I use composite door shims as well to eliminate the dreaded platform rattle. However this won't deal with the issue of the pressure waves put on the platform, it will just transfer it from the brackets attached to the platform (in the form of wearing through the 1/4" holes) to the brackets on the transom which is a much bigger fix. I just hope that Moomba through-bolted the transom brackets with a nice thick metal plate backing....
Think I'll look at that tomorrow.
Originally Posted by mnpracing
The brackets are at the local welder being TIG welded and re-drilled. That will solve one problem.
SC suggested that if I drill holes, that I should gel coat them to keep water from getting absorbed into the composite core.
I'm still concerned about the upward pressure of water in rougher seas and boat wakes. Looking for aluminum flanges to insert onto drilled holes.
For what its worth...
Our swim platform almost came completely off a couple of weeks ago when a friend noticed the swim deck was extremely loose while surfing. Upon inspection, we noticed the one side was completely off the bracket as all the screws had stripped out. We took the swim platform to the local marine dealer and he said it happens more often than some may realize.
He said the platforms were really designed for people to stand on... Yes, water will bounce the platform up and down, but the water pressure while operating in high waves, or surfing can be extreme. Over time, the screws may pop and strip out. The other obvious reason for a platform to come off is if it was hit by another boat in a marina when we were not around? Since there was no evidence of this, I was pretty sure it was water as we do operate on a large lake and surf all the time.
Anyways, the fix was simple and very effective (thus far). He filled the holes with appoxy since they were stripped and let it cure. He then drilled 3 more holes in each bracket since there was only 6 screws holding each bracket onto the platform. He used one size larger screws for added strength and prior to re-assemby, they coated the bracket and the swim platform with PL4100 or something similar. Once screwed down and the PL cured, there is no way that bracket will come off unless the entire fiberglass rips off with it.
The concern of water getting into the additional screw holes should be solved by using the PL product. If your not happy with the PL oozing past the brackets... just take a knife and run it down the bracket once its cured and your done.
FYI, upon inspection, it seems the foam does not provide much "grab" for the screws and the only thing really holding the bracket onto the platform is the small amount of fiberglass over the foam. Take a look at the holes and you will see there is not much there! No wonder the screws rip out over time!
Anyways, that fixed our problem and the platform is very secure on the brackets.... It still bounces as this is a seperate issue with the bracket on the boat, however we have never worried about this.
Hope it helps.
Trevor,(name of one of my grandkids) Thanks for your detailed reply and PM.
My screws attaching the bracket to the platform also ripped out and I, as did you, discovered there was not much fiberglass in the thickness...mostly core composite. My solution was to drill the holes all the way thru and use 1/4" SS machine screws with a SS washer on the top and a lock nut below. That seems very secure.
I had not considered the seeping of water into those holes. Think it is fixable as I will pull the boat out in about three weeks 'til next June. That will give the composite 9 months to dry-out in our low humidity, heated basement. Then I will put some gel-coat in the holes to tighten the seal.
What is PL 4100? Google couldn't find it.
However, I will still have the rattle (flexing) in the platform and the movement was enough that the thru-holes on one bracket wore completely thru (and the platform was lifted OUT of the receiver causing the screws on the opposite bracket to be torn away) and the other was very oblong. Those are being welded as I type. I plan to insert composite door shims to minimize the flexing.
The loose nature of the brackets helps to take some of the strain off the assembly similar to the flexing of an airplane wing. If I use the shims, it will transfer all the strain to the transom of the boat.
I'm seriously thinking of drilling about (10) 3" holes thru the platform and coating the inside of the hole with gelcoat. That should:
1: allow the upward pressing water to escape thus lessening the strain as is the case with teak swim platforms which are about 40% open.
2: the gel-coat will seal off the water from entering and soaking the composite.
I plan to start with 5 holes to see what the effect will be.
I also plan to put the boat on the mooring without the platform 'til the grandkids arrive and remove it once they leave. We don't need the platform for general runnung around or cocktail cruises.
Again, thanks for your input ... and all the others who contributed.
I just think this is a horrible mistake. People are going to break their toes stepping in those holes. Please consider buying a teak platform or have one made that has space between the slats but is not a safety issue.
Originally Posted by stevep33
FWIW, I've not had any issues with mine. I do have a little play which I get rid of by sticking a cut or lock washer in the gap between the bracket on the boat and the bracket on the platform. I can't use shims since I have to remove my platform after each use and it's easy to remove the washer using needle nose pliers. I have some pics of it somewhere on here. I will find it and repost to this thread.
Here they are. Simple but in my case, effective. Been doing this a couple years now and still working great.
Al, thanks for your input. That lock-washer looks like a good option ... and easy to get out.
Originally Posted by cab13367
Another option ... how 'bout I use my router and rout some "slots" in the platform ... say 3/4" like you get with a teak platform? then I gel-coat the exposed center. Shouldn't get stubbed toes with that.
Do you guys have Allen head pinch bolts at the top of your brackets?
No. But, that set my (alleged) mind spinning. could drill and tap an allen head screw in the top to stop the movement.
Originally Posted by beat taco