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Old 04-03-2019, 05:34 PM   #1
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Swim step bumper solution for dingy protection

I have been searching for a solution to this issue for quite some time, and never really found a good result. I assume this is either because (a) it is super simple and I am overthinking things [happens a lot] or (b) because there aren't good solutions.....

I have a fiberglass swim step that is the perfect height most of the time to trap my nice Highfield dinghy tube underneath it when approaching the boat. It also tends to eat the dinghy when said dinghy is tied off to cleats on the swim step unless the lines are super tight, or I insert a full sized boat fender and release the dinghy off a bit.

I've searched for half-fenders, stern swim step fenders, and other things like that, but haven't found a solution. Some swim step fenders look promising, but require being roped in, and have large protrusions on either side, which would make exiting the dinghy difficult.

What would be ideal is a round fender that has a 1/4 of it cut out of it with screw eyes/holes along the long edge. I could attach that to the back face of the swim step, and the fender could face outwards and also reach around under the step, preventing the sharp edge of the swim step from scraping the dinghy, and probably, given a large enough size, prevent the dinghy from ever going under.

For now I use a full size boat fender, which is much too large, and tie it off the flag staff on the stern rail, and let it float between the dinghy and step. This has a disadvantage as there is a line crossing the step that you have to navigate around, and it generally just gets in the way.

Has anyone found a more elegant way?
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:43 PM   #2
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Just trying to think of different profiles that you may be able to adapt...
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:46 PM   #3
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Just trying to think of different profiles that you may be able to adapt...
Thanks!

I actually tried the first one, and it didn't work out. The flat portion at the top is at the wrong angle, so the bumper sticks out like a spear which ends up just going into the dinghy

The second one is similar, if not longer, to the one I tried as well. It was OK and held the boat off the step, but it would still sneak under it. I didn't have one quite as long as this one, but I am hoping to permanently install it. One that long would flap around in the water while underway if it was permanent.

3rd one is interesting, haven't seen that shape before. Might be too tall below the step, but a smaller version might work. I will check that one out a bit more.

Last one might not prevent it from going under the step.
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:43 PM   #4
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I know it would be a bit more of a PITA but how about tying the dinghy alongside except when you want to get in and out, at which time you would pull it back to the swim platform?
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:51 PM   #5
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I know it would be a bit more of a PITA but how about tying the dinghy alongside except when you want to get in and out, at which time you would pull it back to the swim platform?
That definitely would work for storing it, but it would not be that convenient for sure. I still would like something that prevents the dinghy from scraping on the swim step even while we are getting in and out, etc.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:18 PM   #6
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Maybe this will work for you
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:47 AM   #7
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A more permanent fix: A pair of teak stand off boards, vertically from the bottom of the swim grid to the waterline (at rest) spaced to wherever the dinghy dictates. I have seen several boats set up this way, mostly with teak swim grids, but there is no reason the same wont work for you.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:34 AM   #8
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I'm guessing the edge is not tube?
Our duckboard is a s/s tube frame with teak slats.
The tube allows a continual length of old 1inch mooring rope to be wrapped around it.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:33 AM   #9
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Why not put a permanent ss bar on the underside of the swim step? It would probably only need to hang down 6 or 8 inches to keep it from getting under it.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:55 AM   #10
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Mooring whips mounted on the swim platform. Only the mounting brackets remain when not in use.

They keep the dinghy from hitting the platform even with decent swells/wakes. An no laying in the aft cabin listening to the dinghy bounce off the hull all night like it would if side tied. Plus once adjusted there is no fine tuning needed. Both my wife and my kids can unclip, go for a ride, and come back and re-secure the rib without having to worry about adjusting lines.

This setup works great for our Highfield CL360 with 20hp tiller Suzuki.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:51 AM   #11
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We tie up at the back corner of the boat and step onto the side of the swim step, this allows a grab spot at the corner of the boat to allow more stable ingress/egress, the damn dog likes it too as she steps almost level from the tube to the swim step.



