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Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-28-2013, 6:45 PM Reply   
This is basically a rehasing of our thread on the Supra Boats forum. I thought it was important enough to bring over here and share for everyone who is looking to get more out of their surf wave.
The original thread can be found here:
It is a lot more picture intensive, this is just a summary.

We are running a 1992 Supra Sunsport Direct Drive with about 1450lbs of ballast on the surf side. We have heard from various sources that your swim platform may affect the quality of the wave in cleanliness, length, and push. We decided to find out for ourselves. Here's our story.

Our original platform measured 68" x 21 3/4" as a rectangle including the grab rails. Not only that, but it had a lip that dropped down about 2" or so under the top of the brackets. This made the water that got caught in there get trapped and create turbulance before it escaped.

Our new platform is in the shape of a squished hexagon and measures 62" x 14.5" x 13.75" x43" x 23 7/8" and is 7/8" thick. It does not have any lip or material under the brackets. We gain more usable space and loose area that affects the wake.

This is only the prototype and is made out of 2 sheets of 7/16" OSP screwed together and coated in spray on bed liner. It is not meant to be the permanent solution, just to test our theory of a smaller, smoother platform improving the surf wake in a noticable way.
The final platform will be made of 3/4" marine plywood and wrapped in fiberglass with a proper pad. This will be constructed during the wintertime while the boat is down.

Original platform underneath:

Green marks the brackets, blue is where we observed the water hitting the platform while surfing

Comparrision between the old platform size and the new platform size

How it sits mounted on the boat
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-28-2013, 6:48 PM Reply   
So tonight (09/27/13) we ran the same weighting we did with the exception of moving the 150 from the rear center seat to on top of the tube sack in front of the 750. Basically moving one person to the observer seat instead of the doghouse. This balanced out us having someone in the rear seat for pictures and rope duty instead of having the bag and a person behind the doghouse, so pretty much the same type of setup we have run before.

I could definitely tell the difference in how long the pocket was and how much push the wave had. This was definitely due to the fact that the new platform sits different.
The new platform sits the same vertical height as the old platform, however it is technically higher because it is a solid, smooth bottom platform that is only on the brackets, whereas the OEM platform sits on the brackets and has a lip around it that extends about 2" from the top of the platform. So in essence, this design "raised" the platform 2" out of the water all across the board.
It also is about a foot shorter over all from side to side, so the sides do not dig into the wake and act as trim tabs. In fact in the pics and video you can see that none of the platform touches the water at all while at surf speed. It is truly an "unaffected ride" platform, no trademark infringement implied, it just literally doesn't affect the ride.

I have surfed this boat all summer and can easily say that this was the best wave it has ever put out. The pocket was longer and it had more push. Normally, being a bigger guy I had struggled to stay in the pocket and typically had to be really forward on the board. Tonight I had no problem staying in the pocket, my foot positioning was normal and I had to actually put on the brakes quite a bit to keep off the platform I had so much push I haven't experienced on this boat before. I had plenty of pocket to play around in and do some carving up and down the wake. I was able to do a few floaters to the back of the wave, drop down to the flats and just let the wave push me back to the front of the pocket. Something I have previously had a very difficult time doing.

The only other boat I have surfed is a 2012 Wakesetter VLX loaded up with at least twice the ballast as the Supra. While this wake did not have as much push as that, it was comparable. If I had to compare the two, I'd have to guestimate the Supra had about 75% as much push. I was able to ride the same way and play around on the Supra as I do on the wakesetter. This was a welcome surprise, considering normally I had to fight to stay in the pocket to even freeride the Supra.

With this good experience today, we are ruling it as a great success. We will definitely be moving forward with making the final version in the off season.
The only thing we noticed that might be negative is that with the "raised' platform, and it being flat, without a lip, there was more noticable exhaust coming from under the platform. Normally it would get caught in the lip and slowly escape when it built up or escape all at once when you turned the right way or stopped. A FAE build will definitely be in the future as well.

Enough talk, here are some pics, and some videos.

Rear/Side View:

Side View:

At speed, notice no contact with the water:

The edge and corner, also not contacting the water:
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-28-2013, 6:50 PM Reply   
The wave without the 150 filled (1300 lbs of ballast), notice the visible exhaust:

Platform at rest weighted:

The wave with the 150 filled, not a big change between 1300 and 1450lbs of ballast:
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-28-2013, 6:53 PM Reply   
Video of the platform at surf speed 1300lbs of ballast:
Video of wave at surf speed 1300lbs of ballast:
Video of Platform and wave at surf speed 1450lbs of ballast, this is what we rode on:

I don't think we got any video of us riding the wave as our photographer friend was taking stills with his SLR. We will get some of those posted up as well when he gets them uploaded.

