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Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       03-04-2018, 2:57 PM Reply   
Pictures below....So I did my afternoon project, been wanting to add a step like some of the brand new boats have since the seams are already splitting from people having to step on back seat to get up to transom ....
Obviously the NEW vinyl skin is not installed yet, but wanted to put it together so I could see what it would look like, etc. I will remove the top piece of HDPE and then they will remove old vinyl and install the new skin with foam backing OVER the HDPE blocks I installed in the cutout in the cushion foam. New skins should all be installed in next 2-3 weeks

So 1st I cut out the cushion foam the same size as my 2 blocks of HDPE which are 12" wide X 10" deep X 1 1/2" thick (so total of 3" when put together)....then I drilled holes and secured them, countersinking the screws and doing it from both sides so it would be secure (I used a router to put a round edge on the top piece so when vinyl presses down there is no sharp edge to catch on), then from under the seat, I drilled and installed 6 screws into the doubled up blocks to hold it securely into place so they can install the new skin in place and it will not move.

Then I drilled holes (this HDPE is PITA to drill cause you can only do 1/4" at a time since the hard plastic does not come out like wood shavings, but well worth the time). I used heavy duty deck screws guaranteed to not corrode or rust and they are painted to also help protect them. Then I installed the black top of HDPE piece that is slightly textured and will act as the step (3/8" thick X 14" wide X 12" deep so it overhangs the bottom pieces about 1" on all 4 sides, I used a router the top (1/4" bit) and bottom edges (1/8" bit) along outsides since it will press down on the vinyl and I don't want tears and it makes it look better since its exposed, obviously I do not have my GatorStep yet to install over it and I am going to look into possibly having a piece of aluminum made instead of using this black HDPE since some have mentioned that GatorStep may not stick well to it, not sure about that yet? But this way I have a template for the screw holes no matter what I use, since vinyl will be fully sandwiched on the end product, there will be no cutouts on the new vinyl skin cause I am afraid that could cause wrinkles, the only place there will be any holes in the vinyl is where the 4 screws go into lower pieces and I will make holes slightly larger than screws so if pressure from sandwiching the vinyl is not enough, the screws wont start ripping the vinyl and causing me issues down road. Cost me $134 in materials for the 3) pieces of HDPE from Interstate Plastics ($100 for materials and $34 for shipping), I ordered them the exact size I wanted and they were here within 4 days, so pretty sweet. All in all, took me about 4hrs this afternoon to complete and I know for sure this will make the vinyl last longer and should also look pretty good once I get the GatorStep piece installed.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-05-2018, 8:23 AM Reply   
Kind of off subject but on subject.

If you are having issues with splitting seams Try putting a towel down, that helps a bit. Also I have found that if the person that does the Vinyl does a French seem and also when they put the skin together they don’t make it super tight. It makes the vinyl have move give and that also helps with not stretching the seams. Keeping a towel on the Vinly will help let the vinyl not get so hot and soft under direct sun light, keeping the vinyl cool helps the threads not Cut the vinyl when it’s walked on.
Old     (Froggy)      Join Date: Nov 2013       03-07-2018, 8:09 AM Reply   
So you stopped seam splits by ruining the seat altogether ?
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-07-2018, 8:30 AM Reply   
Not trying to pile on here but you could've made it differently so you didn't have to cut your seat. I'm considering making something similar for the corner of my Tige as the walkway is on the starboard side. The difference being it will hover over the cushion by resting on the back bench. Then up over the cushion with the other support on the floor and make it removable.
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Old     (beleza)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-07-2018, 8:42 AM Reply   
I'm glad I wasn't the only one that cringed over this. I commend the effort that went into this project but man that entire rear bench is now completely ruined. If splitting seams bothered you so much then just spend the same amount of money on a quality vinyl and install it yourself to save $$$. Should last for many years if taken care of. Sorry to pile onÖ just my 2 cents
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       03-07-2018, 3:50 PM Reply   
You guys misunderstand.....I ALREADY had new vinyl skins coming and that is the only reason why I cut this one out like this (2nd sentence states clearly that "obviously the NEW skin is not yet installed"). The cut vinyl you see in pics will be removed and the NEW skin will now be installed over the bottom white pieces that I installed so they are under the vinyl providing a hard surface to step on...and then the top black piece of HDPE will go over it and sandwich the new vinyl. Then a piece of GatorStep will be installed over the piece of HDPE making it look custom and like the new boats have.
If I did not have new skins being installed anyway, I would never have cut out the vinyl like that, I would have removed it...cut the foam and then re-installed it. I did that simply cause it was easiest way to get the foam cut perfectly so it sits in there right.
The boat has quality vinyl.....when people step on it over and over to get on the transom and there is a seam there, dont care what vinyl you have, it will start to split. I used towels, 303, etc.....it is what it is.
Also, While its a great idea and something I considered, I cannot cut the back seat into pieces as shown in above diagram because under that seat is the access hole to my v-drive.
Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I am not a complete fool but see why you might think that if you looked at the pictures and did not read what I wrote.....and also have not seen the finished product. I will post pics when its all done.
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       03-07-2018, 4:02 PM Reply   
And great idea Dave what you are talking about doing for your Tige. I happen to have the opposite situation on my boat....I have removable corner seats with GatorStep under them so people can get in and out of the boat from the dock without stepping on seats. But my transom walk-thru at sundeck is in the center and especially kids cannot step from the corner over and up to the center of transom walk-thru, their legs are not long enough. Seams were already starting to split on that back seat when I got the boat and they have been getting a little worse as time goes on. I could have milked it for another season or 2 but already had new skins coming for the boat under warranty....so it was a perfect opportunity to make something that will make the new skins last a very long time....the step is what I came up with after looking at how the G3 and a couple of the Malibu's have since I dont have the option to remove my seat when walking up to transom cause there is a hole under seat to access v-drive and Ramfill valves.
Guess I could have been more clear in my initial post
Old     (granddaddy53)      Join Date: Dec 2013       03-14-2018, 5:36 AM Reply   
Canít wait to step on it when I surf it at Norris!! Saw your boats wave in 2015 at park city as it was the Boardco boat with Mitch along , they dialed it up as tall as my wife almost, I had to sit and only watch as I had a surgically repaired butterfly fractured femur. Canít wait!
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       03-14-2018, 1:40 PM Reply   
Hopefully it does not just transfer the problem over a little. Something to check up on following the upcoming season.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-14-2018, 8:03 PM Reply   
$500 says you spend the entire summer telling people to step on the step rather than the nice soft piece of vinyl right in front of it. At least that is what my @&#$*$ kids would do
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-15-2018, 5:52 AM Reply   
I'll put money with Bakes.

