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Old 19-12-2018, 03:31   #1
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Swim platform

Hi all. We are considering purchasing a FP in a couple of years for a full time live aboard. The dream is to cruise e.g. South Pacific. We will do ocean crossings (once qualified and experienced enough). Our question is what you all think of the swim platform that FP have nowadays? My wife scuba dives and really likes this option. Will it require a lot of maintenance? Will it compromise the boat during crossings? What are your thoughts? Did anyone order the boat with this option? Thanks.
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Old 20-12-2018, 16:17   #2
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Re: Swim platform

Look, this is just an opinion, but there is some science in it and 45 years of experience with 19 major yachts, some for living on some to fix up for profit.. But:

Personally would not have it.... I have a 4.3 Metre centre console hard bottom inflatable with a 50 horse power tilt Honda. It is my water taxi, beach combing special, trolling for fishing, diving, exploring, like a second yacht.. I have hydraulic winches, but on the heavy duty davits on the SABA 50... If the hydraulics were to fail, I can run a line up to power winches to haul it up then I have four safeties on pad eyes with snap shackles that snap on to hold it in place securely for travel. And a boom van sort of set up with four way purchase blocks and clam cleat to haul it over tight so it does not move off shore.

If the hydraulic fails on the swim step style, you are stuffed, like no way to lift it...

If my electric hydraulic winches fail on the davits, I can run the line to the other winches to get it up, and away I go...

And I don't like the swim platform idea in in a following sea... Good Luck, but I would not have it...

Pictures below, davits and dinghy, and the biggest float I found beach combing in the Whitsundays this year, or ever... Like waaaay to big to get aboard... (It was actually a HAZARD Bouy for Surprise Rocks, washed ashore in Turtle Bay Whitsunday Island, and I alerted the right people to put it back...)

Saba 50 "Serenity" hull number 15, and I customizing it "Til Death do Part"
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Old 20-12-2018, 21:18   #3
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Re: Swim platform

The absolute best system for lifting a tender is a deck crane. The second, if your going to be in the Med, is a rotating passerelle that functions as a deck crane($$$). While I haven't used one, the system that Voyage used for years with an extension that came out of the boom would be great. But in the end, any system which places the tender on a fixed platform well above the sea is better than davits.

The worst I've seen, what was on the FP Salina. Seriously stupid IMO.
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Old 21-12-2018, 00:35   #4
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Re: Swim platform

Hi Hass, the swim platform has become a very popular option, especially for those with children and those wanting to make the transition on and off the boat when diving. Also great for boarding those with restricted movement getting from tender to the boat.
The Saona 47 has electric hydraulic operating system with a manual reversion and the Astreía 42 has dual motors on the actuators which if one motor fails it then lifts at half speed until the other unit is repaired.
The platform makes for very easy recovery of your tender and you can secure safely with ties and easy to cover to protect and also prevent any unwanted water in the tender.
Merry Christmas
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Old 21-12-2018, 03:30   #5
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Re: Swim platform

Thanks for your replies! Several different opinions so much to think about.
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Old 29-12-2018, 15:28   #6
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Re: Swim platform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hass View Post
Thanks for your replies! Several different opinions so much to think about.
G'Day Gordan, and Hass, this is a good subject, Gordon do you know if there is a weight penalty on the platform lift compared to the traditional davit system, or are they about the same? Hass, things to consider are ongoing reliability, servicing, spare parts availability, the significant extra cost, and how will the lift look in a few years time? the whole platform will be mostly wet with salt water most of the time, sooner or later you will want to sell your craft, eye appeal is sales appeal, something to ponder for the longer term. The traditional davits are a cost effective trouble free proven system. Happy new year
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Old 30-12-2018, 12:30   #7
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Re: Swim platform

