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Old 06-06-2015, 01:49 AM   #1
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Home Made Custom Work Done any projects on your baby lately?

I Have seen some pretty amazing design and build work on the forum over the years, and thought maybe we could have a place to showcase our projects.

To start it off, here is my latest. I was never happy with the factory swim platform on my Californian 34LRC. It was too narrow to be of much use for more than one person at a time. Mine was in fairly rough shape. The PO had glued Nautilux down on top and was peeling up and looked like hell. Alas an excuse for a project. I had built a swim step for my old Trojan with a welded aluminum substructure and a Starboard plastic top. It was a good success but I didn't think much of the Starboard. It would tend to stain and grow a green tint of algae or mildew. It did clean up with the up close and personal use of my 4000 psi pressure washer, but the washer is big and heavy and a lot of work to get on the dock. I don't use it that much as a result. I still have the old Trojan, but I am slowly scrapping it out.
The swim step on the Californian is about three feet wider than the Trojan and although both have curvature to the transoms they are not exactly the same. My plan was to cut the Trojan swim step in half, add about 3 feet to the center, and adjust the fit of the curve to best fit the Californian transom and weld a new center section. I needed a new 36 x 36 piece of 3/4" starboard for the center. Starboard is NOT cheap. For the original, I ordered a full sheet thru my local plastic supplier. It came out about half the cost of buying thru a marine source, but still was Expensive. I had no source for a half sheet. so I began searching for an alternative decking material. I'm not too impressed by the composite decking I have seen, but found wood grain powder coat painted aluminum extruded decking. What could be better on an aluminum frame. I found two manufacturers on t he web and ordered color samples from both. The stuff I chose came from Lastdeck from Jackson MN. The stuff is designed to be screwed down to a wood frame in home use, but I used aluminum Pop Rivets. My new platform is 100% aluminum for elimination of galvanic corrosion potential. The mounting bolts are aluminum as well. The only non aluminum is the PVC dock edging I used as a rub rail. It is fastened with aluminum pop rivets. I'm just guessing but this might be the first or only aluminum swim platform on a glass boat.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:08 AM   #2
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Wonderful project. I am just about to attack a similar one for the Tuesday. You happen to have a source for the top decking? Looks great.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:51 AM   #3
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Nice work . Great project . The aluminum wood grain looks really good . Thanks for posting . I'm wanting to add a swim platform in the future .
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #4
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Here is the link to the decking material: Last-Deck Aluminum Decking available in 7 Maintenance Free WoodGrain Colors I used the Medetranian Cherry. It is a very close match to Cetol coated teak. The decking is a bit pricey at $5.75 / ft. The planks are exactly 6" wide. I used 6 12' lengths. The decking people were very nice to work with. They cut the 12' planks to 6' lengths to make them UPSable. The total cost for my decking was about $400 including shipping. The decking comes in two different extrusion shapes, one is watertight the other not, both are the price same. In order to use pop rivets, you need the non watertight flavor. I used 3/16" all aluminum rivets. The nose diameter of most riveters, prevents them from being able to pop a rivet that is close enough to the plank edge to hit the flange. I tried quite a few different riveters to find one that would work. After scouring the tool stores, I dug out an old hand hydraulic riveter I had that leaked its hydraulic fluid years ago. After a rebuild with new seals, and ounce or two of fluid, it worked well. It is a Craftsman Commercial riveter that I had bought 45 years ago at Sears. Back then It was over a hundred dollars, but was the only thing I could find that would fit into the suspension of my 1972 Arctic Cat snowmobile and pop 3/16 steel rivets to replace track cleats. Turns out it was money well spent.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:29 AM   #5
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Very nice job. Interesting material. I think I might use that in a future project. Thanks for doing the research.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:41 AM   #6
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Cool, great planning and execution.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #7
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I did a small project in the Fall of 2013. Pictures follow.

Starting point


A little work with the sawzall


More sawzall work


Stage one finished



Starting the new build - new decks



Framing the new house



Cabin top on.



Mahogany cladding finished stained and first coat of varnish on



Cabin top plywooded and fiberglassed



Windows built and installed



I did this work during November and December 2013. I finished the varnish and paint in the Spring of 2014. 100% my work. My avatar shows the finished project just beore launch last Spring.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:37 PM   #8
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Wow, that's impressive.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:55 PM   #9
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Bravo to both of you for great vision and execution!
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:18 PM   #10
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Great work and hopefully the start of a great thread!
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:10 AM   #11
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TDunn , beautiful work and good looking boat . Great project . Thanks for posting pics .
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:50 AM   #12
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This is the stuff I hoped to inspire. Great work. Owning a boat doesn't have to be limited to those with an infinite checkbook. A little ingenuity goes a long way. A desire, a plan, and a little money goes a long way.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:32 AM   #13
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How about the Galley? Remodel the breakfast nook.

The Admiral wants the galley table removed (We never sit way down there to eat, always on the sundeck) and a counter top installed around the area on top of the benches. With cabinets or drawers under the counter top. This will give her room to walk where the table is and have counter space. Our Marine Trader has this adjustable table with folding sides and is nice but there is little usable counter space in the galley. Ideas? Pictures? Teak table for sale!

Thanks for all,
Sonny
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