Swim Platform for a Brewer 44
I have seen at least one article on adding a swim platform to a Whitby 42, but none for the Brewer 44. Because usually we sail with our dog (who likes to get into and out of the dinghy by herself and is larger than I want to lift), and because my wife has had several joint surgeries so climbing the stainless swim ladder and getting aboard from the narrow "scoop" would be anything but easy, I designed and built a swim platform that folds up when under way and down while at anchor. The platform is based on a wooden frame (belt sanded to provide some contour to the exposed side when folded up) and contains a recess on the top side (when extended) into which a telescoping ladder resides when underway. When folded up, the ladder "nestles" into the scoop on the transom.
In order to build the platform (we live inVermont and the boat is stored in Florida), I made a cardboard template of the scoop, which I transferred to tracing paper and then tranferred that to the wooden frame. After sculpting the frame, I faced one side (the exposed-when-folded up side) with 3/4" marine plywood I glued and screwed in place. I temporarily screwed the top piece of plywood over wax paper covering the vacated areas between the framing members and filled the voids with expanding foam (through strategically placed holes in the top plywood). Before applying the foam, I inserted 1" stainless steel tubing through the bottom (when folded up) framing edge of the platform, through the interior, and into holes place in the top (when folded) framing edge, leaving about 4" projecting from the bottom edge to act as hinge pins in the existing brackets for the stainless steel ladder. The exposed ends of the tubing are capped and welded and the tubing too is filled with expanding foam. Obviously, it is extremely important to position and square the tubing with the platform so it will align with the existing ladder brackets, else those will have to be moved. Once the foam is cured I removed the top plywood, removed the wax paper, and then fastened (glued and screwed) the top plywood to the frame. All screw and foam holes were plugged and all surfaces were fiberglassed. The exposed-when-folded up side is painted with Imron to match the hull and the top is treated with Kiwi Grip, a simple to apply and excellent non-skid. (In fact, our surface is a bit too aggressive for knees. the application of more coats - troweled on and then rolled with a "loopy goopy" roller - would make it somewhat smoother and more comfortable.)
When the platform is folded up, it is secured in place by two cam latches. When folded down it is supported by lifeline cable with pelican gate clamps so the platform can be removed if necessary. I will attempt to include a photograph, but if web page limits prevent that, feel free to contact me (Edward Schwiebert) and I will send along.