We have had an interesting request from Jeff Gostlin, owner of Keefer Lake Lodge, to construct a top of the line passenger carrier to go on the back of a snow cat. We have never constructed one of this size and caliber before. The original plan is to seat 14 people with one guide, have enough storage for everyone’s gear, provisions for as many windows as possible, sound system and even a TV. Needless to say this thing will be one of the most luxurious snow cat passenger carriers in western Canada.
We started with a steel frame that is almost 13 feet wide, over 7 feet tall and close to 11 feet deep. Our plan is to then wrap this giant in 1/8” aluminum sheets on the outside and .063” thick sheets on the inside. Having a couple CNC Router machines in house, it made it easy to account for things like window cut outs, drainage and all our rivet holes. Pre-fitting all the components prior to powder coating is key for any build to allow for any design errors to be worked out long before final assembly. We spent a few days making sure all our panels fit perfectly before sending them to powder coat.
While we had all our exterior panels next door at Protek Powdercoaters. We painted our steel frame black with a two part rust inhibiting paint. Once the paint dried and we got our panels back from powder coat, the first step of the assembly was to insulate the floor then Sikaflex and rivet the bottom panels on before tilting it right side up again to tackle the rest of the exterior panels. All panels are installed the same way; using Sikaflex anywhere the panels will touch the frame, clamp and rivet. The Sikaflex is a marine grade adhesive that also acts as a sound deadening material to eliminate any rattle between frame and aluminum panels. 24 tubes of it were used in the construction of this snow cat passenger carrier. Before we considered the exterior complete, we covered all corners and seams with our own 1/8” thick corner caps and seam covers.