Working Platform for hull cleaning/polishing

tom52

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Working up a ladder doing a few feet at time is getting to be too much like hard work for my ageing legs.

Does anyone use a portable platform that they can recommend?
There appear to be plenty on offer but the maximum platform height is only 3 feet.
To reach my toerail I would need more like 5 or 6 feet.

Any suggestions ?
 

DownWest

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I have an ally system that is made of two ladder frames that carry a platform about 1.5 mt wide. Steps up in increments of 30cm. Max 'foot' level 1.8mt. €75 at the local B&Q.
As the frame is 2.8 mt high, the prob would be getting under the curve of the hull, if too high to reach from the ground. Topsides ideal.
A
 

Pandoramark1

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I have an ally system that is made of two ladder frames that carry a platform about 1.5 mt wide. Steps up in increments of 30cm. Max 'foot' level 1.8mt. €75 at the local B&Q.
As the frame is 2.8 mt high, the prob would be getting under the curve of the hull, if too high to reach from the ground. Topsides ideal.
A

I have the same it makes life sooooo much easier
 

Bojangles

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I have used a pair of "Iron men" or steel trestles which are height adjustable and take a couple of scaffold batons across them giving you a longer platform. These can either be hired or bought for below £30 each.
 

Sailfree

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I bought the Youngmans DIY staging system which is two ladders and a staging platform between but its a bit wobbly at height and frankly I was unhappy with friends using it.

I then bought an aluminium tower (circa £380 IIRC). It is 2 sections high (approx 4.5m)with ladder type sides approx 900 wide and cross pieces and bracing so that its about 1700 lg and with a platform and trap door. It also has 4 outrigger legs. It was so good I then bought the 3rd extension piece for about £220 to go up a further 2.5m while the system was in stock.

When polishing the sides of my boat I think I am about 3.5 m up and the working platform is about 2m. (boat draft is 2.2m and high freeboard!)

Unfortunately as a Structural Engineer I have inspected 17 storey Tower Blocks from an external cradle and learnt the risky fatal heights and the surprising survival heights. They go in height bands and while any fall can be fatal standing about 2m is a serious risk area as you are likely to topple and fall hitting your head first! You not only need a platform to stand on but also one that extends past you to form a handrail.

Its all very light and suited to the DIY small works market and has received many admiring comments when working in the marina.

While you may think it is expensive, construction industry deaths and injuries are a real problem and they recently bought out new guidance about working from heights.

My attitude is that if as a motorcyclist I am prepared to pay circa £400 for a crash helmet to protect my head then I should also be prepared to pay the same to stop my friends and myself falling on our heads.

I never regret buying the proper tools as they should last a lifetime and you ability to do proper DIY home repairs soon pays for the tools. Now have you seen my new hallway timber floor fitted this winter!! :) boat prep finished - sailing time now!

Just googled DIY aluminum Towers and come up with "BPS access systems" which looks similar but possibly improvement on mine (now 6yrs old)
 
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Quandary

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I am living on borrowed time.
I made two timber trestles from 3"x2" about 8' high, four splayed legs with bearers at about 18" intervals, and I just have a single 10' scaffold board. My proper steel trestles and planks always get nicked after a week or two ( I blame passing diyers) so you need something that will not go in the back of a car. I usually avoid falling on my head by putting a hand out to grap the toerail as I fall. For lower stuff I have a 4'x2'x2' block of expanded polystyrene foam which can be kicked about while you are using both hands to carry stuff, I reckon it has lasted over 20 years now and is very warm to sit on on cold days too.
 

pappaecho

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The boatyard which I am currently overhauling the boat have two sizes of aluminium beer barrels which when strategically placed with scaffold plank (or two) make an excellent platform
 

pagoda

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Working up a ladder doing a few feet at time is getting to be too much like hard work for my ageing legs.

Does anyone use a portable platform that they can recommend?
There appear to be plenty on offer but the maximum platform height is only 3 feet.
To reach my toerail I would need more like 5 or 6 feet.

Any suggestions ?

