Swim Step Removal

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The old swim step has seen better days. I have been thinking about replacing the weathered swim step with an attractive cold molded “sugar scoop”.

The old swim step has seen better days.

The old swim step has seen better days.

I believe doing this before the bottom re-lamination makes for a stronger scoop, as the new bottom lamination will carry through to the stern of the boot thereby marrying the hull and scoop as one. As I begin this job, several different ideas meander through my brain, making the task to choose a design difficult. Previously I had wandered through the yard looking at various sugar scoop designs. My favourite is a minimal scoop with a fold down swim platform. How I can accomplish this with the engine exhaust in the way, I do not know. The picture in my brain shows a folding step with a notch cut out for the exhaust when folded up against the transom, and when down, the step would be above the exhaust outlet. This needs more thinking and a lot of pencil pushing on a piece of paper. I wonder, how can I do it? Can the folding step be added later, after the basic scoop is married to the hull? Time will tell.

Remove and Grind off Gelcoat in lamination areas.

Remove and Grind off Gel-coat in lamination areas.

 

Whatever choice is made, the old step must be removed and the surface prepared for fibreglass work. The old step was simply bolted to the hull using crude bolts which were beginning to rust. Stainless steel screws held the wood swim step onto the stainless steel “L” brackets.I removed the screws and lowered the old swim step assembly down to the ground via a rope.  I will remove the folding ladder for use in the new swim step. The ladder I will save for another day, just in case I decide I need it later.

Was easy to remove the bolts and lower the old swim step down.

Was easy to remove the bolts and lower the old swim step down.

 

With the aid of a friend, the thru-bolts securing the brackets were easy to remove.

With the aid of a friend, the thru-bolts securing the brackets were easy to remove.

 

 

 

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Surface prepared for bonding new "sugar scoop".

Surface prepared for bonding new “sugar scoop”.

 

After all the mounting hardware was removed, a horizontal line was drawn about 9″ above the water line and all gel-coat was removed from this line downward. Yes, I used a vacuum attachment for my grinder and laid a tarp on the ground for environmental protection. Being kind to the Earth is not that difficult. The grinding must be done in order to get a good bonding area for the new “sugar scoop” transom. Lastly, we see the completed task for the day…. a bare transom ready for a new sugar scoop.

 

 

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