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Old 04-23-2020, 11:28 AM   #1
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Swim platform construction material?

My boat is finally heading in the home stretch of a large refit and one of the items nearing completion is my new swim platform. The old platform was removed as it was too narrow and a new one a bit wider planned. Other than teak, does anyone have a recommendation for material to be used building the actual platform?
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:32 AM   #2
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I could be wrong. but PM GFC (Mike) I believe he rebuilt his swim platform or knows of a company that can make one.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
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My original platform is wood cored fiberglass with non-skid on top. I personally wouldn't use wood core for it, but building one from foam cored fiberglass should be fairly practical.

I know some places build them out of the plastic artificial teak stuff as well. Starboard is probably an option too, although either of those has to be fairly thick with lots of supports to not be too flexy.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:38 AM   #4
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I forgot to add that Seawise davits are going to be added so the platform will be under some stress and the Rib and 10 hp Merc transition from vertical to horizontal so I need the platform to be able to handle the transition stress.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
I forgot to add that Seawise davits are going to be added so the platform will be under some stress and the Rib and 10 hp Merc transition from vertical to horizontal so I need the platform to be able to handle the transition stress.

That would push me more towards fiberglass, as it'll be easier to reinforce an area for the davits to mount and transfer the load to the platform to hull brackets.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:50 AM   #6
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I built platform partly with a SS fabrication shop and partly myself for the teak installation. Any shop that does quality marine stainless steel fabrication can do it. These can be found by asking around at local boatyards.

The perimeter was SS and so were the two diagonal supports. One middle crosswise support was added to support the teak and a band of SS was welded on each end to support the teak.

In your case where it will hold a dinghy plus outboard as well as a person or two, I would use large diameter SS tubing, probably 1-1/4" for the perimeter and the diagonal supports. The load from the Seawise attachment points should be right at the two supports so two should be adequate.

If I were doing it today I would probably use Plasiteak or similar.

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Old 04-23-2020, 12:26 PM   #7
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I would use square or rectangular stainless steel tube for a frame and support beams and Ipe wood for the top.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:57 PM   #8
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The brackets to hold the platform were constructed locally out of some metal, I draw a blank and epoxied over. There are five L brackets with a support in the L forming a support triangle. These brackets have been installed.

I have suggested the Ipe wood to my refit guy after the above post discussing this material, haven't heard back.
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Old 04-23-2020, 01:10 PM   #9
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If possible, I would go with Starboard and reinforce under the davits back to the transom.

Might be worth talking to these people:

Marine Plastic Innovations, Inc.

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Old 04-23-2020, 01:18 PM   #10
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I don't think this is perfect, but its what we did. The PO used 1" square stock aluminum... it lasted about 5 years and rotted off the boat. The boat use to have a davit system off the swim step so it was beefed up a lot at that time. I rebuilt what they did in 1" 1/4 wall SS with all stainless brackets. I took out the sheet metal screws the PO used and installed 1/4 ss bolts with lock washers and goop on each side to slow down the leaks. There are 5 braces, two are located where the davit system use to be. I think you would rip a hole in the transom before the swim step fell off...

If the boat did not have 20 screw holes that went all the way through I would have built something much different, but this works.

I have seen a few of the custom one off swim steps that S3 has done, and they are flat out amazing. Some are bolt on, some are built on and seamless.

https://www.s3maritime.com/

I have a friend that works for them we call him Mr.Glass
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Old 04-23-2020, 01:33 PM   #11
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I recently got rid of the thin cracking teak and replaced it with plastic composite decking.

It is heavier being double the thickness but oh so very secure to walk on.


https://www.bunnings.com.au/ekodeck-...cking_p0120934
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Old 04-23-2020, 01:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
I recently got rid of the thin cracking teak and replaced it with plastic composite decking.

It is heavier being double the thickness but oh so very secure to walk on.


https://www.bunnings.com.au/ekodeck-...cking_p0120934
I have Trex brand composite decking on my sundeck at home. I wouldn't recommend it for marine use. After a very few years it softens and changes shape, so the original spacing between the boards shrinks and in many cases just goes away, as the plastic sags. Also the support on my deck are 16" apart, and the decking sags a little between them. Finally the finish has deteriorated to the point that they look bad. I would paint, but due to many tall cedars close by, I have to power wash the deck at least twice a year to get the cedar droppings off, and I don't think paint would survive that. This is the place where Trex is more durable than wood

I would not hesitate to use Teak despite the high price, as it will outlast the rest of your boat (if you use a robust dimension), or Ipe.

The wood slat design is a proven design, with solid areas where you are going to mount your SeaWise and with adequate supports.
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Old 04-23-2020, 03:01 PM   #13
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We'll see

The teak strips we had were a death trap.
New teak was going to cost silly money and this stuff, due to them sending out a grooved edge vs square edge, cost exactly $zero.

As we had planned on heading up to South East Asia at the end of the year if it didn't last there would have been plenty of exotic hardwood choices to be had cheap when there, but that's not looking likely now.
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Old 04-23-2020, 03:10 PM   #14
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Contact Butler Marine, https://butlermarine.com

I had them fabricate swim platform for my GB36 Classic. Great workmanship, customer support, very fair pricing.
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
My boat is finally heading in the home stretch of a large refit and one of the items nearing completion is my new swim platform. The old platform was removed as it was too narrow and a new one a bit wider planned. Other than teak, does anyone have a recommendation for material to be used building the actual platform?

Try this place:

https://www.myswimplatform.com/
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
I recently got rid of the thin cracking teak and replaced it with plastic composite decking.

It is heavier being double the thickness but oh so very secure to walk on.


https://www.bunnings.com.au/ekodeck-...cking_p0120934
Hi Simi

Ditto for us - Malagari came with a composite planked swim platform - - the PO was able to curve it to match the transom and laid it with the reeded side up which is great for non slip - its a light brown, sort of matching the colour of new teak and it still looks as if it was laid yesterday. Absolutely no maintenance needed
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:12 PM   #17
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That would push me more towards fiberglass, as it'll be easier to reinforce an area for the davits to mount and transfer the load to the platform to hull brackets.
Swim steps should be considered “stern bumpers” , and constructed accordingly.
I’ve seen several where stout metal brackets were pushed right through the hull with catastrophic results.
Consider making the whole thing an extension of the hull, and integral.
Your slip fees are usually based on LOA anyway, why not have that be all boat?
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Old 04-24-2020, 10:57 AM   #18
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Since your boat is 29', weight of the swim platform may be an issue.

We built several platforms for clients using a foam core with plastic blocking covered in 1708 fabric and epoxy. Even a few that extended the hull and provide storage and/or live well and fish storage.
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Old 04-24-2020, 11:01 AM   #19
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I built our last swim platform out of plywood and fiberglass. I am not particularly happy with how it came out, weight wise, and a lot of other ways. The next haul out, I think I am going to use it as a pattern to build a completely new one, probably with some kind of closed foam cell core, and again of fiberglass.

The plywood was cheaper, but I do regret using it now. I'm already seeing some water intrusion, despite my best efforts to seal up screw holes.
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Old 04-24-2020, 11:04 AM   #20
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Take a look at plasteak.com. We had a bow pulpit made by them on a previous boat. Like it a lot. No affiliation.
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