When we bought Beachcomber in 2010 I had her shipped to a boat yard in Portland, OR for reassembly and the installation of new equipment. When we bought her there was a davit crane on the swim platform that was going to come off, and the platform itself was VERY wet and we knew it would have to be totally redone.
The yard manager and I discussed options and he suggested they make a very large platform out of a board-like material that was a fiberglass on both side and a foam core liner. The whole platform was about 4’ long and extended out beyond the boat’s stern by about 2.5’.
They removed the davit, cut out the existing material of the SWP and cut/sanded the new SWP so it would slide right into the areas around the former platform. In this photo you can see where the grooves are that the platform fit into.
And here’s the new platform before installation.
That platform worked well and we enjoyed the large size. It was nice to be able to take a few chairs out there and enjoy our morning coffee or evening cocktail.
That all ended when we got into a bit of rough water on our way down the Columbia on our way to Umatilla, OR for their Umatilla Landing Days Festival.
The rough water caused the swp to be lifted by the waves on the stern because they were so steep and close together.
That sheared off the ˝” bolts that held the brackets to the bottom of the swp. When that happened there was no support for the swp and it flopped like a salmon out of water. I talked with the nice folks at swimplatforms.com about a replacement. They gave me a heck of a price but to buy one from them I’d have to haul out the boat, and around here that haulout costs a couple of boat bucks.
A friend was having a local guy, Angel Gomez, build him a new platform. I looked at his and was pleased with what I saw so I talked with the guy doing the work. He met me at the boat, looked at what I had on there at the time, told me what he could do for me and what it would cost, so we came to an agreement and I gave him a deposit.
The first thing that had to happen was the old swp had to come off. I rounded up some friends and we tried to break it by pulling up on it with dock lines. No go. Then I drilled 3/8” diameter holes about every 2”-3” through the swp, following the transom of the boat. No go, still wouldn’t break. Here’s a video of us trying to break the stupid thing off. That material it was made of was tough as he!!.
So I drilled more holes, spacing them about 1” apart, all the way across the width of the transom. This time, after much tugging and pulling and a few bad words it came off.
One of the best things about having Angel do the new platform was that he could do it with the boat in the water, no haul out needed. Angel did all the measurements then built the platform in his shop. We were going to meet back at the boat when it was done but I was not available when they were headed to the boat. The first I saw of the new platform was after it was installed. Here’s what it looked like at that point. The first part of the fitting was all done, the green stuff is a “glue” that will harden and hold the platform in place.
I wanted Angel to install some pressure vents in the platform (I wish I’d had those in the first one) so I bought four that have the Sea Ray wave logo in them. Angel fitted them in between the braces he built into the transom that hold the platform in place.
Things had gone too well up to this point and I was just waiting for the first “AWSHIT” to happen. It did when the paint we ordered from Spectrum didn’t match. We had ordered it using the HIN so spectrum said to return it. They mixed a new batch and, while it was closer, it still was obviously not a match. So Angel did all the mixing of the gelcoat, assuring me he could mix it to match. He did, and it was darker than the boat color. He said to give it a couple of days to dry and it would match. I did, it dried and lightened up to a perfect color match.
Then came the hard part. Angel had to blend the gelcoat on the new platform to and get the contour of the curve to look like a factory original job. He did a great job with the sanding and it’s impossible to tell that it’s not a factory job.
Here’s what the new platform looks like.
To say that I’m pleased with what Angel did would be a serious understatement. It looks good, is solid as a rock, and makes backing into the slip much easier because it doesn’t hang out so far off the stern.