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New Steps

December 8, 2011
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Metal swimming pool steps mounted to main hatch

At least the old ones matched my dancing pole...

When Marc made a set of steps for Aaza Dana out of an old swimming pool ladder, I was disgusted. Marc’s reasoning was that we needed a new set of steps anyway, and these were to be recycled from when Messilah Beach Hotel closed down, and we didn’t need them for our pool, so it was all in a good, environmental cause…  I actually like the old teak ones, and can’t recall there being anything wrong with them, but Marc decided that swimming pool steps would be slimline (giving us more galley space) and lightweight (easier access to the engine compartment).  I’m not sure if he mentioned how modern  they would look… but never mind.

One step, with grip tape on

They looked good for a few weeks, anyway...

They were slippery and horrible when wet, which meant they were crap in storms, even dangerous in my opinion.  I tried to fix this by adding stair grip, bough from Bin Nisf – the local super hardware centre where I got my 15quid duct tape (you can see it being used to good effect on the battery panel there… just behind my dancing pole!) – but it came off as soon as it got wet.

Being a stubborn gal, and mindful of safety, I took a tin of Pattex down to the boat.  That worked fine for a few months… but now the grips are coming off again.  I just can’t figure it out!  In actual fact, the pattex left on the metal steps is being quite useful in itself as a grip, but it just looks so ugly.  Which is a shame, cos they do look quite good.  And, since Marc and I are used to them, they really are not a problem.

I will admit, tho, a few sailors who have been along as crew have complained about them, these sailors being more used to fancy yachts with teak everything…

New, wooden steps in progress

I like the sexy curves...

Anyway… five years on, now that I have got used to them, Marc has relented.  He is now making some more taditional, nautical looking steps.  They are made of ply,and covered with the Light Ash veneer that we used for the interior cupboards.  They’ll need some grip as well… we’re thinking of that sandpapery type stuff you get.  I’ll bet Bin Nisf has it!

They will lift up, soI think we’ll need to crawl under them to get into front of engine room.  Not sure about that, tho.  The current steps lift out completely, so at least we can enter the cabin when the engine room is open, by lowering ourselves and using sink as a halfway step.

These will have fold down legs so they can be lifted part way and act as a sort of gang plank for our aging dog, meaning that we will no longer have to physically lift her down when we want her off the deck!  Great idea in theory.  And do you see how the edges are curled up, so even if we’re heeling (which we won’t be, much, when we circumnavigate) we can walk down upright!

I actually can’t wait to see the finished item in action!

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