I'd also suggest - if you are using an orbital polishing head, to suspend it from above on a bungy cord, from the toe rail or guard wire.
That takes a lot of the punishment out of holding the polisher at chest hight for hours on end.

Graeme
 

KREW2

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A couple of years ago I fell off a makeshift scaffold of planks and beer barrels, and broke my ankle. Ladders don't give you the freedom to move so 3 weeks ago I bought one of these http://www.laddersandscaffoldtowers..._towers.html?gclid=CKTqxYWfrqcCFRRC4Qodrh7NBA

£199 delivered the next day. Not too sure I would want to go up 5 meters in it, but the basic 1.8 meter lift is very OK.
That, with a dodo juice spin doctor polisher, plus 200 squids worth of 3M pads, polish and wax have bought my hull up like new.
 

prv

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The boatyard which I am currently overhauling the boat have two sizes of aluminium beer barrels

I just have a shorter boat :D

Bit annoying that this year the yard chap put her on girt big slices of old piling 18" thick, instead of thin boards on the ground, so the toe-rail is no longer at eye-level :)

Pete
 

tom52

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A couple of years ago I fell off a makeshift scaffold of planks and beer barrels, and broke my ankle. Ladders don't give you the freedom to move so 3 weeks ago I bought one of these http://www.laddersandscaffoldtowers..._towers.html?gclid=CKTqxYWfrqcCFRRC4Qodrh7NBA

£199 delivered the next day. Not too sure I would want to go up 5 meters in it, but the basic 1.8 meter lift is very OK.
That, with a dodo juice spin doctor polisher, plus 200 squids worth of 3M pads, polish and wax have bought my hull up like new.

That looks like the same kind of thing that Sailfree is recommending. Seems like a safe and sensible option.
The smallest one looks like just the job, but how quickly can it be erected/dismantled, can it be transported by car and can it be manoeuvred easily in the confines of a crowded boatyard ?
 

davidfox

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That looks like the same kind of thing that Sailfree is recommending. Seems like a safe and sensible option.
The smallest one looks like just the job, but how quickly can it be erected/dismantled, can it be transported by car and can it be manoeuvred easily in the confines of a crowded boatyard ?

I have just bought one so I hope so!
 

Sailfree

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I understand that many have used tressles for ages and are happy with them but a number now have bigger boats with substantial drafts and you really are working from a height that should be considered dangerous!

Unfortunately accidents do happen even after we improve our safety measures - regrettably a man died today in Hampshire falling from a scaffold - don't know what height - but to me it makes sense that you ensure that you work in the safest practical measure possible and there are better ways than balancing precariously on ladders or step ladders and always beware of overreaching.
 
I have an ally system that is made of two ladder frames that carry a platform about 1.5 mt wide. Steps up in increments of 30cm. Max 'foot' level 1.8mt. €75 at the local B&Q.
As the frame is 2.8 mt high, the prob would be getting under the curve of the hull, if too high to reach from the ground. Topsides ideal.
A

The last two years, we hired a platform like this http://www.hss.com/g/80200/Alloy-Span-Tower-Additional-section-1-0m.html (didn't need to use the stabilizers, just locked the wheels each time we moved it) from HSS in Plymouth, where we were at the time. They did a good weekend rate and the platforms are available in different heights and lengths. It not only makes the hull polishing much easier, but gives us a much better finish and we can both work on the platform at the same time, making the job quicker too!

DownWest, can I ask where you bought yours from? We now live aboard and have been over-wintering in La Roche-Bernard. We're booked for a lift out at Arzal at the end of this month and have been trying to find out where we could hire/buy/borrow a similar platform.

Ann
 
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.... I made two timber trestles from 3"x2" about 8' high, four splayed legs with bearers at about 18" intervals, and I just have a single 10' scaffold board..... block of expanded polystyrene foam .... is very warm to sit on on cold days too.

I have just built a pair of 6 foot trestles just about the same dimensions as Quandary's.

They are very stable and quite stout. I use a pair of 6' long scaffold boards between the trestle, bound together.

It took me half a morning to knock them up. Use screws to hold them together not nails.
 
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