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A little on the materials for our new swim platform

Swim Platform Progress Oct 2 2017IMG_2804Makin Memories new swim platform is nearing completion. We are on the schedule to haul-out later this month to attach our custom swim platform and perform other work in preparation for the Great Loop beginning in January. I thought I would write about the materials being used by Doug at Custom Boat Work co-located with Pitman’s Yacht Service in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

I thought I would write a little about the materials being used by Doug at Custom Boat Work which is co-located with Pitman’s Yacht Service in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Doug recommended using 1708 bi-axle glass as the multiple laying fabric on top of and on the bottom of the Kay-Cel core (more on Kay-cel Swim Platform Materials used 2017IMG_2805in a moment). 1708 bi-axle glass is a heavy duty glass reinforcement common in marine construction. Used where high strength and fast build-up are necessary. It contains double bias(17oz) stitched at +/- 45 degrees to provide this superior strength. The mat in this fabric is stitched and fully compatible with polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy resins.

The core of this swim platform is made by Kayco and is called Kay-cel. The Kay-cel core makes use of polyurethane rigid foam has been growing rapidly in Swim Platform Materials used 2017IMG_2806many industries due to its excellent combination of energy conservation, good mechanical strength with lighter weight than other traditional materials. It is a rigid, closed-cell, high-density polyurethane foam core panel. Its advantages are:

Excellent Strength-to-Weight ratio

Foam Reinforced with fiberglass increases mechanical properties

Lightweight – 30% Lighter Than Marine Plywood

Closed Cell Cross-Linked Polymer Foam will not absorb water

Will Not Rot…Excellent Replacement for Wood

You may note a white bar in the pictures provided also. That is the material of the blow-out sections (four of them) in the event of taking swells from the stern that would otherwise exert excessive force on the transom. They will be held in place with #8 screws.

Swim Platform Progress

Doug of “Doug Bruce Custom Boat Work”, is making great progress on our custom swim platform. The past couple of days saw Doug lay in the initial matting preparing for several layers of 1708 fiberglass. The fiberglass is a 45 degree cross-hatched type and provides more strength than the old over-under style of the past.

New Swim Platform for Makin Memories

Swim Platform progressIMG_2641The mold for Makin Memories new swim platform has begun.Hurricane Irma put the brakes on the proSwim Platform progressIMG_2647cess due to the craftsman’s having to evacuate. We dodged a bullet and Doug is back to work and ready to begin. The last swim platform was rotten at its core and we began to notice extreme flex at the port end. The new platform is slightly larger (deeper by 3 and 1/4 inches) and will be raised three inches higher on the transom. I added a couple photos to demonstrate the process.Swim Platform progressIMG_2649

Irma September 2017

Irma image Sep 2017Fortunately, Makin Memories weathered Irma without any significant damage, in fact, she fared better than our home. With trees down and debris everywhere, at home, Makin Memories kept all her canvas and glass and took very little water onboard. As witnessed down south of us, it could have been so much worse. Our hearts go out to those who suffered the damaging effects of Irma, and we wish them godspeed in their recovery.
Makin Memories is moored at Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs, and I have to give a shout-out to the staff for their preparations and continued care while Irma raged through our area. Makin Memories well being is in large part due to their professionalism and dedication.

Measuring for Swim Platform Aug 2017

Version 2We hauled out Makin Memories at Pitman’s Yacht Service this morning for a few minor repairs and to measure for a custom swim platform built by Doug Bruce of Custom Boat Works in Tarpon Springs. I always enjoy watching the lift pull Makin Memories out and giving a peek at the bottom and the running gear. She will be on the hard for three or four days giving me a chance to get a few repairs and additional maintenance items completed for the Loop in January.

Black Box Phobia

In the past, before forming a relationship with Makin Memories, my nature was to only tinker with electronics, at best. Plug it in and hope for the best. Check the fuses, explore whether or not there was current, that sort of thing. But to open the case and explore the insides of the black box- that was a foreign land best left to an expert. Since all relationships take work, compromise, and commitment, I decided to extend my horizons and invest myself fully in the experience of learning new systems, come what may. img_2461
My Furuno 1830 radar started to work intermittently on our cruise to Key West from Tarpon Springs this summer. My wife and I found that the radar is truly a very helpful friend in navigating the GICW during the many rain storms we encountered. But the failing radar was not only unsafe but downright dangerous. In the past, I would have gone out and bought a new one – a smaller foot print, color, dependable. I knew deep down though that I had to try and repair the unit myself, hence opening the box up and delving into the mysteries of the black box. img_2463-1
I began with the basics. Stay in familiar territory and don’t touch anything that could break easily, such as, capacitors, resistors, wires drop soldered. God forbid I confuse the colored wires and where they plug in. I felt paralyzed because nothing was familiar. But, with persistence, I carefully sanded connections, reconnected loose wires, and cleaned up the insides. To my amazement, the unit turned on and continued to operate without shutting down. Of course, there was no rain in sight, and we were not in danger of running aground, but the radar did function consistently for the test period.

Moral of the story, give DIY a try, the worst that can happen is that you go out and purchase a new whatever. The best that can happen is that you gain a new found confidence in yourself and you save a few bucks.

A Slice of Heaven in Key West

Jean and I found a great little hideaway for a slice of pie in Key West in June. After dodging rain storms most of the day, we ducked into an open-air restaurant under a huge banyan tree. Chickens at our feet and tree trimmers in the air, we shared a fantastic treat. Blue Heaven is a family-owned business off the beaten path. Don’t miss the lobster grilled cheese sandwich or the mile-high Key Lime pie!!

KeyLime Pie Blue Heaven

New Additions to Makin Memories

We just received our Tokyo Citizen folding bikes for the Great Loop trip beginning in January 2018. We searched for months for the right folding bikes for us, and we believe these fit the bill. We brought our regular bikes with us on the Key West trip and found that they were mostly in the way and awkward to get around on the boat. These two are compact enough when folded that they will fit in the forward cabin and be out of the way.

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