Welding, fabricating a bow fishing, gigging platform

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
I custom build and design aluminum removable gigging and bow fishing platforms & decks for boats.

For this customer, this is his second boat I've built a fishing platform for. This is his first elevated bowfishing platform.

He loved his first one so much, when he upgraded boats, he speedily brought me his new boat for another fishing platform.

But this time he wanted his bow fishing platform elevated so he would have a better view and could mount lights beneath it, and have more walking/stalking room on top.

A elevated fishing platform also give him a more direct shot at the fish and reduces the shooting angle, which increases his bow and arrow accuracy.


welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
We carefully discussed all the end results he wanted to obtain. We discussed multiple ways of achieving it, the costs, the benefits and downsides.

We talked about how to give him the most value, according to his definition, for the least amount of money.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
We agreed he would do as much of the work as he could do himself, and I would do everything he could not do. So with him supplying the general labor, it lowered fabrication costs about $900.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
He was so happy he could save that much money and get to work on his own boat, while learning about aluminum fabricating.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
So I explain the layout to him, show him how to cut the aluminum and to what size, and let him loose. And I supply all the tools.

To my surprise, he was like Tom Sawyer, he brought a load of his buddies and put them to work also. We all had so much fun it just didn't seem like work. It was play time for us.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
I showed them how to cut the metal, clean the metal, remove rough edges and fully prep it for welding. They did really good. I liked these guys.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
They were stunned. I had a tool for everything. They couldn't believe the diversity of tools we actually used on this project. By the time it was done, they lost their illusionary thought of, "if they just owned a welder, they could do it all themselves."

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
Below: Those are the cut remnants of the 3/16th sheet we cut the deck out of. We struggled to keep the weight down, while making the platform large and strong as possible.

I evaluated all the trade off's and guided them in cost verses benefits.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
We even used their pickup truck as a work bench since I already had my shop full of other ongoing projects. So we became shade tree welders. LOL

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
These guys were smart. They learned very quick.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
I did all the actual welding, but they did virtually everything else.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
See that clipboard on the boat? I drew up what was going to happen, and in what stages.

This helped them understand what they were doing, why, and what was left to still be done, and how far along they were in the entire process. They loved it. They were never in the dark.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
They also loved learning and playing with the expensive tools they could never afford in their garage. They were like kids in Toy-R-Us.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
In an effort to keep weight down, and to not over design it, we tried four legs originally. I knew we were pushing the limits of strength so close to the edge, that four legs might not actually be enough.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
But we can try four legs and test it and know exactly, and if necessary, add more legs.

I offered we can build end caps and weld them on the ends of the hollow tube. But the owner liked that open look, so we kept them open.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
You can see the new deck has the same shape as the original bow. It also gave them a lot of room below for storing more gear than ever before.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
And unlike the last boat I did for him, this time he wont have the lights mounted above deck that get in his way. This time they all fit below deck. He learned from his experiences.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
He wanted to go higher than last time for additional sight and range, but not so high that the boat becomes unstable.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
After climbing up on top, he discovered only three support beams down the middle, was not enough. It flexed and didn't feel as rigid as he was hoping for. It didn't flex much, but he didn't want any.

No problem. we just add two more. Its easier to add than take away in this case.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
Notice above it has four legs and below it has eight legs, and more beam supports. Oh well. The extra weight was necessary per his climbing up and testing it. Its all about making the customer happy with the end results.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
Now that it is beefed up more, time for another test fit.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
See one of them is wearing gloves? Its still hot from the recent welding. I laughed so hard when he picked it up, and immediately put it down. I said, "want some gloves?"

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
Below: Based on he wanted the new deck to be absolutely large as possible, be able to bolt it on, and remove the bolts to take it off the boat, and ease of doing the bolting/unbolting, we designed the feet to be external for ease of use.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
Now the bolts and bolt holes are a piece of cake to access and use upon instant demand.
The black stuff on the welds is just soot. It comes off easy with a wire brush. But at the moment, its not our priority.


welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
See the sharp square edges on the bolt on feet? He is going to grind them down once he gets it home. He will make the corners rounded and smooth and gentle to the touch.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
This boat owner was military special ops. When presented with the option to have railing up there, he just laughed and said, WHY?

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
Now he is fully satisfied with its stiffness. Oh well, its now also 15 lbs heavier than he hoped for. Life always has been about choices and the associated trade off's and priorities.

welding, fabricating a aluminum bow fishing, gigging platform.
This customer saved about $150 in material costs by buying the aluminum and hauling it to the shop himself. He did all the labor and all the work except the welding which I did.

I supplied all the supervision knowledge, tools, skills and welding talents.  And he was a repeat customer that I liked very much. He was more fun than most people I let work with us.

As it was, my welding bill for this project was only $975. Do not expect me to build your platform this inexpensively. Maybe you might also get lucky, or maybe I wont like you and will charge double. Who knows?

If I supply the metal and all the labor, and you only pay the bill, then expect this same exact  project to cost you $2,100. And that cost is dependant upon the season and how busy I am at that month. It might go up or down some.

The customer did all the lights and wiring himself later at his house. If I supply the lights and do the wiring myself, then expect to spend another $800.


If you need a gigging, bow fishing, aluminum platform built to fit your boat, give me a call. I will carefully inform you of all the options you can choose among for your rig.

Remember, I work by appointment only. 904-638-8338  Call me, 9 Am to 7 Pm, any day of the week




 

 


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