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Hi - I need to replace my beams and prompted by this plan to make baot really trailerable eg replacing cockpit with netting.

- anyone any experience of aluminium beams - specifications/design?

- tube or maybe a box girder made of angle?

- anyone know who could specify this for me?

- anyone got a netting cockpit?

Thank you


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I did see a aluminium "H" beam on a Tiki 26. I think the builder said that he used the same specs as the wooden beam but buildt in alum.. I will send a pic when I find it. Rory Tiki 21 had netting for cockpit/deck . I believe netting was under a trampoline. 


Pics of alum "h" beam

Thank you - they look very smart but I guess not much lighter - quite a lot of aluminium in theme!  Yes I have seen Rory's tramploline

best Johnny

I am building a tiki 30 and really want to use aluminum beams also. Any information on this would be helpful.

Hi there, 

i have a Tiki 26 and would love to replace beams for aluminum, how did you get on finding out specs? 


Sadly sold my Tiki 26 but had always thought you could make an open box beam with aluminium angle and ply - a new product I am using is "ply" made from recycled plastic - comes in standard 8x4 sheets and 19mm or 9mm.

So if you will homemade composite - use angle for edges and the plastic ply for sides - maybe rout out holes for weight reduction, and maybe some verticals in aluminium - a bit like you see on scaffolding sites.

Gone mono - Signet 20 designed by american Ray Kaufman if anyone has info! Its a £500 ebay project....

but thinking of converting to cat ketch with wharamm style sails

Ahh thanks Johnny,
What does the H30 stand for?
I was also wondering rather than tube if an I beam might be better? would make a nicer area to paint non slip paint on and easier to bolt through any cleats etc..

According to Aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk it's an industry name for 6082 T6.  The 6082 refers to the chemical composition of the alloy, and the T6 refers to the heat treatment it is given to achieve the desired mechanical properties.  It's quite a common alloy, I think it's the sort of material aluminium masts are made from.  The following comes from their website:-

6082 T6

Also known in the metal industry as H30, our Aluminium alloy 6082 is a medium strength alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. It has the highest strength of the 6000 series alloys. Alloy 6082 is known as a structural alloy. In plate form, 6082 is the alloy most commonly used for machining.

ahh fab thank you very much for looking at up for me!

Defo sold on the Aluminium idea. Just not sure if I should go for the 6" tube or I beam...

Of the varieties of aluminum, probably the best choice for this is 6061 T6.  It is tough and forgiving, and fairly resistant to corrosion as well as to fatigue.

Personally I feel aluminum is about the worst possible choice for something of this nature.    It is extremely reactive and subject to electrolysis and electrolytic corrosion.    It also has a far shorter fatigue life than wood, so if there is any flexing and bending, it will eventually end up with fatigue cracking.   Wood, if you choose quality wood and build well is the most reliable of all materials structurally.     Choosing the right wood, and using the right construction methods and protection, matters of course.   My personal choice for this kind of application would be good quality knot free close grain Douglas  Fir.  

     I've worked with metals all my life, welding, fabricating, repairing, and engineering.  


I am quite sure the 6 " beam mentioned refers to the fwd beam . Steve's (fiberglass) versions of the T 26 had, if i am not mistaken, the same two main beams as the "normal" wood -hulled  T26's.  6"dia alu pipe seems in any case awfully small for a beam whihc not only holds the hulls together but is subject to the loads induced by mast & rig as well.

We built a Hitia 26 ( T 26 without the cabins, it's used as a day sailer, learn-to sail boat and camping cruiser) with alu beams . Boat is two ft wider then a standard T26. beam nr 1 is an ordinary 6" 4mm wall alu pipe. Beams nr2 and 3 were made of a salvaged mast of a 38ft piver trimaran whihc was wrecked in our bay . We did not bother with the dolphin striker on the mast beam. I do not think there will be much diffrence in weight between a wooden main beam and an equally strong alu beam.  The standard nr 1 beam as designed by JWD on a 26 can, as seen, be replaced by an alu pipe and this does save a considerable amount of weight 

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