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Boarding step build

Dec 4, 2017
61
Hunter 466 Seattle
I purchased a Hunter 466 this spring and it came with a dilapidated rigid step that was made of plywood, was difficult to switch sides when needed, flaked paint off everywhere, and was nearly impossible to stow. After seeing Rich Stidger's step that he made a while back, I went to work and came up with a design that the admiral was happy with. I thought it would be straightforward to make... It wasn't. We designed it based off the design of the other steps inside the boat. The parts that touch the boat were covered with leather left over from the hide we bought for covering our steering wheel. Worked out the angles, put it all together, applied a spar varnish to it, and it didn't work! The toerail on the 466 extends out and pushed it out too far from the hull and it hung free and unstable until you put weight on it. After scratching my head for a while, a neighbor suggested suction cups. I THEN made a plywood mock up to make sure it would work. I recessed them into the back and they worked perfectly! Super stable, easy to bring in and switch sides (made some dynema soft shackles). This was a really fun project that took far longer than I thought, but hey, all projects take longer than my optimistic estimates. We went with 5/4 sapelle mahogany for the wood, contact cement to adhere the leather, "TreadTex" in the varnish for grip.

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Apr 5, 2009
1,287
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
Very nice. I need to do something like this. My marina recently started a "no step unless the Harbor Master likes you" rule. If you leave your step out they will put it on your boat and fine you $80. Not sure why they still allow 15-20 boats to still have steps but crack down on the rest.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,292
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
We had an aluminum step for our H356. It is quite a step up for these high freeboard boats. At times of very high tides it was difficult or impossible to board without it. But it was only about 10" wide. Making it stable was a challenge. Yours looks good and looks stabile. Nice project! Building something three times before you get it right isn't too bad.
 
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Likes: VisionPNW
Dec 4, 2017
61
Hunter 466 Seattle
My thoughts exactly and very well equipped. Must be a shop teacher. :)
I teach graphics and photography. We just happen to have an amazing shop and even more incredible shop teacher. Out of our wood and metal shops we offer woodworking, construction, aerospace, and robotics. Some people have the impression that schools no longer do this, and while auto shop is becoming more rare, the trades are very much alive in our district.
 
Dec 4, 2017
61
Hunter 466 Seattle
Very nice. I need to do something like this. My marina recently started a "no step unless the Harbor Master likes you" rule. If you leave your step out they will put it on your boat and fine you $80. Not sure why they still allow 15-20 boats to still have steps but crack down on the rest.
I'm not sure why they would even have an issue. Discouraging use of something that increases the safety of boarding? How is it being on deck any better than hanging? I guess you just have to be extra friendly to the harbormaster.
 
Jan 11, 2014
6,330
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I teach graphics and photography. We just happen to have an amazing shop and even more incredible shop teacher. Out of our wood and metal shops we offer woodworking, construction, aerospace, and robotics. Some people have the impression that schools no longer do this, and while auto shop is becoming more rare, the trades are very much alive in our district.
Finally people are beginning to realize college is not for everyone and a perfectly satisfying life can be lead as a skilled tradesperson. Too many have been sent off to college to run up big bills with little hope of graduating. Just before I retired I was working in a school that was preparing kids for technology jobs, automotive jobs, and culinary jobs among others. We had the highest graduation rate of the 5 high schools in the city. It was a great school to retire from.

Let me not forget to compliment you on the step, nicely down. Just got distracted by the shop. :):beer:
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,610
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Nice step; looks very nautical!
Wow! that shop is awesome; takes me an hour to move stuff around before I can do anything.
 
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Likes: VisionPNW
Jan 11, 2014
6,330
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Our take on it is that college IS for everyone but "college" includes skilled trades, apprenticeships, technical schools, military and any education beyond high school.
High school is foundational and gives exposure to the basic skills, post secondary (and ongoing) education is essential for mastery. Just as I was retiring the HS I was in began a program that integrated HS with post-secondary education at a community college. Senior year was a blend of community college and HS, the fifth year was at the Community College. Students were well prepared for the work force.


 
Apr 5, 2009
1,287
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
I'm not sure why they would even have an issue. Discouraging use of something that increases the safety of boarding? How is it being on deck any better than hanging? I guess you just have to be extra friendly to the harbormaster.
I have had a small commercially built step next to my boat that was connected to the edge board since 2005 and it was never a problem until last year when I came to the boat and found my step sitting in the cockpit. I asked the HM why and was told they were no longer allowed. But all of the live-aboard still have there steps. When I asked why the double standard he said that it would be "unreasonable" to ask them to put the steps up and down every time they got off the boat and that it was a safety consideration. It should be noted that this is for a finger slip that is 4' wide and only serves a boat on each side. I commented that it was a safety item for me to have the step when returning to the slip and was told "If you cannot safely get on an off your boat you should get a different boat". Needless to say it went down hill from there.
I have recently started seeing non-live-aboard boats that also have steps so it is an unequally applied rule. I would have no problem with the rule if it was universally applied but capricious and arbitrary does not cut it for me.
 
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Likes: justsomeguy
Jan 22, 2008
7,849
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
I commented that it was a safety item for me to have the step when returning to the slip and was told "If you cannot safely get on an off your boat you should get a different boat". Needless to say it went down hill from there.
I have recently started seeing non-live-aboard boats that also have steps so it is an unequally applied rule. I would have no problem with the rule if it was universally applied but capricious and arbitrary does not cut it for me.
I bet the marina is more worried about step-damage to their docks? I wonder if it is specified on a slip-lease contract, or as you say, "unequally applied"? Maybe involve the local handicapped discrimination people?