The process of looking for a new plate boat has been on going for sometime with so many manufactures all offering something different and sometimes unique. The shell is the easy part I'm told but it's when all the under floor structural work and floor gets welded in that is can cause issue's. The side sheets get a brace welded on while the floor is welded in to once again avoid any distortion. Transom again with trim tab plates welded and he has also welded alloy tubes from these plates through the air tanks and upto the floor just to make sure the air tanks are still fully sealed incase a tab is smashed off and water floods the air tank.
Even a little strip of aluminium running from the bow sprit to the hull can change the look of these boats.
A lot of thought went into the large Transom area to not only make it practical but to also give a nice clean look.
Three rod holders and a deck winch mount on each side plus a nicely rounded side pocket for storage. Curved bait board not only makes for a good look but also makes it possible to view and access contents in the large bait esky under it. Half in half out feet rests were made to reduce the risk of shins hitting which can happen it normal sized rests whilst it takes up very little room in the cab. Moving onto the cabin and hardtop design which undoubtedly was the hardest part of the boat to get right and this was mainly due to the fact we wanted fixed front glass screens with glass sliders on the sides.
The hard top with eight-rod holders was also extended back giving enough area to fish in the shade while allowing plenty of room to get well clear of the hardtop when needed.
The dash layout consisted of a custom alloy wrap around style arrangement for flush mounted gps, sounder and engine gauges. The boats now home (just over a week ago) and the huge process of painting and fitout begins. It is always great to see how each builder takes to different tasks, to different ends, to get similar or different results.
The only thing that I question at all is I only wonder why the DownUnder boats like to paint their aluminum boats verses leaving bare aluminum to a more maintenance free vessel. I have seen the aluminum boats up here in the Northeast that have been painted, get moisture under the paint through a chip and them the boat rots out from under the paint.
Great job, thanks for the post, look forward to the continuing project picture posts and welcome to the club!
I suppose here downunder most get there plate boats painted to give for a premium finish and give the glass boats a real run for there money in the looks.
I have had guidance from a guy who has painted boats all his life and works for one of the most highly regarded finished alloy plate boat builders in OZ so it's been a great help. First steps are to cut,drill and tap the boat to suit all accessories which basically means you need to fit out the whole boat and then take it all back out again. You then acid wash the whole boat to clean the alloy surface followed by spraying on a product called Alodine and washing it off as well.

It was a major rush to finish it for a Fishing Comp held on Fraser Island and we were still working on it the night before we left. Electronics are Furuno 585 sounder with a 600w through hull transducer which works fantastic giving a clear picture through all conditions and at any speed whilst still keeping the gain up around the 10% mark which captures live bottom and fish with ease at high speeds.
GPS is a Lowrance 7200C and will soon be interfaced to the Suzuki for real time fuel flow figures.
The front windows are 8mm toughened glass and the sliding side windows are 6mm toughened glass.
All that needs doing now is for the V berth cushions to be made and the cabin to be carpeted. Anyway I could go on all day long but If there are any questions please feel free to fire away. Question, what is the function of the trailer ball on the side of the trailer in the next to last photo?
Wayne - I am sure Greg will correct me if I am wrong but I believe it just helps firm up the beach launch extension by locking into the main hitch connector and creates the pivot point for reversing etc at the front of the trailer hitch instead of the hinge mounts. It soon came to my attention that it was hard to find a good all round boat that had everything I wished for in a good custom built boat. The sides are basicly welded on a 45 degree angle and then tensioned up to the gunnels to create a rounding effect on the side sheets. The welding sequence required to avoid distortion is an example of years of trial and experience but as you can see in the pics I have attached he welds on various supports under the hull to really make sure their is no problems. Dave prides himself on making a very straight boat with next to no distortion and I would have to say there's not to many other buliders who get them as straight as he does. Gives a clean look on the inside of the transom with access to batterys via the bottom middle hinged door.
The outer space between the cab and seat box usually has nothing or only a very little shelf so we sheeted the lot and made a good sized pocket. Normally most plate boats fitted with glass screens look out of proportion so it was a bit of a challenge to get this looking good but the clear vision with glass front screens alone is amazing and eliminates the common problem of leaking clears and that annoying front bar that usually runs through the middle of the screen area which separates the Perspex screen from the clears. Handrails on top of the roof run the full length for easy access around the cab while a sleek rear wing set up on the roof allows for good placement of a radar dome in the future and also gets the aerials higher for better reception. The corner of the box where the hinged lid will shut has a scolloped corner to allow for the door to shut even when the rope hangs out the door once it has been tied off on the front bollard. A custom made alloy trailer gets made next week (will post pics) and hoping to have it on the water by mid May.
Don't get me wrong, they look great especially when black or dark blue is used on the hull sides. I figured a site like deserves step by step pics to help others with ideas and I wished I found a site like this to help me make decisions while mine was being made.
The platey's look great with a decent paint job but like you say corrosion is the biggest problem although if done well can last along time with very little corrosion issue's.

The alodine is like a anodizing product which seals off the alloy and gets into all the holes and threads you have created and acts in the aid of corrosion resistance. The painting process took close to 3 months and was a massive task to get a premium result and not something I will tackle again that's for sure. Everything went extremely well and no problems were encounted during our week on the worlds largest sand Island.
Due to incompatibility between this version of the Gallery and the old version - and some database issues - we weren't able to migrate the individul albums to the new Gallery. The painters love painting his boats because they need such little work to get them straight.
I took pictures of many boats over the years and with the help of my computer was able to cut and shut the cabins and work out what made the cabin look good while using glass screens. A good paint job on a 6-7m platey will cost around $8000 to $10,000 over here so I'm surprised more don't go for an unpainted or nylac finish although a painted boat is a major reselling point for most. Alodine is widely used in the aircraft industry and seemed by far the best product to use under the paint. He has built over 10 now with some being over 4 years old and is yet to see any fatigue cracks or problems occur. It also cuts out the step of etch primer as you can bog over the alodine and then spray on the epoxy based high build primer (jotun penguard) and then paint straight over that. If you create a personal album, you can move your pics from the Public Album to your personal album. Sound easy well I think not because out of the many plate boat builders out there most have a good percentage of the above missing from their package. We also raised the cabin side sheets 50mm from standard, which made the front and side screens smaller and gave the look of being a lot longer. The brand of primer and paint used will be Jotun 2k which is highly regarded in the marine industry. It wasn’t until I looked at Riptide Alloy Boats that I found an honest good all round boat that boasted all the criteria I wished for including a 2.5mtr beam which makes a huge difference in overall boat size and something many other manufactures don’t have. Riptide is a small operation of 4 people that Dave the owner prefers to have which enables him to build and oversee every boat that goes out the door ensuring that they are built 100% right.
The main objective of the build is to have a place for everything used during fishing trips and to keep a clean deck space whilst making the boat practical with a good look.

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