Anyway, that's the results of our prototype build. Feel free to ask any questions. Requests for more pics or videos shouldn't be a problem either because I'm sure we will want to get out and ride this more this year.
Old     (zap)      Join Date: Jan 2009       09-28-2013, 8:25 PM Reply   
Good write up, I am considering making a SS spacer that will raise my platform 2" and offset it 3" to our non surf site... But a new design may be the answer, I have no problem Laing fiberglass
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-28-2013, 8:45 PM Reply   
Thank you. Raising it may work, but you don't want to raise it too much. I have heard from others that have raised it that it can allow the prop wash to start spraying you and in other cases actually make the wake worse. I can't see the wake being made worse from ours if we raised it since none of the platform has much, if any contact with the water at surf speed.
The other part of raising it that is sketchy is the safety factor is that if you raise it too much, you have the risk of the board going under the platform when you get close up. This can be dangerous if it goes under, and it gets stuck under there when the nose goes up and can kick you off into the back of the boat.
Here it was not raised at all, but eliminated the lip which was more of a drop and made it even. It sits just above the waterline at speed with water skimming right under it. You would have to be submarining the board to get it under the platform and then you dramatically drop in speed and fall with reduced risk of hitting the boat. Being able to get under the platform when the nose is still above water is not a good thing for the safety of the rider.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-28-2013, 8:47 PM Reply   
The main part was making the bottom smooth to avoid the turbulance by the lip and bringing the sides in to avoid making it act like a trim tab. We could have shaved the lip off and trimmed down the stock platform for the same effect. You could also fill in the bottom of the platform to make it smooth and eliminate the gap, but we chose this route, which has paid off.
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-29-2013, 12:35 PM Reply   
You should put a true wakeplate on. So awesome for cleaning up the wave and making it longer
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-29-2013, 1:27 PM Reply   
I'll agree with that. We originally had the wakeplate all the way up, we dropped it down a little bit and it stopped porpoising as much while surfing and it also cleaned up the wake some. An automated wakeplate would be nice as it would allow us to fine tune it on the fly. Being that it is Trayson's boat, he would be the one making the call on that. We are however playing around with the idea of building some type of wave shaping device similar to the NSS as we hear that type works better on this type of hull than the surf gate or surf tab type.
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       09-30-2013, 9:07 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by duffymahoney View Post
You should put a true wakeplate on. So awesome for cleaning up the wave and making it longer
It's a money thing. This boat has ate my savings, so no big mods for a while. I'd like a power wakeplate, but it's all about how much money I can justify putting in to the boat...
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-30-2013, 10:57 AM Reply   
I got a used ram and a used plate for less then 150 on my first boat. Here is the site, watch it, you never know what they will have.
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       09-30-2013, 12:55 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by duffymahoney View Post
I got a used ram and a used plate for less then 150 on my first boat. Here is the site, watch it, you never know what they will have.
Good to know.

If I can, I would prefer electric, to avoid having to get the pump and save complexity and expense.
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-30-2013, 2:23 PM Reply   
I got lenco rams from him. I prefer electric as well.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       10-29-2013, 2:56 PM Reply   
Just for reference for pricing if anyone is planning on building one.
This is enough material for 2 platforms total, assuming they are no more than 23-24" deep from transom to tip. If you wanted to scrap the plywood after the first was done, you cut the rest of the materials in half.
3/4" severe weather plywood $55
Fiberglass mat (about 25 sq ft per platform, also this is optional for more strength) $20
Fiberglass cloth (about 25 sq ft per platform) $20
Fiberglass resin (1 gallon per platform) $100
Hydroturf covering (blemished ones on their site are $40 ea) $80
Misc materials, brushes, rollers, sandpaper, adhesive, etc $25

Right around $300 for one or if you scrapped the plywood and only made one, it would be $190 in materials.

You could also buy some marine HDPE (High Density Polyethelyne) sheets for $196.20 + shipping, possibly cheaper if you found some place local and just cut it to size and throw some hydroturf on it.

