View Full Version : Fibreglass Swim Platform Removal / Re-enforcement in 1979 Skier

11-05-2009, 01:01 PM

Just wondering what is involved in removing the original fibreglass swim platform on my 1979 Skier.

I’m assuming that it should hopefully be a half-day job, including set-up / clean-up, to remove the gas tank iot access the swim platform bolts.

Do any of you have experience with this? Is my time estimate about right? Anything to avoid and/or tips to be aware of? Any pictures of the process?

Long story short, I determined that the swim platform bolts were the source of my water intrusion this summer, which resulted in a new starter / rebuilt alternator and multiple fluid changes. In addition to fixing the aforementioned issue, I also need the platform removed iot store the boat indoors for this winter.

While the platform / gastank are out, I plan on fixing the blower, re-packing the rudder and re-enforcing the fibreglass swim platform / fixing some gelcoat damage on the platform. Any recommendations for re-enforcing the swim platform? Is there anything else that I should consider doing? What is a good sealant to re-seal the platform bolts with? I’m guessing 3M 4200 Marine Sealant.

Since a thread wouldn't be a thread w/o at least one pic, I attached a pic of the boat prior to my purchase. ;)


11-05-2009, 01:15 PM
well....I did this for m 78 and threw a teak platform on there. Expect to take the gas tank out. Expect to lose some glass when you pop the swim platform off as it was sealed to the boat. I ended up using marine tex where the glass was not there. I also reinforced with a backing plate and used 3M sealant any/everywhere I could. Just take pictures of the tank before you remove it for the wireing.

11-13-2009, 06:17 PM
To cut through the marine sealant without it cracking and taking your gelcote with it, use a length of welding wire. Form the wire into the shape of the bracket, just large enough to clear. Attach each end to a paint stir stick or other non-conductive instrument you can hold in your hand. Connect each end of the welding wire to a 12v battery. The wire will be heated and cuts right through the marine sealant.

11-20-2009, 08:20 PM


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and share their exp. with gaming...

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11-24-2009, 08:37 PM
Hey guys, sorry for the delayed response... my 6 month old has been keeping me busy! ;)


Thanks for the info. Good idea wrt taking pics of the gas tank wiring. Interesting to know that it is sealed to the boat - you saved me a lot of grief prior to winterizing. I decided to winterize and wait until spring to remove the platform. As much as I love the look of teak and think it would look great on the boat, I leave the boat in the water a lot in the summer, so I'm going to re-enforce and re-install the fiberglass platform.


Great idea with the welding wire! Definitely going to try that!

Couple more questions:

1. Did either of you replace the lag bolts with a through-bolt arangement? I was shocked to see that the platform was held in place by lag bolts rather than through-bolted.

2. What are the approximately 3/4" or 1" diameter and approx 6"-8" long cylindrical tubes mounted on the inboard side of the transom on either side of the gas tank?
I'm assuming that they are some type of baffle or something for the Airguide speedos... is this correct? If so, what are they and how do they work? Thanks.

11-24-2009, 09:50 PM

11-25-2009, 07:45 AM
One more thing you may want to check is the condition of the reinforced plywood glassed into the inside of your transom where the lag bolts actually screw into. Mine was pretty well shot when I took my 79 platform off, cut a new piece and glassed it back in place. Now the swim platform is as sturdy as it was when it was new.

04-12-2010, 11:33 AM

Now that spring is here and the boat is finally out of storage, it’s time to fix my leaky swim platform…

1. Are all of the bolt heads lag screws or are some through-bolted? I haven’t had a chance to get a good look under / remove the gas tank yet.

2. Where do the yellow bolts / screws attach? The bolt heads in center section between the exhaust outlets are tight, but the yellow bolt heads won’t tighten – based on what I’ve read on here they are likely lag screws that run into the outer stringers, is this correct? If so, what are the odds of removing them, installing longer or longer & wider lag bolts and having it last for a season or two prior to re-doing the floors / stringers.

3. What do the center section bolts / screws attach to? Based on the pic from Bellinghamster's '77 it appears that there isn't much in the way of backing boards, but I've read on a '79 that there is - maybe there was a design change. Not sure.

4. The platform support brackets (green arrow in close-up pic) are cracked and have some play… are the supports under the platform and/or across the back of the transom (where the 7 bolt heads are) wood encased in fibreglass? They appear solid. Is it worth opening them up to take a look or just glass over it and maybe add two other support brackets?

5. How should I repair the port corner of the swim platform? I replaced the floors in my old Sidewinder, so I’m comfortable working with fibreglass, just not familiar with working with fibreglass and gelcoat where it will be visible. Does it make sense to use some East System epoxy (?) to fill the corner and then have the entire platform “Rhinolined” or “Herculined”? I’ve been debating putting some kind of non-skin on it anyway and thought that might be a good option.

6. Should I attempt to fix these issues with the platform on or is it better to remove it? I’m guessing it’s easiest / best to remove it, but I don’t really want to open up a new can of worm, ie. stripping the seven centre lag bolts.

Any info will greatly be appreciated.

05-08-2010, 01:42 PM
Quick update...
I ground down all of the rotted / brittle / loose fiberglass on the swim platform, installed a new core (the existing plywood was the consistency of wet sawdust and could be removed with your fingertip), have glassed a couple layers back on and have rebuilt the missing vertical pieces around the edge with resin and silica gel.

I'm debating Line-Xing the platform. I know it's not original, but I think it won't be as slippery and definitely won't be as challenging as rebuilding large chunks or missing gelcoat. Debating whether to go smooth and add some type of rubberized non-skid the top or to get the Line-X franchise to speckle the finish in order to make it more non-skid.

Any thoughts?

Only the outer lag bolts are stripped, so I'm going to through-bolt those and keep the other 7 original. What should I use to mount the platform back on? I'm thinking 3M 4200. Does it dry hard or does it have some give to it?


05-08-2010, 01:43 PM
ps. toilet bowl cleaner works wonders on removing old lake slim. The slim came off in seconds and the transom is once again blue!

05-17-2010, 12:42 PM
Bump... any ideas with 4200?

How well does Line-X "hide" imperfections? I'm down to sanding what will hopefully be the final coat of fiberglass / resin/silica putty and just curious to know how smooth to make the platform.