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Old 01-19-2012, 01:46 PM   #1
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Plywood swim platform?

I knew that would get some folks attention I am going to build a new swim platform for my boat and my thoughts were to build it out of plywood. 3/4"for the first layer with an epoxy laminated second layer of 1/2" turned perpendicular to the first. Next I was going to soak the whole thing in three coats of CPES and then paint using non-skid on top. Any reason this wouldn't be fast, strong, cheap and easy?*
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Even "marine" plywood like Brunzeel and its costly kin SUCK if emerged very much.

Loads of epoxy on the edges will be required.

Starboard? Foam core glass?
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Quote:
Daddyo wrote:
I knew that would get some folks attention I am going to build a new swim platform for my boat and my thoughts were to build it out of plywood. 3/4"for the first layer with an epoxy laminated second layer of 1/2" turned perpendicular to the first. Next I was going to soak the whole thing in three coats of CPES and then paint using non-skid on top. Any reason this wouldn't be fast, strong, cheap and easy?*
*You could have one fabricated out of aluminum for about the same money, with ten times the resistance to the elements.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Daddyo, only thing you could have said to get more attention is to mention the word bayliner, except their swim platforms are not made of plywood.

I'd get one fabricated from a welding shop that doesn't know "marine" means you should pay 2x's the regular rate.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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Plywood swim platform?

Yeah Plywood won't last a year. To hard to get it sealed up right.

One little bump that cracks the covering and you've got water intrusion. Even with marine ply you will get delamination with a plywood core.

Trust me I built my back deck that way and just winter summer temperature differences causes cracks where you made a mistake and not gotten enough glass and resin on the hard to reach places.

*Aluminum, all fiberglass or all wood. (teak strips or the like.) Remember it sticks out like a sore toe easy to bang it on a slip rail or another boat.

SD*


-- Edited by skipperdude on Thursday 19th of January 2012 03:36:19 PM
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:08 PM   #6
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Non Skid pattern Starboard.

*



*

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Old 01-23-2012, 10:25 AM   #7
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Our second boat growing up was a 31' Trojan which Dad bought new in '67. It had a plywood swim step, covered with a rubberized non-skid material. It was still intact when he sold the boat in '76. We had covered moorage, so I am guessing the lack of fresh water hitting it helped keep it from rotting.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #8
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Plywood swim platform?

Before having my bow pulpit fabricated from 316L stainless, I made a prototype of 3/4" Baltic Birch from Home Depot. I glued it up 3 sheets thick with epoxy and cut a slot for the anchor. Shortly after that I decided to go with stainless and left it (prototype) outside with no paint or coating for three years to see what would happen. No delamination at all. I live in Southeastern CT.

YMMV

Rob

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-- Edited by Datenight on Monday 23rd of January 2012 08:56:32 PM
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Quote:
Daddyo wrote:
Any reason this wouldn't be fast, strong, cheap and easy?*
*As we say in our business, you can have it good, fast, and cheap.* Pick any two.

I have no doubt plywood would work for awhile.* Soaking it in CPES before painting it would make it last a longer while.* Making it out of plywood and then fiberglassing the whole thing would make it last*an even longer while.* Making it out of teak will make it last a real long while--- ours is 39 years old and still going.* You could make one out of the right kind of metal and it will last damn near forever.

In the end you'll get what you pay for in terms of time, materials, effort, and money.

So the answer to your quesiton is easy:* how much do you value 1) strength, 2) longevity, 3) ease of fabrication, 4) aesthetics,*5) cost, 6)safety,*and 7) resale value?

Assign a value of 1 to 5 to each item, 5 being the most valuable, and whichever attributes are closest to 5 will tell you how to build your swimstep.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

How you gonna mount it.

You can get a piece of UHMW or Starboard walla you got it.

I've had one made for years. Just trying to figgure out the best way to mount it.

Hate drilling holes in the transom to bolt it on.

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Old 01-24-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:

Hate drilling holes in the transom to bolt it on.

*
*It's what all the boat manufacturers do.* So if it's no big deal to Fleming, Grand Banks, and Nordic Tug I wouldn't think it should be a big deal to anyone else :-)
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:38 PM   #12
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Quote:
Marin wrote:skipperdude wrote:

Hate drilling holes in the transom to bolt it on.

*
*It's what all the boat manufacturers do.* So if it's no big deal to Fleming, Grand Banks, and Nordic Tug I wouldn't think it should be a big deal to anyone else :-)

*I know. It's like take a deep breath hold it and then pull the trigger.

Any time I do something to the hull it's like that.

Apprehension, remorse. It's my boat we are talking about here.*

SD*
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:16 PM   #13
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

I'm closing in on completion of repairs to my swim platform. I think I might have posted a pic back after Hurricane Irene bit a chunk out of it when the marina cleat pulled out of the dock. Our floating docks are constructed with "ipe" also spelled epi by some. It's supposed to be harder and more durable than teak. After the storm I was able to salvage some stock and rebuild the platform. I don't know how ipe costs relate to teak, but it's apparently a whole lot less:

http://www.advantagelumber.com/decking2.htm

*

A couple of pics below of work in progress.* Yep, I had to give up and paint it. The two different materials, plus a few spots that are glassed over, made it the only alternative.* The top coat of paint has a non-skid in it.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:34 AM   #14
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Not too hard to mimic the original construction. Below the pic of my extension of 13" to my swimgrid. the inside 5 slats and 5 spacers are added. A teak plank 2"x6" made all the 14' long slats. Another 1.5"x4" made the spacers. Object of the exercise was to look like it came that way from the builder.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:43 AM   #15
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Keith it looks great. As a matter of interest what coating do you use on it? I've tried Marine Teak Oil repeatedly but it very rapidly loses its newly coated appearance.

Cheers
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:42 AM   #16
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

Janis:

No coating on the top side, several coats of varnish on the bottom side, to keep it from going green. Last haulout, July 2011, the underside didn't yet need any attention, after 5 yrs. The top side is uniform in colour, now grey, good for traction when wet, needs no attention. In the picture, you can see the new boards are a slightly "newer " colour than the old, which had the green sanded off them. I flipped the original swimgrid over, which gave an unworn appearance to the old part.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:54 PM   #17
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RE: Plywood swim platform?

I did a plywood swimstep for our 38 Tolly. two layers of 3/4 AC plywood epoxied together and cover with glass cloth put on with epoxy rather than polyester resin. Used 1" tubing flattened on the ends for the angle brackets ala Bayliner. Lasted several years while we had the boat, don't know how it is faring now.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:08 AM   #18
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Well it's done and not quite plywood. I used Ipe. Screwed together with stainless screws and epoxy. Just need to put the perpendicular ends on or I might just finish the edge with rub rail. The boards at the outside edge are a couple of days less in the sun. Added nearly a foot in width. Ipe is much, much stiffer and stronger then teak.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:25 AM   #19
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Wow, what a great looking swim grid.
I am sure you don't regret the extra work or cost, over your originally posted thought to use plywood.
That swimgrid will last as long as the boat, and look good the whole time.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:34 AM   #20
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Thanks! I just couldn't resist working in the material I know best, good old wood.
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