabin's float. Three long galvanized nails were driven through the tire flaps to permanently attach them in place. The steel belts at the edge of the flaps help prevent the nails from ripping out under stress.

Tires between the the boat dock and the float logs create a cushion. Now when storm waves (or boat wakes) cause the dock to bounce in the water, there will be no more wood rubbing on wood causing damage. Tires placed around the two brow logs projecting out over the boat dock act as shock absorbers. Again, damage to both wood structures is now prevented.

Wayne and I learn a lot about how to take care of our own cabin by working with John. But we still need his help, and the help of his many handy tools. -- Margy

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