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Boarding Step

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Terry Cox, Apr 3, 2016. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    2,676 posts, 139 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    I made a boarding step for our boat out of inch and a half white PVC several years ago so that the admiral had a way to easily get aboard. It is about 18 inches long and 12 inches deep with 90 degree elbows at each corner. In the center of the deep side are tees with a piece of PVC connecting them. Around each of the three pipes I installed 3M self-adhering non-skid from Home Depot.

    At each corner I drilled a hole for a 5/16th inch SS eyelet bolt that is secured with a backing washer and self-locking nut. I used 3/8th inch double braid line between each eyelet on both sides with a carabiner that clips onto the toe rail. There is enough line so that the step is mid way between the dock and deck.

    The two carabiners allow me to unclip from one side and move it to the other depending on side tie. While underway I clip the step onto the outside of the life lines next to a gate where it rides safely out of the way until needed. It is very strong and will hold well over two hundred and fifty pounds (test weight).

    As you can tell the 3M non-skid tape has worn through in places and needs to be replaced. After all this step is about 15 years old and has several thousand miles of use.

    1 (3).jpg 2 (3).jpg 3 (2).jpg
     


    joyof10, CaptainBligh and 51RD55 like this.
  2. woodster

    woodster

    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,237 posts, 260 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al
    ah innovation at work
     


  3. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    3,320 posts, 243 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US Oceanside, Ca MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    I like the idea.
     


  4. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,294 posts, 314 likes
    Catalina 34
    US C34 San Francisco


  5. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    2,676 posts, 139 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Hi Brian. The nylon 3/8" double braid should hold more weight than the PVC pipe. I know the step will hold at least 250 pounds, which is what our slip neighbor at the time weighed when I tested it. No break test was performed. I could say 1,000 pounds, but that might be an over statement.:liar:
     


    Brian D likes this.
  6. Roadking Larry

    Roadking Larry

    Joined Mar 30, 2013
    525 posts, 35 likes
    Allied Seawind MK II 32'
    US Grand Lake, Oklahoma


  7. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,504 posts, 105 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    You know what they say about great minds.....
    I saw a similar step at a boat show. The vendor wanted about $150 for it. So I went into production and made three for myself and two other sailors - total cost for all three was about $30. I used red oak that I had, bought the line and clips. I covered the front edge of the board that goes against the hull with leather so it won't scratch, and used external polyurethane for the finish.
    2008_0603_070959AA.JPG 2008_0603_071008AA.JPG 2008_0603_071020AA.JPG 2008_0603_071227AA.JPG 2008_0608_003156AA.JPG
     


    joyof10 and Hunter33MorningStar like this.
  8. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    2,676 posts, 139 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Hi Rich, nice looking step.
     


  9. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    2,461 posts, 431 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Great looking steps. Is it better to hang the steps from the stanchion or from the base/gunnel.
     


  10. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,504 posts, 105 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    I do both depending upon how low the dock is from the gunnel.
     


  11. NotCook

    NotCook

    Joined Dec 29, 2008
    421 posts, 40 likes
    Treworgy 65' Custom Steel Pilothouse Staysail Ketch
    US St. Croix, Virgin Islands
    Nice step Rich!

    I made this tops ladder after seeing one in the window of a chandler. We use it for boarding from the dinghy at the transom. Maybe I should have put polyurethane on them, too, but they've lasted about 8 years so far without it. I do like the leather idea. How did you attach it?

    image.jpg Yeah, that's what the water looks like here in St. Croix!
     


  12. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,504 posts, 105 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    Lovely water! I attached the leather with contact cement. It has held up fine with no attempt to detach. If I was going to build another step, I have thought I would add a 2" vertical wood piece to the edge that goes against the hull. This would serve as a toe guard so the tip of your shoes would not hit the hull. The leather would still go on the board facing the hull.
     


    My Mistress likes this.
  13. Lorienthree

    Lorienthree

    Joined Apr 8, 2014
    4 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 40.5 Legend
    US Hampton
    I made mine out of a length of 2x4, painted white, with 3/8 braid running through holes in the ends. I tie it on the toerail to suit tje dock height. Yours looks much more sophisticated.
     


  14. timsha

    timsha

    Joined Mar 19, 2012
    14 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 38
    AU Sydney
  15. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,504 posts, 105 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI


  16. Ilanortho

    Ilanortho

    Joined Jul 4, 2015
    282 posts, 20 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Sturgeon Bay, WI
    $92!!!!
     


  17. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,504 posts, 105 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    Well it is for a boat, and it is from WM......
     


  18. Ilanortho

    Ilanortho

    Joined Jul 4, 2015
    282 posts, 20 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Sturgeon Bay, WI
    It's a goat bladder with two ropes attached!
     


  19. SFS

    SFS

    Joined Aug 18, 2015
    986 posts, 164 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Tampa Bay
    Yes, but a wild Peruvian goat, raised only on the west side of the Andes, in pastures that are only bordered by special trees, and only allowed to stand facing west, so as to provide maximum wind protection to said bladder.
     


  20. Ilanortho

    Ilanortho

    Joined Jul 4, 2015
    282 posts, 20 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Sturgeon Bay, WI
    Amen. And they are branded with the West Marine logo at birth so Defender can't rustle them.
     



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