It's a good idea but people will be asking all summer "Is it alright to step here"


I watch my wife do the same thing last week at a Wake and Flake event. We where on a brand new 2018 Malibu LSV that has the corner seat back flips down to give you a step. Its really was a slick idea. But the guy flipped it down for my wife to step onto the dock.

She stepped right on the seat beside it and said "I don't want to break it you sure it's alright". We had a good laugh about her stepping on the vinyl to save the step that is there to protect the vinyl.

Last edited by jonblarc7; 03-15-2018 at 5:53 AM. Reason: wrong
Old     (scottb7)      Join Date: Oct 2012       03-15-2018, 10:07 AM Reply   
Yep...That sure does happen....I tell my wife every time she steps in the boat to step on the seadek and every time she refuses...But she pulls me around the lake when the crew is not available. So I gonna go with that.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       03-15-2018, 10:23 AM Reply   
Problem is going to be stepping to the side and tearing along the insert. You need to sew in a sign saying step here and outline the area.
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       03-15-2018, 5:32 PM Reply   
I routed the edges of the insert to prevent tearing, anything can happen tho, hoping this works out like I planned. If it does not then it is what it is but I think its gonna work pretty well. I will know soon since they start tearing into the boat to replace all the vinyl on Monday. You guys are all correct that I will have to watch where people for sure. Wife and kids....know exactly why I am doing this and kids are old enough to know tho mistakes will happen. Just trying to prevent 99% of the issues, there is always the 1% you dont prepare for that will end up getting you. I just ordered the SeaDeck to cover the step too, so hopefully that will be obvious since it lines up perfectly with the SeaDeck on my transom walkway. (may put up a sign anyway, lol)
Anyone new that is getting into the boat, already gets a crash course on my couple rules (nicely). I am not shy about telling everyone who gets ready to step on my boat that shoes are not allowed and "here is where you do/don't step"....and no cigarettes allowed on my boat. I am no nazi and am easygoing for the most part, but I am also just fine leaving someone at the dock who doesnt respect my toy, or driving them back to the dock if they start acting stupid. I rarely have issues like that tho, mostly cause the few friends that come boating with my family, know the extent of my OCD, or have their own boats and treat mine like they would their own.

Excited that summer is around the corner...vinyl replacement will take a couple weeks and when I get back from vacation the 1st week of April, I will be replacing my impeller, belt and fuel filters and then splashing the boat for sure!
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       04-06-2018, 1:20 PM Reply   
Finished back seat with the new skin, just waiting on the Aqua Marine decking to get here so I can cover the HDPE with decking.
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Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       05-13-2018, 7:00 PM Reply   
Finished product
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Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       05-13-2018, 7:11 PM Reply   
This was before I installed the Aqua Marine decking...4 screws that hold the top piece of HDPE, down to the solid inserts below the vinyl. The new vinyl is fully sandwiched between them and is not cut anywhere, the 4 screws are the only penetrations. The top pieces also overhangs the lower insert by 1" on all 4 sides.
I tested with some scraps pieces before screwing it together and the pressure of vinyl sandwiched between do not allow the vinyl to pull out at all...3" long deck screws with zero give... so screw holes should not rip the vinyl over time even when people inevitably step next to the step and on the vinyl. I love how it turned out, very functional and should save the seams on my seat or at least make them last a lot longer than 2-3yrs this time around. I am however going to get a router and carve the word STEP right in the middle of the decking cause I guarantee there will be a few dumba**es who don't have enough common sense to step on the step when walking up to the sundeck transom.
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Old     (mark197)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-14-2018, 1:44 PM Reply   
Looks Great!
Old     (granddaddy53)      Join Date: Dec 2013       05-14-2018, 8:36 PM Reply   
Canít wait to walk on it for ya
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       05-26-2018, 6:58 PM Reply   
Pics of boat all put together, also added decking to other areas of boat while I was at it, to make it more functional. Really happy with the Aqua Marine Decking, price was great and quality is on same level as OEM, matches perfectly with what I already had on boat from factory.
Now to keep people stepping on the decking rather than the vinyl....may need to use a router and write the word "STEP" in the middle of decking for the back seat step...cause to some it may not yet be obvious enough
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