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Old 12-25-2017, 01:52 PM   #1
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Steps for Bridge ladder

I have varnished wooden steps going from my back deck to my fly bridge on my 34 Californian. Any one replaced those steps with a composite or other material that would require less maintenance.
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Old 12-25-2017, 02:31 PM   #2
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I did but without further support they are a bit springy for over 200 pounders or if lighter and carrying stuff.

Guess it would depend on span though.
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:51 PM   #3
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I replaced 3/4” teak steps with 1” Starboard.they were only spawning about ten inches.
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Old 12-25-2017, 06:05 PM   #4
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I replaced the steps from our sundeck to the flybridge with aluminum C chanel. I needed more depth fore and aft so our dog could go up and down. The aluminum is 1/4” thick on the horizonral and 3/8” on the vertical edges. I put Seadek foam decking on the treads. The steps are now 8” fore and aft so Radar has plenty of area to atep on. They are rock solid.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:04 AM   #5
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Could you just paint over the existing steps ?
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:14 AM   #6
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I removed my teak stairs to home,to strip and completely revarnish them. Took a lot of prep time, then 5 coats plus, and of course you can`t do all sides at the same time.
Then, deeply bothered by the thought of them degrading, I added a self adhesive vinyl rubber step tread to each step, leaving a satisfying varnished margin both ends of the step tread. After 3-4 years I see a little wear on the treads, which should be replaceable,and I still see my shiny varnish work. I should add the stairs are under cover.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:15 AM   #7
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I have a Californian 34 LRC and the ONE thing I've never had to touch (except for occasional screw tightening) is the ladder steps. Mine are unfinished and have never presented a problem.

What's the issue with yours, the varnish? If so, lightly sand and ignore.

Check that box.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:15 AM   #8
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I did and I did my swim ladder too. No problem with either.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Mine are unfinished and have never presented a problem. .
Although a properly varnished teak is absolutely beautiful, the maintenance required to keep it looking great is excessive in my opinion. My steps are unfinished & an occasional scrubbing with a mild detergent (Dawn?) and not scrubbing in the direction of the grain, keep them looking good. My cockpit sole is maintained in the same fashion. The helm chairs' footrests on the bridge are varnished and really show the wear. Unfinished teak is the only way to go and the easiest to maintain.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:03 AM   #10
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Check out Ipe or plantation-grown Mahogany. Both sold for residential decks, 5-1/2" wide by a heavy 1" thick. Both cheaper than Teak. Let 'em go grey.

Besides ugly, the various plastic stuff sold for decks will creep under load and time, and probably will not accept fasteners reliably. This stuff is intended for face fastening, the faces are usually denser than the core, thus fasteners into the end/core will be less secure (of course, fastenings into end grain of wood are less secure, too). Also, this stuff is intended for "continuous" spans, passing over several joists. A "simple" span, like your step, does not have the advantage of adjacent supports to reduce the bending moment in the span.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:27 PM   #11
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bridge ladder steps

I too have a 34 LRC that needs step maintenance. I like Al's (Flywright) idea about going bare. I have looked mine over a couple times and concluded that the steps were installed before the ladder was welded. there are welded flanges both top and bottom making step removal impossible. I suppose I could sawzall the flanges off at the bottom and replace with set screwed fittings but haven't gone that crazy yet.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:27 AM   #12
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If the steps were installed before the ladder was welded, are the two sides welded together? If the two sides are not welded together you may be able to remove the screws in the base where it is attached to the deck and spread the two sides apart enough to get the steps out without cutting the ladder.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:23 AM   #13
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CC, it's hard to imagine that the welding was done after the wood steps were installed. Too much trouble. Risk of spatter damaging the wood. Different parts of the work process. Pics?

And as for treads being only 3/4" thick, that's maybe strong enough but not stiff enough. And, marginal because of wood loss over time due to weathering or refinishing. My 24" long original Teak treads were 1 1/4" thick; my new Ipe treads are 1", and I'm 280 lbs.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:09 AM   #14
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Evening ..
Own a 34' lrc and I replaced them with
Plasteak.
Also did the swimstep. Since they are high wear areas I wanted them Click image for larger version

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ID:	72047done and no need to go back on a high wear area..
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