Cabin Handholds

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Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
Since I've had my 309, I've always felt there was a lack of well-placed handholds in the cabin. It's especially dangerous when you need to go below under way in anything but a flat sea. Over the years, I've been looking at how to remedy this while still maintaining the "look" in the cabin, and came up with some ideas this winter that I finished implementing today. I added a single-loop teak handrail to the bulkhead between the main cabin and the head; a white padded handhold in the head; and a vertical stainless grab rail on the corner of the galley. The latter was the most challenging, as it must be able to withstand a hefty side load if a person grabs it while falling, and the ceiling there has a complex shape due to the slope of the cabin and the the molding to accomodate the companionway slider. The rail is heavy-wall 1.5" OD 316 SS; I got it (and the 316 SS flanges) from a supplier of architectural handrails online. I fabricated round spacers out of Starboard (1/4" bottom, 1/2" at top) just larger than the stainless flange; I scribed a template of the ceiling shape and used a router and belt sander to shape the blank to the template. The spacers are screwed into the counter and ceiling, and have a 1-1/2" hole in the centers to accept the rail (rail extends from the counter surface to the fiberglass ceiling), and then the flange screws extend through the spacer and the counter/ceiling (six screws total at both top and bottom). It's really solid - don't think anyone could pull it loose! It's perfectly placed to assist getting up and down the companionway, as well as working in the galley.

Also finished the Maine Sail polish-wax process on the topsides today (compounded last year, so at least that wasn't necessary). Launching on Tuesday!!
 

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Jul 25, 2007
320
-Irwin -Citation 40 Wilmington, NC
Nice you really kept the style and look, they do not stand out as an add on at all. That is often a give away of amateur work when the modifications do not match the rest of the boat. Good job!
 
Oct 30, 2011
24
Catalina 309 Fort Myers
Nice you really kept the style and look, they do not stand out as an add on at all. That is often a give away of amateur work when the modifications do not match the rest of the boat. Good job!
Very good solutions
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,636
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
Agree with the other posters!
Nice work and it looks great, just like "factory."

An aside, if I may, when you planned the handhold for the galley (an upgrade that's also on my list) did you consider a "base" that would take it just ouside the counter to bolt thru the face of the galley cabinet base?
I ask because C&C and Ericson did done that for some models.

I have pondered a grab-bar solution similar to yours, but would not like the cleaning hassle of the crumb-catching area behind the base mounting pad.:cry:

I could imagine a spendy bit of bending or a 90 degree base weldment... and some more polishing...

:)
 
Mar 20, 2007
500
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
An aside, if I may, when you planned the handhold for the galley (an upgrade that's also on my list) did you consider a "base" that would take it just ouside the counter to bolt thru the face of the galley cabinet base?

:)
I did consider that - agree, it would look good, but I don't think it would be as strong to a lateral load without some serious beefing up of the counter structure, and it would have hit the overhead right on the edge of the companionway. Might work on another boat design, though.
 
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