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  • Custom swim platform brackets / Surf Gate platform swap


    Rugger
    • Year: 2007 Brand: Malibu Model / Trim: LSV 247 Cost: $1000-$1499 Platform Type: Fiberglass
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    As part of a DIY surf gate project (located in surf projects) I was working on for my 2007 Malibu 247 LSV, I decided to update my swim platform.  

    I was originally planning to modify the stock deck by tapering the sides to accommodate the gates, or lift it and run the gates underneath.   

    Ultimately I found an opportunity to get a new swim platform that was meant for a 2015 247.  The bottom side of the hull was essentially the same from 2006 up to 2015.  After that Malibu went to a 25 LSV with a total new hull design.   So I knew it would match.

    This was my original platform.  Really liked it... was huge and looked nice.  This platform was Malibu's silver anniversary edition... hard to give up but I ended up selling the platform to make room for the new one.  

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    - Once I had the new platform, I essentially placed it on the old stock swim platform brackets.   They did not fit but I needed to use them to help determine the best position for the new platform.  

    - Raising the platform.   I decided to raise the platform 3" from stock.  This is more in line with the newer boats and put the deck right back to water level with ballast and accommodate a taller surf gate.   To get a feel for this, I simply through in a few 2 x 4s to bring it to the approximate position before designing new brackets.

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    I then set the new platform on the stock brackets with 3" lift, to see how the new platform would fit and determined I needed different brackets.

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    - Once I got the height where I wanted it, I decided it was better to build my own brackets instead of modifying the stock aluminum brackets.   Buying the newest brackets from Malibu are over $500 as well, so I chose to build my own from the scrap bin at the metal scrap supply.

    Here's my pile of stainless steel from the scrap bin.   
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    I then made a design I thought would work, and cut the pieces with a chop saw and angle iron.   I then took the pieces, labeled them, and went to a local welding shop with a tig welder.   I used Art of Arc metal fabrication in shingle springs... nice guy and reasonable on price.

    We tig welded the pieces up... here's how they came out.   And they accomplish three things:  1) 3" higher  2) They tapered in to match the platform and 3) they serve as a hook for the trailer straps so I don't need to drape the straps over the new gates.

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    I also drilled out the mounting holes, which would work a little differently.  Instead of pins, I used longer mounting bolts 1/2" stainless fine thread that allow for half of the bracket to stay permanently fixed, while the main brackets can be removed with the outer nuts.   Takes a little longer to get the platform off but the pins won't wear out either.

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    Here you can see how the new brackets also have a custom taper.  
    IMG_1867.thumb.JPG.e48a249e7ec27c7e3c3e460b6edaf0ee.JPG

    Next was to powder coat the new brackets.  I thought it would look nice, and certainly much easier, to power coat vs polishing for these brackets.   I went with satin black and had TNT powder coating in shingle springs do the job.  They work on small projects all the time so it just took a few days and for a great price. 

    Here's the new brackets!!!   Easier than I would have imagined and very strong.
    IMG_1828.thumb.JPG.1743766336eea34aeb6f8c01c9914186.JPGIMG_1883.thumb.JPG.16986d8e546fc99b6606c2236518e09f.JPGIMG_1777.thumb.JPG.5cc81a463b46f435f6fb84149c70ce9b.JPG

    - Next step was to line up the swim platform before drilling new holes.  This was more difficult than it sounds because there are so many curves on boats and hard to measure.  I chose to base the side to side measurements off of the mounting area that was molded with a straight side.  Seemed to work best this way.   Measured the center and marked it with a sharpie over masking tape on the center and edges.  I then marked the distance from the edge to the hull.   All before drilling holes and screws into the brand new virgin swim platform.

     

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    And finally it was done.  You can see in the below picture the new brackets also give a new place to mount the trailer strap hooks instead of going over the surf gate, as an option.
    IMG_1952.thumb.JPG.66ca84d3f47165c4f7da48e8e7256872.JPG

     

    As seen with the new surf gates as well.    All in all I am stoked.... it looks like the boat came with both gates and the platform and it all works well together.  

     

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    Hope that helps the next person debating on platform modifications.    I miss the larger size of the 2007 platform, but am totally happy with this one and it should also help resale value w/ the gates should I ever sell the boat one day.  

     

     

    Edited by Rugger

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