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Old 23-12-2012, 21:39   #1
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Rear swim platform safety at sea

Hello all,

What's everyone's feelings regarding swim platforms that seem to be all the rage these days. They make the cockpit feel more enclosed, I'm just worried about how safe they are when out at sea.

If a large wave floods the cockpit do they cause issues, etc? Or isn't it a problem.



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Simon
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Old 23-12-2012, 21:44   #2
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

I imagine when at sea they will be closed similar to normal transom.

Only closed at anchor or when in use.
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Old 23-12-2012, 21:50   #3
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

Yep so when at sea it would be in the up position, closing in the rear of the cockpit.
Does this not cause issues if this gets flooded then? They are designed to empty quickly and not cause the boat to flood?

Regards,
Simon
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Old 23-12-2012, 22:14   #4
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

All vessels should have adequate scupper (drainage) capacity to handle a wave in cockpit.

In extreme conditions companion way hatch should also be closed such that all water in cockpit remains there until scuppers drain.

Obviously some designs are better than others in this regard and larger better than small. The transom in this situation has little to do with the seaworthness of the design. Great concept for water activities.
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Old 23-12-2012, 22:17   #5
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

Great stuff, thanks for the reply.

Regards,
Simon
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Old 23-12-2012, 22:30   #6
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

A swim platform is a detriment "at sea," so one that retracts/folds-up, minimizes the minus.

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Old 23-12-2012, 23:20   #7
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hello all,

What's everyone's feelings regarding swim platforms that seem to be all the rage these days. They make the cockpit feel more enclosed, I'm just worried about how safe they are when out at sea.

If a large wave floods the cockpit do they cause issues, etc? Or isn't it a problem.



Regards,
Simon
I don’t quite understand your question Simon.
Out at sea, you want the cockpit to be ‘enclosed’ to keep most of the following or quartering seas, from washing aboard.
The odd one that does come in should be handled with proper drainage.

A fold down stern section gives you flexibility and openness at anchor.

I was involved in the design of a large yacht that had a 29ft section of transom which would hydraulically fold down as a boarding/swim platform… as well as to launch a very large tender.
For 9 years as captain, I took it all over the world, thru many storms and the design proved to be very successful when handling boarding or boat recovery in rough conditions.

I don’t like fixed swim platforms with cascading steps to an open aft deck or cockpit
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Old 24-12-2012, 05:44   #8
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

I've got a large swim platform on my boat and love the huge space available while at anchor. Although my dinghy garage is nominally part of the external space the manuals state that the swim platform must be raised while underway.

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Old 24-12-2012, 06:15   #9
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea


I have the fixed type swim platform.

In 35,000 nms it has never copped a wave. It has copped two half waves that half filled the cockpit but it drains almost instantly. A full cockpit still wont go down the companionway. I do have one washboard in during severe weather.

I find the stern lifts over waves. Its quite boyant aft.

On the old style boats in the 70's and 80's we had many waves fill the cockpit. I think the narrowner stern is the problem.

So Simon, dont worry about the swim platform, it has no drawbacks and lots of advantages.

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Old 24-12-2012, 06:33   #10
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

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I love this photo. Where was this taken?
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Old 24-12-2012, 06:47   #11
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

If your platform is in the up position, and you or someone falls overboard, or intentionally dives overboard without anyone around... how do you plan on getting back onboard your boat??

I prefer the sugar scoop stern, where there's no need to remember to deploy the thing and someone can always reboard the boat unassisted via the swim ladder.
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Old 24-12-2012, 06:55   #12
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

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I love this photo. Where was this taken?
In the Galapagos Islands. We were at anchor for a few weeks and when we left our Sea Lion swam after us imploring us to stay!

We had up to three Sea Lions on the swim platform, all babies. One was tiny and curled up inside the ladder frame so she couldnt be kicked off by the bigger ones. They are too cute!

But you dont want adults!
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Old 25-12-2012, 16:20   #13
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post

I have the fixed type swim platform.

In 35,000 nms it has never copped a wave. It has copped two half waves that half filled the cockpit but it drains almost instantly. A full cockpit still wont go down the companionway. I do have one washboard in during severe weather.

I find the stern lifts over waves. Its quite boyant aft.

On the old style boats in the 70's and 80's we had many waves fill the cockpit. I think the narrowner stern is the problem.

So Simon, dont worry about the swim platform, it has no drawbacks and lots of advantages.

We have a similar arrangement but don't have the door to close in. In 5000 miles we have never had a wave come over the back, I think you are correct in that the wide sterns rises to the waves. If one did it would drain out much quicker on ours without the door.

Race boats all have cockpits open aft
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Old 25-12-2012, 16:38   #14
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

Yeah, I want a sugar scoop. Most of these boats have one. Good for swimming, playing, loading supplies. The hull drags it's stern a bit at speed. Of course I'm in good enough shape to climb aboard without a step or ladder, but not for too many more years.

Many race boats use completely open transoms to good advantage. It is very rare that a wave boards from astern because a properly fitted boat is light in the ends and should ride over the waves. If a wave does come aboard, from any quarter, the cockpit drains instantly. And problematic cockpit drains are usually avoided.

The folding swim platform seems like a waste of expense. Why not simply make the hull a little longer? Waterline length is always a plus, no? Makes no sense to me. Marina cost?
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Old 25-12-2012, 22:07   #15
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Re: Rear swim platform safety at sea

The open 60's do not have open cockpits but they have great drainage. They also outrun many of the big waves when running downwind. They do take lots of water in the cockpits from over the top of the boat though.
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