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minnmarker

Loose Aluminum Platform Bracket Fix

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minnmarker

I had the dreaded - and from reading TMC - common problem of a loose swim platform bracket on a mid 2000's era boat.  After reading up on the solutions and getting a quote for $650 for new stainless brackets that no one would guarantee to fit correctly (bolt hole pattern and angle) I decided to try a different route.  The looseness on mine was, as with others, at the top of the attachment between the transom mount and the platform bracket.  The aluminum at the angled interface was wearing away.  The lower pin connection was tight.  So how to secure the top?  Some ideas posted on TMC: Get new OEM replacement parts as @tvano  did - but did not work out for him.  Weld the two pieces together as @TimbrSS  suggested.  Bolt them together by drilling the bracket and drilling and tapping the mount as @Ndawg12 suggested.

So I took a look at the bracket, mount, and the inside of the transom and noticed that the top bolt that secures the mount to the transom is in a position where it could be extended through the face of the bracket without interfering with the diagonal strut.  I figured, hopefully correctly, that there would be no added stress on the transom if I just drilled a hole in the face of the bracket and put a longer bolt in from the face of the bracket through the backing plate to inside the transom.  All the forces on the transom would be the same as if the bracket and mount were held tightly together, as they were, I assume, designed to be before the wear occurred.  The platform would be "permanently" mounted, but I never take it off anyway.  If for some reason it doesn't work I have not modified the hull or platform in any way and can then replace with the new style.

Here's how I did it:

  1. First, make sure you can drill straight into the top platform bolt holes from the inside.  Mine was close but doable.  The angle was such that I could not use a standard length bit and still make the angle with the thickness of the drill chuck and motor, so I got a long bit.  If you will not be able to drill straight through from inside, stop reading and get the new stainless brackets.
  2. Take the boat out of the water and take the platform off (recommended).  Not wanting to dig the trailer out of the barn, and not having a second trailer driver or boat landing driver, I did it on the boat lift by hanging the platform from some ratchet straps.  Kayak was required to do the outside work on the side away from the dock ;)
  3. Remove the top bolts.  You may need a helper for this.  My wife was a helpful assistant.  You may want to extend your surf gates if you have them.
  4. Get some grade 8 bolts that are 1" and 1.5" longer.  I ended up using 1/2-13 x 3.5" but had 1/2-13 x 4" in case I needed them.  Make sure your existing nuts match the new bolts or get new nuts.  I could not find the right size bolts in high SS but the boat lives mostly on the lift.
  5. Get a 1/2" aircraft drill bit (very long) if you need it.
  6. Put the platform back on, insert the locking pins and and use some means to hold the platform up so the platform bracket face is tight against the mount.  Make sure you support the back end of the platform while you're doing this as you do not have the top bolts in there!
  7. Drill through the platform face from inside the boat.  A good corded 1/2" drill is needed as it will take some time and power to drill through the face.
  8. Test fit your bolt through the holes and choose the length that sticks out enough to get a nut fully on but that does not contact the angle brace.
  9. Squeeze a bunch of 3M 5200 in the hole from the inside and smear it around the hole with something so its all around and through the hole.
  10. Push your bolts in from the inside, rotating them a bit to spread the 5200 around.  Don't push them quite all the way in to leave room to get the nut started on the outside.
  11. Tighten the nuts and you are done!  No more loose platform.

Here's the worn left mount with top bolt removed.  Razor sharp, loose, and probably not so strong any more:

DSCF2186r.jpg.9d37bbe1316aed9dc7a428edc6

 

Drilling from inside the rear locker:

DSCF2188r.jpg.9b24d86be8a9ca6030d4772038

 

Finished right side.  You can see how much wear there was between the pieces and how close it was to "letting go."  Maybe a bit too much 5200... Added benefit: The rear of the platform now is a bit higher so it's out of the wake.

DSCF2191r.jpg.afe20ae0b1bae777fe7bfdbd5c

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Ndawg12

:thumbup: you took my idea to another level, nice work!  You need to clean your nut up though.

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tvano

fwiw, tvano is thrilled with the stainless brackets 

not sure where the "but did not work out for him" came from 

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minnmarker
57 minutes ago, tvano said:

fwiw, tvano is thrilled with the stainless brackets 

not sure where the "but did not work out for him" came from 

Sorry about the ambiguity. I was referring to your experience with the aluminum replacements prior to switching to the stainless.

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COOP

That is exactly how we have fixed them in the past.

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