Installing a swim platform on your boat takes time and effort. Only slightly smaller than the width of your boat, the swim platform installation--cumbersome without assistance in the initial stages--may take more than a single day. Most platforms include all required hardware and the result of your efforts will offer you and your passengers the opportunity to make a graceful entry and exit from your vessel when swimming or engaging in other water sports where you must leave the confines of the boat temporarily.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Scrap lumber
- Grease pencil/china marker
- Marine silicone caulk
- Adjustable wrench
Cut four 1/8-inch thick wooden shims from scrap lumber. Turn the platform face down. Attach the four metal angle brackets--they're included with platforms--to bottom of the platform by screwing the included screws into the pre-drilled holes on the left and right ends of the platform. There are three holes in the side of the bracket that attaches to the platform. Attach the single plastic angle bracket in the holes at the centre of the swim platform.
Have your assistants help you lift the platform up to the stern (back) of the boat. Center the platform from side to side on the stern, below the rub rail that runs around the boat to protect the paint from bumps into other boats and piers. Support the back edge of the platform with a piece of lumber while your assistants hold the ends. Slip a grease pencil through the holes in the brackets to mark the mounting locations on the hull.
Drill 1/4-inch holes through the holes in the brackets and through the hull. Place the (included) backing blocks over the holes and drill through each hole again, this time drilling through the backing block. Caulk over, under and around the backing blocks and allow the caulk to cure.
Slide the 1/4-inch bolts, that are provided with the platform brackets, through the brackets, the hull and the backing blocks. Insert the 1/8 inch shims you made between the platform and the hull so the platform "stands out" from the hull by 1/8 inch.
Install the down rod supports--the metal braces placed between the back edge of the platform and the bottom edge of the back of the hull--by holding the supports under the platform so that the preformed ends of the supports are flush on the bottom of the platform and the back of the hull. Insert a china marker through the holes on the ends of the down rod supports to mark locations for holes.
Drill holes for the down rod supports into the hull. Insert the hex head lag screws--that are provided with the platform--into the hull. Insert and tighten the lag screws to hold the hull-end of the down rod supports.
Move the remaining end of each down rod support up to the platform and drill the platform. Remember that the supplied screws are 1/2-inch long, Caulk the holes and the screws. Repeat for the other side of the platform.