Anyone who has ever gone swimming in a lake or the ocean beside a boat knows how challenging it is to get back on the boat. Sure, you can use the ladder, but by the time you’re ready to come aboard, your arms are like jelly and climbing up the ladder is no small feat. Fortunately, Beneteau Group has a solution to this problem. You can now upgrade your boat with a swim platform that can hydraulically lift swimmers out of the water and onto the boat— no jelly arms required.
No Need to Buy a New Boat
A submersible swim platform is available as an option on new boats, but you don’t have to purchase a new boat to get this upgrade. In most cases, a swim platform can be added to your existing boat in no time at all. Your boat has to be over 30 feet long, be equipped with inboards or stern drives, and have a way for passengers to easily get onto the platform, but if it meets the specifications, a boatyard should be able to install a platform onto your boat for you.
Ideally, a swim platform is an extension of a molded deck that’s already a part of your boat, but you can also purchase a marine-grade, stainless-steel and fiberglass platform that is attached to your boat. The raising and lowering of the platform is executed by multi-jointed arms that are operated by one or two hydraulic cylinders, depending on the platform’s dimensions. The platform stays level as it lowers or raises, keeping the swimmers safe as they are gently set in the water or onto the boat.
Lifting Capacity is More Than You’ll Need
These swim platforms aren’t fragile components, either. They can lift between 1,500 pounds and 3,000 pounds, which is generally more than most boaters need. Keep in mind, though, that the actual lifting capacity is also dependent on the boat’s size and deck strength. Overloading the swim platform, particularly when the weight is concentrated behind the deck, can cause a variety of dangerous situations.
For instance, the extra weight can strain the deck where the platform is attached and lead to cracking and breaking. Overloading the platform can also cause handling issues for the boat’s captain and might even swamp the platform or the entire vessel, especially in rough waters. Keep in mind that the platform itself will weigh several hundred pounds and often, the deck will need to be reinforced before the platform is attached.
Experts recommend that no more than 1,000 pounds be on the platform of a 40-foot boat at any given time, even if it’s rated for more weight. But, the more conservative you are about how much weight you put on the platform, the better condition your boat will be in. Just use your common sense when loading the platform and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Add more party space to your boat by attaching an after-market swim platform. It will make it easier for people to get in and out of the water, and provide extra area for activities like barbecuing, sunbathing, and more.