In our beach truck discussions, Billy Ray and I have not yet thought about looking at gear racks made for law enforcement and lifesaving beach trucks, either as a source or as an idea or inspiration for a home made gear rack. Although I wouldn't want to buy any surplus vehicle that had spent beach or salt air time EVER, I might buy a surplus rack at auction if I could find one, or other such accessories that might be sold at government auction.
Some ideas certainly, if you're talking about a truck to be taken fishing, which of course means around water of all sorts and in all sorts of weather conditions, some rescue equipment is certainly in order. Some of my friends will insist on trekking out to the third bar to "get that cast far out there", sans life vest, or perhaps kayaking out to do the same, to drop the bait past the third bar in the Gulf, in high winds and rough water.
I've done lots of stupid stuff like that in my youth, and frankly my aged wisdom tells me I was an idiot. A king of the idiots, as Seinfeld's George Castanza would say. And I would have to agree.
But although I have not done things like that in several decades, I know others who still do. And at some point, if we build a beach fishing truck, they will insist on a fishing trip to road test it.
I think two wide sit on top kayaks are the perfect lightweight rooftop accessories for a rack, with storage underneath them in a large rack basket for all kinds of things.
Kayaks are handy for fishing in lagoons and calm passes and bays, but I wouldn't be taking a long board or a kayak out in rough water on the gulf side to rescue some damn fool I'd already told not to venture out. I'd have life vests on the side, available if someone wanted to wade out in the gulf in a strong undertow, or to be wearing if fishing a pass or rock groin or jetty in bad or slippery weather.
When you're on a fishing trip, unless it's hailing, torrentially downpouring or lightening, you fish. Fish often feed during the rain, in both fresh and salt water in Texas, particularly if you have a torrent of rain in a short time followed by either some or no rain for a long period. That's when you get fishing.
A couple of the plastic floaties with lines attached might encourage otherwise daring fishermen (like the wild lawyer brothers I know, including the one who famously shot a rather large hole in his own boat killing a water moccasin that had sprung awake when they were a short distance off the beach in Matagorda in a large fiberglass boat. The non-shooter older brother, who was glad he was not there for the specticle as they raced the large boat full speed to the beach, with water gushing into the boat, in an effort to save the motors, which were heavily damaged by flying across the sandbars and the emergency beaching maneuver.
The shooter, to his own credit, maintained that even he "was surprised at what a large hole at 3 foot range a 158 grain jacketed hollow point .357 magnum would expand in the short distance in the space between the floor and the hull of the boat. IT WAS A REALLY BIG HOLE!"
So there are some cool ideas that could be snagged from these police and beach patrol trucks.