Making Your Own SS Kayak Rails

By Bob and Tara Johnson — Nordic Scott, 32-293, Vancouver, BC

We searched around for manufactured rails to mount kayaks and/or bikes, checking the dealer and the Ranger Tug site, but the prices ran around $800.00, and even finding the correct size was a hassle.  The parts for the system we built ourselves runs about $500.00 from Steveston Marine (, based in Vancouver, but we found the same parts at a small marine store and paid under $200.00.  Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in North America, so hopefully, you can find even better prices!

The tubing is 1" in diameter, quality “316” stainless steel.  Each of the 4 racks has a 40" cross piece of tubing, then 4" for each vertical piece.  (16' in total length).  We purchased 8 corner fittings and 8 rail fittings (feet):

  • Steveston Marine catalogue #CH3431, 90 degree 1" elbow, SS316 (stainless steel grade) – $16.00 each (we paid $9.95)
  • #CH3291 Rail fitting, 90 Degree Rectangular 1" SS316 - $20.00 (we paid $12.00) 
  • Stainless steel tubing, $25.00 per foot (we lucked out and got ours for free through a contact)

The prices we paid came from a small marine shop, off the shelf prices.  You can see the prices really vary, even without discounts.

Attach the fittings to the tubes, drill the holes in the roof of the pilothouse, and you are done.  We figure we can turn the kayaks sideways (for now, we are just using swim noodles to mount, until we purchase kayak racks), and hope to have space for two bikes on each side.  We have some concerns as to whether bikes may interfere with the radar, so we will have to see how that goes.




Copyright © 2012 SENTOA • Last Update May 4, 2012 • Questions? Contact the SENTOA Officers.