The original swim platform on the back of the boat was wide enough to put a foot on. But we’re scuba divers. As you can see by the picture below, the old swim platform was only 5′ wide and 18″ deep, just enough to stand on. We couldn’t imagine using this to get in and out of the water in full scuba gear. (Note: the previous owner always dove off his dingy, never off the boat.)
We needed something more. We reached out to Marine Fabricators, owned by Erny, who came up with a swim platform that gave us room for a box that doubles as a seat, someplace to put the tanks to gear them up, and includes a ladder for climbing back aboard.
We worked through issues collaboratively with him to come up with the final design.
Notice the grill and the big white cutting board (fish cleaning station). The grill is a great idea, although it is pretty exposed and only lasts two years. The cutting board on the other hand was not a good idea–it’s tough to see in the picture, but it does fold down….right into the oncoming water when we’re heeled over. Also, it was too far back and not stable to work on, especially underway. We removed the cutting board when we got to FL. The cutting board itself is stored behind the scuba tank holder and pulled out when we need it. The mounting brackets are have been recycled.
The plan was to coat the platform with white lineX to protect the aluminum, but with COVID we couldn’t find a shop with material in VA that could to it. So we headed for FL with the intent of getting it done later.
When we got to Ponce Inlet, FL, we found a local dealer who could do it, and arranged to haul the boat to make it easy to remove the platform and have it done while we visited with family.
Now that the platform is coated and protected, we can turn our attention to the other unforeseen design feature, it drags in the water when we sail. This was costing as much as 1 to 1 1/2 knots when we sailed. (We have had the handhold — that loop in front of the red gas can — under water when sailing.)
However, it was wonderful to have this platform on the back of the boat so we could swim and scuba dive. We will deal with the drag in 2022.