View Full Version : Push Pole Construction

02-21-2002, 01:08 PM
OK, OK, I know this will hurt some of the diehards out there, but here goes (I'm using epoxy and I'm not using wood!):

I'm in the middle of constructing a 20' x 1.5" push pole for my boat. I was going to use luan as a core material and then sheath it with WEST system and 6 oz. cloth. After much thought and correspondence with WEST, I opted to use thin walled PVC as a core.

So far, I've got 3 layers of cloth on and the pole and while it's gotten stiffer, it's not nearly stiff enough.

If I keep layering cloth and epoxy over the outside of the pole will it get stiffer? Or is there a point when it will retain the same stiffness and just get heavier?

Don't beat me up too bad - I was going to use wood...

[ 02-21-2002, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: JP ]

02-21-2002, 02:15 PM
This does sound pretty awfull .I'd suggest shortening it till it's stiff enough , and if it's then too short ,throw it away and try again with something 2 in. in diam.
Unidirectional glass cloth is available and might salvage your existing pole , or improve the next one .It seems like fiberglass tube would be available ready made .

[ 02-21-2002, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: Will ]

02-21-2002, 03:59 PM
19' boat - 1500 lbs.

I searched for fiberglass pipe - no such luck.

[ 02-21-2002, 04:01 PM: Message edited by: JP ]

02-21-2002, 04:06 PM
Just a thought. How about checking out your local high school track program to see if they have any old/broken pole vault poles you could have in exchange for a 'donation'? You should be able to tie a couple of lengths together pretty easily.

capt jake
02-21-2002, 04:07 PM
You can get fiberglass pipe from a contractor that installs underground fuel systems (gas stations). I don't know if it is stiff enough for your needs, and it isn't what I would call 'pretty'. I searched the webb a while back and found bulk carbon-figer preformed tubes (suitable for paddles, etc.), I don't have the links any longer. The carbon fiber is good looking, flexible, but very strong.
Good luck smile.gif

02-21-2002, 04:09 PM
I wonder if vaulting poles are hollow ? I know graphite tube is available ,that might be the ultimate pushpole .

capt jake
02-21-2002, 04:13 PM
Try this; http://www.harmony-central.com/Newp/2001/Carbon-Fiber-Replacements.html

02-23-2002, 01:26 PM
I think a push pole ought to match the boat you bring it to, and in my case that would be wood. I fear my 85 year old Muskoka lapstrake skiff would pitch me over the gun'l if I came to it with anything other. So for us it's wood. A retired hot stick used to pull high voltage cutouts found new purpose. I cut off 4' of rot and the remaining 11' is pole enough. I added a 6" wrap of boot cord at the top and half a pound of copper wire at the bottom and with oil treatment the skiff and pole make a pair. Adding 2 wings 2"x 18" at the bottom makes blade enough to use as a paddle.
Works for me.