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  • Custom Fiberglass Extended Swim Platform

    It looks like our next boat is still a few years away, so I am thinking about doing some enhancements to the current barge, a Formula 330 Sun Sport. I always wanted an extended swim platform to get the people out beyond the outdrives, as they present a mild hazard when doing the sandbar thing.

    Formula has some nice extended swim platforms as an option on their new boats, like the one pictured below. Knowing Formula's prices, I'm sure something like this through them would be more than most boats cost.

    So, I'm thinking of a DIY approach . . .

    Click image for larger version  Name:	sp102.png Views:	1 Size:	247.5 KB ID:	10631740

    I would like to make something myself similar to it, using the 'plug & mold' technique so I can make a true fiberglass (no wood) platform that looks factory.

    I have a design sketched out that is similar to the Formula option, as shown below:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	SP2A.png Views:	1 Size:	60.2 KB ID:	10631741

    My plan is to move the existing boarding ladder to the extended platform and install a second grab rail on the riser up to the built-in platform. This should get the ladder about 1 to 1.5 feet beyond the outdrives in their tilted up fashion.

    I would make the 'plug' out of EPS foam, then epoxy coat it and finish it to a shine. Then make a mold from the plug using fiberglass and some stiffeners to hold the mold true (probably those stiffeners can be plywood). Then I would prep the mold for fiberglass and do vacuum bagged mold to get a high strength-to-weight ratio. I probably will form some stiffeners underneath with some urethane foam pieces and then have some stainless steel support rods running down to the transom, as most installations have.

    I am thinking the whole thing could be done for about $1200 in materials. I'll probably take some measurements this weekend and maybe buy the EPS sheets.

    At this stage I am looking for any input, comments, ideas, etc.

    I have seen the after market platforms that you can get for around $3K. Not that excited about those, as I like the lower level of the 'step-down' style of platform, since the regular platform of my boat is fairly high up from the waterline.
    Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

    Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
    Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

    My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

  • #2
    Well that's a great heck of an endeavor! Nice level of fabrication to be at.
    Most times I'm wrong, Most times I stand corrected..But...Sometimes I'm right.
    1983 SportCraft Deep V OSFF 222 Cuddy Rehab
    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ddy-walkaround
    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...-new-fuel-pump
    www.flotationfoamsolutions.com

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    • #3
      BTW - this is what the current standard/built-in platform looks like now . . . Admiral's feet and all

      Click image for larger version

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      Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

      Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
      Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
      Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

      My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm aboard for this
        1976 Hammond El Dorado V1950 https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...50-restoration

        MC-1 Transom Assy https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...1-transom-assy

        52FordF2

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        • #5
          Nice concept. If I might....one item that stuck out as a nice to have was the integrated swim step (ala Cobalt boats). Can check out their R3 series to see what I'm talking about.

          Other item I might suggest would be a couple of access points for your outdrives. I'd rather pop a cover off to clear a rope/debris than to have to dive under the boat to do the same.

          Just my preferences/opinions....feel free to tell me to shove off.
          2017 Chaparral 19 H2O Ski & Fish w./4.3L 180HP Merc Alpha
          2005 Four Winns 200Le x/5.0L Volvo SX-M (270HP - FI) - ordered new, traded in on Chaparral
          1999 Bayliner Capri 1800LS w/2000 Honda 115HP - ordered new, traded in on Four Winns
          1956 MFG 15' w/matching Evinrude Big Twin 30HP - presumed to be a sandbox somewhere


          Tow Vehicle:
          2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4x4

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          • #6
            Originally posted by briangcc View Post
            Nice concept. If I might....one item that stuck out as a nice to have was the integrated swim step (ala Cobalt boats). Can check out their R3 series to see what I'm talking about.

            Other item I might suggest would be a couple of access points for your outdrives. I'd rather pop a cover off to clear a rope/debris than to have to dive under the boat to do the same.

            Just my preferences/opinions....feel free to tell me to shove off.
            As for the swim step idea, I'm trying to keep metal fabrication to a minimum, so that is why I'm staying with the current fold-up ladder.

            Now that you mention access holes over the outdrives, I never noticed that was what they would be useful for on aftermarket platforms that I have seen.
            Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

            Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
            Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
            Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

            My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

            Comment


            • #7
              You might check with swim platforms.com to see if they can do the step down. I used them for our cobalt. The existing platform was high up. The new one mounts to the transom and sits just off the water.

