Small Boarding Platform for Boat

There are many different ways to build all-timber or timber-composite boarding platforms. This particular job was clearly specified by the client who owned a medium size boat and wished to replace the existing platform with an all-teak job.

The platform was approximately 135 cm by 45 cm or 4 foot 6 inches by 18 inches. The platform was to hinge off a straight block already fixed to the boat transom. The rectangular frame was half checked, epoxy glued and stainless screwed. The sides and front were 60\35 mm and the back piece (aft) was 60\45 mm; this extra thickness was requested as stainless chains were attached off the aft corners and this provided extra ‘guts’. Two stringers were checked into the underside of the frame, fore and aft, to provide landings for the ‘slats’ which would eventually be the working surface. Additionally, a landing point was routed into the side frames, the depth being determined by the thickness of the slats. The slats were machined to size allowing for *scupper space between them, and epoxy glued into place with temporary spacers whilst the epoxy dried. The finished platform was then passed through our wide belt sander. Finally, a trimmer (like a small router; a brilliant piece of kit, a must for every tool kit, in fact I’d say get one instead of router as it’s much lighter and easier to use) is run along all the edges of the slats to cut a smooth pencil round. The platform was hung off the transom with 3 strong brass hinges and stainless chain for additional bracing and as a means to raise and stow platform.

* Scupper: the space between slats. An old-timer by the name of Clive Caporn, once told me that anything wider than 12mm or a half inch can be dangerous for small peoples toes; the idea being the gap is too narrow for toes to slip in between the slats.