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Thread: swim step fishing platform

  1. #1
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    Default swim step fishing platform

    Was wondering about an idea. A swim step would be nice on the back of my 26' olympic for coolers etc.... Got me thinking how about making it more of a fishing platform so it could be used for both. Storing (light) stuff out of the way and could put a short railing and be used for fishing, bbc, sun tanning etc. Whats your opinions and has anyone seen this???

  2. #2
    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Default Its a good idea

    I had a small plastic swim platform on my outboard 17 footer, worked great. It was attached to the transom and had two aluminum pipes curving up to support it. I kept a cooler on it all the time. Made it easier to climb in and out of the boat when it was on the trailer too.

    If you've got a inboard no problem - you can go all the way across, if its an outboard you could put two smaller ones on either side of the outboard outside of its swing radius.

    You can buy premade plastic ones (check West Marine) or you can make one. To make it you can go spendy and use teak; or you can use a non-evergreen wood (no pine or spruce) and soak it in penetrating epoxy.

    You can make penetrating epoxy by taking a normal epoxy that hasnt been thinned out already and diluting it 50% w/ a solvent like acetone.
    You can look at the label of epoxies to see if they're already thinned out. Also, good epoxy doent have any VOCs in it and can be shipped non-hazmat.

    Keep coating all sides of your project w/ your penetrating epoxy until it doesnt soak in any more (3 or 4 coats), then let it cure. What you've done it turn your wood into wood colored plastic - it'll never rot, its also super strong now. However it will yellow in sunlight over time, you'll need a topcoat w/ UV blockers. You can find clear ones, or you can use a product called aluthane, it'll make it look like aluminum and last forever.

    West system is a pretty decent epoxy. I use these guys, they're cheaper and better quality, lots of info on their website too even if it is a pain to navigate in: http://www.epoxyproducts.com/summarymar.html

    Heh, probably more of an answer than you wanted....
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I would highly recomend against adding acetone to epoxy to make it a penetrating epoxy, especially in a high concentration. When the acetone evaporates you are left with a porous resin that will let water go right through and soak your wood.

    A good marine epoxy will soak into wood just fine. Using a light layer of fiberglass and putting a second coat of epoxy on to fill the weave of the glass will provide plenty of protection from water.

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Default

    You're right, it'll be a little porous (but not much), the epoxy will have coated & soaked into the wood fibers - thus protecting and strengthening the wood.

    Having said that though, you will need a topcoat, an epoxy topcoat applied within 24 hours while its still "tacky" (12-24ish hours) will bond with the underlying epoxy and you'll get a strong chemical bond.
    If you wait longer it'll fully cure and you'll have to sand to provide a mechanical grip for the epoxy.
    For a really nice look sand your first topcoat smooth and then do a UV inhibiting finish coat.

    I've treated wood like this for many years on/around boats and always had great results, in fact I'll be doing a stich and glue dinghy this winter like this. I even treated my old backyard deck this way instead of replacing it and was really happy with how it turned out.

    It also work great treat wood rot, it stops it and strengthens it so it doesnt need replacement - as long as there's enough wood left to reinforce.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I can assure you that when starting with good wood, there is absolutely no advantage of adding acetone to epoxy resin, and many disadvantages. I used 30 gallons of System III on my tolman skiff, it soaks into wood just fine and provides excellent water protection, no problems with adhering and seeps sufficiently into the wood.

    I recomend reading West Systems technical bulletin on thinning epoxy.

    http://www.atlcomposites.com.au/file...ning_epoxy.pdf

    At over $100 a gallon, I can see little reason to degrade the performance of epoxy. If you're looking for an inexpensive resin that doesn't perform as well as straight epoxy, use polyester resin.

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Default

    OP; I apologize for the thread hijack - this'll be the last post I make on the subject of epoxy in this thread.

    Thank you Paul, very interesting read, I can see how adding more solvent to West epoxy would cause problems as its already diluted with 20% alcohol which would explain its inherent wetting abilities.
    http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...S105-resin.pdf

    $100 bucks a gallon?! Ouch! Try $86 for a 1.5 gallon unit. However shipping might change the relative values.
    http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=epoxy

    After I read the technical bulletin I did some more research
    http://www.epoxyproducts.com/penetrating4u.html

    And it turns out I've been wrong on a few details
    1. Xylene is the best solvent to add
    2. Adding more than 25% greatly reduces the strength of the cured product. The 50% I've been adding is way too much to make the wood stronger even though it does help in penetration.
    3. The penetrating epoxy doesnt get more than 1/4 inch at best into the wood, unless you put your wood in a vacuum chamber or oven, pour or immerse your project in the penetrating epoxy and let it repressurize or cool down.
    4 Penetrating epoxy doesnt do snot for rotten wood, all it does is form a hard crust on it but it doesnt actually get very far in.
    http://www.epoxyproducts.com/rot.html

    Thanks Paul, you challanged a set of what I thought I knew a lot about and I ended up learning a good bit.

    Dave
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

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    Member AkBillyBow's Avatar
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    My boat came with an extended swim platform between the two outboards. I am attaching a couple of pics...perhaps they can give you some ideas. It is very usefull for storage and for climbing in and out of the dingy.

    AkBillyBow
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2007 Glacier Bay Cat 2690 Coastal Runner, Twin Honda 150's

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    Member AkBillyBow's Avatar
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    And, it's a great place for your pet bear to sleep!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2007 Glacier Bay Cat 2690 Coastal Runner, Twin Honda 150's

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    Default

    wow thanks guys
    I can see it would be a great addition, will consider making one, problem is it seems it never gets done. Pay for it and enjoy it. would like to make it with rails so could fish on it. ? Just wondering if I'm missing anything with that thought.

  10. #10

    Default

    I made a platform for my stern drive using King Starboard (a type of plastic) and stainless brackets. King Starboard (may have another name, also) from W. Marine or Alaska Rubber, brackets from W. Marine. The Starboard is pricey but can be drilled, cut, etc. like wood and easy to work with. It will not rot which is a good thing. I keep a very large cooler on it and it has supported that weight plus my weight.

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