Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Building new stairs

A ladder is useful short-term, but carrying paint buckets, tools and other heavy things up and down a boat 25 times a day using a ladder is an invitation to disaster; all you need is one slip to ruin everything. So I decided to make some stairs put of treated lumber, which could also serve as a tool storage shed and outdoor kitchen space. I was able to knock it out in a day. It isn't perfect but it is safer than a ladder. I overbuilt it of course...the fellas at my previous yard told me later folks were fighting over the stairs I had built but had to abandon there when I moved the boat. Most prebuilt boatyard stairs, if not already being used,  are pretty rusty and dangerous themselves, or they aren't the right size & fit. For bigger boats it is sometimes worth renting commercial scaffolding, which can be built as high as two or three storys. 

For my particular project I just want to make sure there was about 2-foot gap separating the stairs from the boat to allow me room to freely work on the hull on that side. I built the top platform as kinda a Frank Lloyd Wright-ish cantilevered bit that provided cover for my outdoor boatyard kitchen located behind the stairs and also served as a ramp to step over the gap between the stairs and the boat safely. Other design features were solid, secure handrails and good lighting in the form of a solar-charged yard light. All this may seem like overkill but staging a project site is actually important, for efficiency as well as safety.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you're posting again. I've started putting in hours on my refit. So far I've pulled the front water tank, scraped/sanded the bottom down to gelcoat, dismantled the entire head (there was a composting toilet installed and I removed the trim around the mast support post and removed the sink and cabinet), and removed most of the thru hulls (I will replace all of them as they are dangerously corroded). I am currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, FL. I need to drop the rudder to get a look at the rudder shoe and the engine shaft...looks like there was a sloppy repair done. Any advice on dropping the rudder?