Fullsize 4x4 Truck Boatsiding Techniques - Fullsize SqueezePosted in How To: Body Chassis on June 1, 2007
Like Sticking a Bull in a china Shop, dropping your fullsize rig into rocky terrain will often leave you picking up quite a few broken pieces. as many of you know, body damage is part of it: a scratch here, a dent there, and an occasional windshield or two are all fair game when wrestling the rocks. But what about the stuff that's not so easy to replace? generally the lowest point on the body and the part most susceptible to damage is the rocker panels, which barely stand a chance once the weight of the vehicle smashes them down onto the rocks.
Only a few good hits can leave you with stuck doors and mangled body mounts when playing hard, so what's a fullsize crawler to do? next to your basic set of rocker guards, the next big step in making your fullsize squeeze through rocks more gracefully is to boatside your rig. no, we're not talking about attaching your Jon boat to the side of your rig, although a rig with a dingy might be kind of cool. Boatsiding involves removing any excess body that hangs down past the floor panels and creating an angled substructure that ties the body into the frame. this process is all brought together by plating your new substructure from the bottom of the door to the frame, acting as a side skid that will allow your rig to slide and pivot around the rocks without hanging you up, thus creating a V-shaped design similar to a boat's hull. hence the term boatside.
We should advise you that boatsiding requires the utmost confidence in your ability to fabricate and work with body panels, as this is a job that requires time, patience, and a good head for problem solving. although it's not cut and dry for all vehicles, boatsiding is a great solution for hard-core rockcrawlers that are looking to push their rig to the extreme and still have it hold together. offering maximum body clearance and protection at the same time, boatsiding will have you setting sail for the next rocky trail near you.