Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It pays to do a bit of research and contemplate the outcome before committing to changes on your boat. I recently moved from a Walker Bay with a 50 Tohatsu 4 stroke to a same size Zodiac with a 50 Yamaha two stroke. I wanted a stiffer boat with more speed and out of the hole instant planning with four adults on board. I test drove the Zodiac and fell in love with the overall package & performance. I checked to make sure my Davit system would work with the new boat and became aware that it would have to go back in for some adjustments on the heavy stainless framework. Had the discussion about weight given that the overall new dingy/motor package was about 90 lbs. heavier than the old set up. Was assured no problem that the extra weight wouldn’t be an issue. Had those changes made to the davit system – bought the new boat and I thought I was set to go!

First time the new boat set up goes up the davit system I hear a lot of crinkling and cracking I have never heard before. After a second try I’m watching the one corner of the swim platform flex about an inch or two. I wondering if the take up rollers on the davit system were perhaps not set up right. They were verified to spec. So that ends the season a bit early as I have some problems with the swim platform taking the weight of the new dingy and I don’t want to wreck the whole platform. After some study what I determined the experts didn’t take into account was that the Walker Bay pontoons go out well past the motor. This factor was what also made the boat very hard to plane with four people. The Zodiac on the other hand that planned easily and was only an extra 90 lbs. did not extend the pontoons very far past the engine and hence there was far more weight on the take up end of the davit system because the pontoons are out of the water far earlier with the boat perched on the corner of the swim platform.

So I guess I could blame a lot of people:

1/ Myself for not investigating further and trusting expert advise that should know better ... given they had the new dingy set up specs and must have installed dozens and run into the same problem.

2/ The boat manufacturer for not making beefier glassed in marine ply wood struts below the swim platform.

3/ The davit manufacturer for not knowing in advance that this would happen given that this is a very common swim platform from a very common manufactured boat.

So now I know I need stainless strut’s under the platform to give it more rigidity especially on the take up side. Quotes go from one strut that I’m told will do the trick from $650 – $1200 to four to possibly six struts that will go for about $500 plus installation. I’m thinking more is better seeing as it was the expert that told me once the davit system was modified it would work and now he is the one saying one strut will do (albeit an expensive strut). To boot I now have a crack on the fiberglass skirt of the platform that needs to be repaired. Live and learn – nothing is simple ... when it comes to boats one thing always leads to another.

Posted by at 6:52 PM