Wednesday, November 01, 2006

SWIM PLATFORMS: retrofitting a CSY

The first swim platform I actually saw being made for a CSY 44 was on Bob Jefferies Pilothouse named "Whatever". He used 5" wide teak and fabricated brackets above and below, to attach the assembly to the stern. Bob
"Whatever", shown above.

was proud of his project but admitted that it caused a lot of 'wave slap' at anchor and he would cut more holes in it for drainage if he were to do it again.

"Soggypaws" on the right.

I began to notice swim platforms more and took pictures and notes when I saw one that I thought was interesting. All, displayed a pattern that obviously evolved over time and suggest, "Keep it small and Let it Drain." Once installed, swim platforms become functional elements of a vessel that must be reliable in any weather condition. Dave McCampbell's solution on Soggypaws, seemed the best overall example of simple functional design. When ever possible, I believe form should follow function so I chose to basically copy his design, with a few exceptions. Dave chose 1.5" aluminum, I chose 1.25" stainless steel. I added an inverted rail underneath the aft end, that serves several functions; hand rail when swimming, support for framework in case of severe loading by people or waves, and it prohibits my inflatable from getting caught underneath! This could also be a safety factor as a hand or foot caught under the platform with a rising dingy could spell injury in a heart beat!

When 6000 series aluminum is used or electopolished 316L(low carbon) stainless steel, the noticeable corrosion seems to be very minor. Since fasteners rust quickly, I changed those that were holding the 1/2" textured starboard to my stainless steel framework to brass flat heads. They will turn green, but that looks 'shippy' to me. . . rust does not.

"Memory Rose"-beginning installation, at right.

Varying thoughts on swim ladders down or ladders up to deck or cockpit are shown in the photos. After modifying my original aft boarding ladder, I finally removed it when adding a Monitor Wind Vane. We now use the framework of the Monitor as our steps up and down after adding aggressive non-skid tape to the Monitor's frame to prevent any accidental slips.

Heart of Oak shows tight spacing between the teak which would restrict water flow.
[remember you can click on any photo to make it larger]

Soggypaws (on right)uses only the starboard half of his platform to mimimalize the forces of wave slap.

was unhappy with the lack of ability for water to pass through. I too noticed a pronounced pounding when anchored in a chop, so modified mine this summer to include slots and left a 3" separation between the

Windhover's Swim platform, Monitor Windvane and davits shown at left

starboard and stern to lessen the effect of waves. The photo below, shows my honey doing the final wash to it before reinstalling.

Memory Rose's Drainage Slots -After.............................................None Before

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