Hi Peter, My understanding is that the platform will support up to 160kg when operating up or down, and when not functioning, parked, will support up to 600kg. The frame is polished stainless with the timber deck attached. The platform when in the fully up position is actually well above the water , the underside of the platform aligned with the underside of the bridge deck of the boat.
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Old 31-12-2018, 16:21   #8
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Re: Swim platform

This is an interesting discussion. We have davits on our ( for sale) Lucia 40 but are switching to the platform for our Astrea 42 delivered April/May 2029. Without having any experience of the platform, it seems that it will make it easier to enter and exit the dinghy, which is sometimes a problem for us or for guests. I have noticed that the timber on the platform was whitened on Astrea #1. Is there any recommendation on treatment to reduce this, given that it probably spends more time in the water than any other timber part of the boat?
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:48   #9
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Re: Swim platform

I had planned on ordering the swim platform when I initially chose a Saona, and still considered it when I switched to a Saba. In the end I went with the hydraulic davits largely due to the weight limitations on the platform (although I've since read the limit was de-rated.) Other factors were seakeeping concerns (following seas) and the fact it is a new offering on FPs with little trend data.

Helia 44 - Glad to see that 4.3M/50Hp tender works on your Saba - Here I was concerned about a little 3.8M/30Hp Highfield (CLT380FCT) fitting on mine
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:35   #10
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Re: Swim platform

No worries Calm Seas....

The only reason I take the time to Post, is the off chance I can help others along. No one was there when I started, no Internet, no Forums like this, so I made all the mistakes the hard way to learn...

My advice is based on that 45 years experience in the larger yachts.. Glad to be of help... And no, I would have the hydraulic winches on the standard davits like I have now, for all the reasons stated. You got it!!

Kind regards, Steve now Blessed to be on a Saba 50
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:45   #11
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Re: Swim platform

Our Seamaster 46 has a lower aft deck with a walk through transom door to a swim platform. That feature coupled with our love of diving was a large reason we choose the boat. Iíd highly recommend it.

Our dingy is housed on snap davits attaches to the swim platform and pulled up against the transom.
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Old 09-01-2019, 04:11   #12
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Re: Swim platform

A FP dealer to me “it’s not if it will break it’s when it will break”
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Old 09-01-2019, 14:25   #13
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Re: Swim platform

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Originally Posted by jcarr View Post
A FP dealer to me ďitís not if it will break itís when it will breakĒ
That statement is true of literally every element on the boat.

It would be great if someone who owns one and is particularly skilled with mechanical components could do a breakdown. If itís a simple electric motor/coil screw setup where thereís not a lot that could go wrong and if things did go wrong, common off the shelf parts could be used for replacement, it could be a non-issue even in remote locations. If itís full of bespoke parts that need to be carried on the boat or flown in from France, that would raise flags for me.

Even better, FP could ameliorate a lot of these concerns if they did a factory video walkthrough of the mechanism covering the ease of fixing if any part were to fail. Though I guess when your sales backlog is 16 months, thereís not a lot of incentive or need to placate potential buyers.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:44   #14
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Re: Swim platform

Great to see you both again via the fuel dock the other day....still want to buy your house ha ha. Mine is #2 a small observation on colour of timber. It's interesting the colour of the platform now is exactly the same as the seats on the bow....so 5 months from the Sydney Boat Show ...but maybe Gordon could add more here cheers
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Old 19-01-2019, 21:46   #15
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Re: Swim platform

Hi Alan, I understand the issue with the teak that is constantly exposed to the elements. Teak although rich in natural oil will eventually turn a silvery grey. To maintain some of the rich teak timber look you would have to first give the existing teak a mild detergent washdown with say a white scotchbrite pad, then let dry. You have a few options you may choose to use to treat the teak, all will require constant care and reapplication.
You can apply Teak Oil ( Tung oil ) a teak timber sealer ( say Cydnan Timber Protection Solution ) or varnish. As I said all will require attention approx. every two months to maintain the desired effect.
Much easier to live with the weathered look.
Cheers Gordon.
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