This would run you under $250 without shipping and save tons of time.
Old     (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       10-30-2013, 6:11 PM Reply   
What would you coat the HDPE with?
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       10-30-2013, 6:18 PM Reply   
You wouldn't coat it with anything. It is made for in water applications like this. It would go like this,
1: get HDPE
2: measure HDPE
3: measure HDPE (always measure twice)
4: cut HDPE
5: round and smooth edges of HDPE
6: Use adhesive and apply hydroturf or similar pad
7: Install and enjoy new swim platform
Old     (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       10-30-2013, 6:24 PM Reply   
I meant cover, I guess I skipped over that part in your previous post...
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       10-30-2013, 6:48 PM Reply   
Oh yeah, just about any kind you want, hydroturf, seadek, etc. Just because of pricing, we'd probably go with a hydroturf blemish pattern we like. $40 a pad isn't bad.
Old     (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       10-30-2013, 9:04 PM Reply   
yeah, I just never really trust the bonding to plastic, even when you scuff the **** out of Gel and triple coat with weld wood you still get unlucky in a few places. Maybe the 3m backing would work...

Last edited by BenHolloway; 10-30-2013 at 9:08 PM.
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       10-31-2013, 9:04 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by BenHolloway View Post
yeah, I just never really trust the bonding to plastic, even when you scuff the **** out of Gel and triple coat with weld wood you still get unlucky in a few places. Maybe the 3m backing would work...
That's an excellent point. It might be a PITA to get the closed cell foam I bought to stick to the HPDE. :-/
Old     (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       10-31-2013, 11:15 AM Reply   
From my experience turfing skis, its just hit and miss sometimes. Obviously high wear areas come apart faster but sometimes I'm blown away how ****ty the bond is in an area even after a proper scuff and clean. Ouch 8.53 for 4oz I'm guessing 6-10 cans...
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       10-31-2013, 11:31 AM Reply   
I guess if I go HPDE, I'll ask TAP Plastics what they recommend for adhesive. I'm sure they sell something.
Old     (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       10-31-2013, 12:35 PM Reply   
If you do it, keep me in the loop, I would like to do something like this as well so I'm curious how it works out.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       10-31-2013, 1:03 PM Reply   
According to the hydroturf website they have an adhesive made specifically for plastic.

"Add 3M self-adhesive for an additional $40. This provides a strong, fast & clean application to fiberglass and gelcoat surfaces. Let us know if you have a plastic board, so we can use an adhesive specifically designed for plastics."

I'd probably opt for that just to save the headache.
Old     (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       10-31-2013, 4:15 PM Reply   
There it is then, I know they 3m back stuff but didn't know they have a specific backing for plastics.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       11-01-2013, 10:01 PM Reply   
One thing we're going to do if we go the HDPE route is talk to TAP plastics and see if there is an adhesive they sell/recommend that would bod the EVA foam to the HDPE platform. If it's more cost effective than getting it pre applied to the mat, we will probably just go that route. I'll post up what it is if/when we find out.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       11-22-2013, 12:48 AM Reply   
The HDPE will not work, unless someone wanted to do one with no padding, or got really creative with mounting options for it that did not require adhesive.
Below is the the response I got from TAP plastics, which deals in HDPE and other plastic materials. My first question was about what adhesive we could use to attach closed cell EVA foam to HDPE Starboard made for marine applications. They do sell a starboard weld adhesive to join starboard to starboard, but not anything else.

"I am local and am interested in buying a sheet of this,
to use as the base for a custom swim platform for our boat. I plan on putting a closed cell EVA foam pad on it, such as one of these,

Normally the pad attaches to fiberglass, not HDPE sheets.
What do you sell or would recommend to use to adhere the pad to the HDPE?

This is really the deciding factor of if we are going to use HDPE or build one out of wood and fiberglasss.
The HDPE method would be quicker, easier, cost about the same, and probably be more durable, but all that doesn't matter if we can't get a pad to stay stuck to it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you."

"Starboard has non-stick properties that make bonding to it all but impossible.


"Just a quick follow up, does this apply to all HDPE or just starboard HDPE?"


So there you go, no hope for doing an adhesive type pad on HDPE.

One thought I had was using screws with brass/stainless gromets attached through the EVA foam or possibly using a snap fixture like the kind you would use for a boat cover or a convertible top. Another option might be using a coating like plastidip or some other coating over the HDPE and then using adhesive on that. The trick would be if you can get anything durable and long lasting to stick to the HDPE sheet., which from their response is probably not goin to happen.
It looks like we will have to get creative with mounting options that don't involve adhesive or just go with the Wood/Fiberglass platform that will be able to have a EVA foam pad adhere to it.
Old     (BenHolloway)      Join Date: Aug 2012       11-22-2013, 12:27 PM Reply

there always this stuff, not going to be as cheap though.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       11-22-2013, 12:33 PM Reply   
That'd be good for someone who doesn't hate the look of teak. We're not into the wood on vehicles at all.
In reality we will probably just play it safe and do fiberglass, which we know will work and be the most inexpensive option too.


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