We have a loop in the painter that is set so the transom of the dink is about 6" behind the platform. much easier as the side of the boat keeps the dinghy from getting under the platform.. run up next to the boat, drop the loop over the cleat get out. easy


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Old 04-04-2019, 04:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Maybe this will work for you
That's a pretty slick fender. Might work, but I think I'd have to remove it while underway, as it would catch the water and flop around/come off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
A more permanent fix: A pair of teak stand off boards, vertically from the bottom of the swim grid to the waterline (at rest) spaced to wherever the dinghy dictates. I have seen several boats set up this way, mostly with teak swim grids, but there is no reason the same wont work for you.
That could work to keep the dinghy from going under, but it could still rub on the edge of the platform, unless I added some anti-chafe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
I'm guessing the edge is not tube?
Our duckboard is a s/s tube frame with teak slats.
The tube allows a continual length of old 1inch mooring rope to be wrapped around it.
Correct, the edge is not a tube, just a fiberglass edge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG CAT View Post
Why not put a permanent ss bar on the underside of the swim step? It would probably only need to hang down 6 or 8 inches to keep it from getting under it.
This could work potentially, and provide another way to tie off on too. Similar to the other suggestion of teak stand off boards, but I like SS better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander Nomad View Post
Mooring whips mounted on the swim platform. Only the mounting brackets remain when not in use.

They keep the dinghy from hitting the platform even with decent swells/wakes. An no laying in the aft cabin listening to the dinghy bounce off the hull all night like it would if side tied. Plus once adjusted there is no fine tuning needed. Both my wife and my kids can unclip, go for a ride, and come back and re-secure the rib without having to worry about adjusting lines.

This setup works great for our Highfield CL360 with 20hp tiller Suzuki.
That would work for storing it, but there is still the chance of sliding under the step or catching on it while docking. I have the Highfield CL310 with a 15HP Mercury EFI and love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywood8118 View Post
We tie up at the back corner of the boat and step onto the side of the swim step, this allows a grab spot at the corner of the boat to allow more stable ingress/egress, the damn dog likes it too as she steps almost level from the tube to the swim step.



We have a loop in the painter that is set so the transom of the dink is about 6" behind the platform. much easier as the side of the boat keeps the dinghy from getting under the platform.. run up next to the boat, drop the loop over the cleat get out. easy


HOLLYWOOD
Hmmm interesting idea, that could potentially work.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:52 PM   #13
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This setup works great for our Highfield CL360 with 20hp tiller Suzuki.


How does your Highfield perform with the 20 hp? Iíve ordered a 310 Classic and am trying to decide between 9.9, 15 and 20. The 15 and 20 Iím looking at are the same weight.

Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:59 PM   #14
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Why not put a permanent ss bar on the underside of the swim step? It would probably only need to hang down 6 or 8 inches to keep it from getting under it.
You might very well snag more than the dingy.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:50 PM   #15
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How does your Highfield perform with the 20 hp? Iíve ordered a 310 Classic and am trying to decide between 9.9, 15 and 20. The 15 and 20 Iím looking at are the same weight.

Thanks.
I know you were asking the other poster, but just since I have the data...

I have the 310 Classic and a 15HP EFI Mercury outboard. On flat water, with one person (me) I can get to about 21 knots flat out. Two people and we only get to about 18 knots depending on how we shift around.

I love how mine performs.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:52 PM   #16
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You might very well snag more than the dingy.
Good point.

I think the idea of some sort of bumper that sticks out from the end of the platform, and also goes under a bit would probably be best. Wouldn't really stick down that much...
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:29 AM   #17
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I know you were asking the other poster, but just since I have the data...



I have the 310 Classic and a 15HP EFI Mercury outboard. On flat water, with one person (me) I can get to about 21 knots flat out. Two people and we only get to about 18 knots depending on how we shift around.



I love how mine performs.


Thanks for the reply! I feel like the 15 is the sweet spot. But also since the 20 is the same weight, just extra unicorn magic, why not? Iím planning on tiller only to start, but they have that FCT console you can add.

How do you feel about fuel? My dealer told me some have complained about the small 3 gallon tank you can fit in the locker, and with the bigger engines itís an issue. Easy fix, just buy a 6 gallon tank and use it outside of the locker, but I did like the idea of the can in that locker. But I can also see using the locker for ďstuffĒ and being ok with the larger can on the deck.

Thanks again for the reply!
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:29 AM   #18
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My 360 runs 18kts flat out with just me in flat water. Electric start with battery, full gas can, anchor with chain, etc so there's some additional weight. But I also have a hydrofoil on it to stay on plane at slow cruise so I lose a little top end. 4 adults onboard and we run 15-16 kts and can stay on plane down to 10kts.

Regarding 3 gallon can, if your engine is fuel injected you'll sip fuel at partial throttle. I can run a very long time on 3 gallons at cruising speed (1/2-3/4 throttle).

For Suzuki at least the 15 and 20hp engines are identical- just a different ecu. Zero reason not to go for the 20.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:52 AM   #19
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Something like this ??

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Old 04-05-2019, 09:53 AM   #20
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Something like this ??

Cant post the image ... Taylor made #56090
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