Category: Upgrades and Repairs

We broke the mold yesterday!

SwimPlatformProgressOct52017IMG_2815Doug and I broke the mold on the new swim platform yesterday and I got my first look at what months of planning and hard work had produced. While we still have to attach it to Makin Memories and add all the accessories on, we have to cut out the holes for the blow-out panels. All in all, it was a long-awaited moment and not at all disappointing. Thanks to Doug Bruce of Doug’s Custom Boat Work located in Tarpon Springs, Fl.



Tomorrow could be the big day!!

I went by Doug’s custom Boat Work today (co-located with Pitman’s Yacht Service in Tarpon Springs, Fl.) to check on the progress of Makin Memories swim platform. Doug let me know that he believes he will be ready to pop the platform out of the mold tomorrow, maybe Friday depending on the weather tomorrow, and make sure that I am there to watch it. The four sections as seen in the photos are where the blow-out panels will be located and screwed in with #8’s. The blow-out panels are in case Makin Memories takes a gigantic swell from the stern and instead of the full impact of the wave exerting its force against the transom and trying to lift 24 tons of vessel, the blow-out panels will be pushed out and the excessive force will be dissipated thus saving the possibility of transom failure. Sounds good to me!

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

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.

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