              You don't have much transom there to mount to maybe they can do something that mounts to the underside of the existing swim platform instead of the top.
              James
              2002 Cobalt 226 with VP 8.1GI

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              • #8
                Hey Ted, Interesting project you've came up with......Im wondering if just an 18" modified half moon extended flush with the existing platform would be sufficient, look smooth, and be doable? The outer braces and foam filled under braces could remain the same....
                "We all come from the sea. But we are not all of the sea. Those of us who are, we children of the tides, must return to it again and again."

                Current Boats
                10' tin gamefisher/Johnson 7.5hp ob
                1991 Sea Ray 170br/AlphaMerc
                1996 Century 1800 CC/Yamaha c85
                1988 Imperial 280SF (under the knife)
                1972 Checkmate mx-15

                https://forums.iboats.com/boat-restor...cs-598307.html

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the ideas guys. I have thought about the aftermarket platforms, like swim platform . com . Money would be a bit more than a full fabrication, but not significantly so. For me it is as much about building it as it is about having it.

                  I think the aftermarket swim platforms of similar nature would be about $1500 and then DIY install. The Formula option on their current boats are about $7K. I assume it would be more as an aftermarket sale.

                  The weather is supposed to be rain much of the weekend on Cape Cod, so maybe I'll get out to the boat, take some measurements, and get going on the 'plug/mock-up'.

                  I did see somewhere on the Internet, a forum thread about someone who built a fiberglass swim platform mold using melamine sheets, but now I cannot see to find it again. Of course, to build a mold from scratch, without a mock-up is a bit mind boggling, unless using the most simple design. . . probably would make my head hurt thinking about it.

                  I do better shaping 'outside curves' than the 'inside curves' that a mold would have.
                  Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                  Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                  Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                  Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                  My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Are you planning on making it removable ? Or maybe glass it in and make it a more permanent structure ..Let the top shelf slide over existing and laminate/tab in and patch the gell coat afterwards ...
                    Just throwing stuff out there .. Seems doable though ....
                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                    '64 MFG Rebuild
                    MFG forum thread https://forums.iboats.com/mfg/64-edin...ay-524708.html
                    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ve-the-manatee
                    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...at-restoration

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                    • #11
                      Maybe this will help...http://www.boatered.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=144725
                      1961 Lonestar Flamingo - SPLASHED...Kinda!!
                      Fabricating Decks, Stringers, and Transoms
                      Paint Your Boat with Tractor Paint...Say What!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Woodonglass View Post
                        Thanks WoG That was the link I had been looking for and could not seem to find.

                        I went out to the boat (on its mooring) and made a bunch of measurements. I figured the platform was going to be about 8 feet wide. Measured out at about 95" to fit on top of the existing platform.

                        Here are the dimensions.
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	SP2AD.png Views:	1 Size:	85.5 KB ID:	10633398

                        Looks like I'll need 3-4 2' x 8' EPS sheets to make the plug.

                        sphelps this platform will be detachable. . . don't want to get too crazy with glassing into existing hull, etc.
                        Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                        Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                        Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                        Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                        My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have been doing some searching for non-skid patterns for mold makers. I came across a company . . . Gibco (gibcoflexmold.com) that seems to have the patterns that many boat companies use for their non-skid.

                          They happen to list this pattern for Formula and Fountain boats. It comes in both 'negative' and 'positive' patterns.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          So, I think I'll try to get some for the non-skid areas of the platform. Not sure how much $$$ this material will be, hopefully not too much. My other option (idea) was to use EVA Faux Teak as a non-skid surface.

                          I'm not sure how many companies make/sell this type of material, anyone know of others?
                          Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                          Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                          Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                          Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                          My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ONDARVR, told me about GIBCO a few years back. They're pricey but...you really only need one sq. ft. piece and then use it over again. Thickened GelCoat and a bit of cooking oil to coat the mould and you're good to go.
                            1961 Lonestar Flamingo - SPLASHED...Kinda!!
                            Fabricating Decks, Stringers, and Transoms
                            Paint Your Boat with Tractor Paint...Say What!!!

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                            • #15
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                              I think I’ll need 4 sheets of 30” x 48”, as I’m doing a positive mold. Not sure how pricey that will be? I have $100 budgeted for non-skid material.

                              ondarvr Maybe I’ll reach out to see if you have any advice on the non-skid for the ‘plug’
                              Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                              Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                              Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                              Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                              My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

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