Need Advice on how to Cut the Stern for a Wheelchair Ramp

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by ontheparkway, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. ontheparkway
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    ontheparkway New Member

    Hello My Brother and I purchased a 1978 Fibeform Executive 3300. we are seeking any advice or opinions regarding the modification of the stern. We would like to cut an opening "doorway" in the stern and replace it with a fold out wheelchair ramp that would be fabricated out of fiberglass. We are totally new to boating, but have seen a boat that was modified in the same fashion in the past. Any info would be gladly appreciated
     
  2. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    cutting the stern

    Is there a chance you could post pictures of the inside and outside of the transom?
     
  3. ontheparkway
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    ontheparkway New Member

    Yes I will post a Picture within a day or so

    Thank you for the reply, I will try and post some pics in a day or so
     
  4. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    There used to be a pontoon boat here that had a folding ramp, steel & espanded mesh, electric linear actuators, that was used to load wheelchairs for handicapped kids. Haven't seen it in a couple of years but it worked well. Removing a portion of the stern shouldn't be too much of a problem as long as you can strengthen the structure around the opening. I've seen that done in some boats with conventional doors added. Any good fiberglass guy should be able to do it for you.
     
  5. ontheparkway
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    ontheparkway New Member

    Here is a picture of the Transom

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    cut down transom for ramp

    I don't see a major problem doing what you want to do. I would keep the bottom cut 8" above the water line and you need stiffeners around the cut and you must waterproof the cut edges. At the top I would install a lift up
    rail of sorts that when you lower it it will tie the two sides of the cut out at the top of the transom together structurally to prevent spreading while underway. I would try to see a professional who can see the boat for their
    opinion.
     

  7. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    What you are describing is actually very common on large sport fishing boats going after tuna, marlin and the like. They are called either tuna doors or transom doors, but whatever the name they are very common. If you want one installed and don't have experience in working in fiberglass I would recomend going to a local boatyard and asking the guys there to do the work for you, after giving them the dimensions.

    As for the ramp, fiberglass in not likely to be your best option since it doesn't do very well supporting weight over a span. However there are comercially available aluminum ones that aren't that expensive. You could always go with a custom piece, but unless you are ready to do the fabrication yourself it will likely cost as much as just buying one.
     
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