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Old 08-29-2014, 08:29 AM   #1
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Love a Sundeck But...

I'm targeting a sundeck style trawler as my next boat but don't like the "climb" from the swim platform to the sundeck. Are there any solutions on the market to install something like an accommodation ladder/stairs so that you don' have such a vertical climb?
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:05 AM   #2
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The big thing about buying boats, like any major purchase I suppose, is compromise. I have seen a couple of Yachtworld listings where owners have done various modifications that added steps to swim platforms. A few were nice (and looked expensive) others just looked bad. Remember that there can be a lot going on in and around a swim platform. to take up a lot of space with a staircase of some kind might be more of a pain in the ass later on.

There are cockpit sundeck trawlers out there. Defever, Tollycraft, and Carver (or was it Bayliner) make them, however, you often will still have to climb a ladder to get to the sundeck. There is no easy solution I don't think. Sundeck trawlers are what they are. We loved ours (so did everyone else... party central).

We always just carried a lightweight plastic ladder with us and boarded from the side.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:21 AM   #3
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Tom B.. thanks. Agree on all accounts... I'm familiar with the CPMY style and I think you are correct, it is Carver. My concern was not so much dockside but while at anchor. For me a 40' sundeck is the way to go... the CPMY's tend to be a 40' plus 4' to allow for the aft cockpit.

BTW, I went to Cary HS and spend my summers on the Neuse at our river house between Oriental and Minnesott Beach. Small world
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:28 AM   #4
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Good point Tom, I guess it's more about is it for boarding or getting to the dink. Our slip is fixed piers, but luckily fall perfect at most tide levels to board from the side. When we were on floating piers we did as you and used lightweight 3 step plastic steps to access the side. I had drilled a hole and had a line attached to it so it wouldn't blow away at night.
Sundecks are great for entertaining, but hard on the knees!!


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Old 08-29-2014, 09:45 AM   #5
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There are sundecks that have stairs instead of a ladder going from the swimstep to the sundeck. I think Carver or Bayliner has them.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishheadbarandgrill View Post
Tom B.. thanks. Agree on all accounts... I'm familiar with the CPMY style and I think you are correct, it is Carver. My concern was not so much dockside but while at anchor. For me a 40' sundeck is the way to go... the CPMY's tend to be a 40' plus 4' to allow for the aft cockpit.

BTW, I went to Cary HS and spend my summers on the Neuse at our river house between Oriental and Minnesott Beach. Small world
Take a look at the Bayliner 4087- I believe it might just meet your requirements. A good sized cockpit, molded stairs to access the sundeck and flybridge, and 3 cabins. The 4087 is the 3587 with the addition of the cockpit.

We loved ours!
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
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There are sundecks that have stairs instead of a ladder going from the swimstep to the sundeck. I think Carver or Bayliner has them.


plus it seems some/many the newer boats tend towards steps as the ladders have been a complaint...some people have custom steps made that do take up room but the tradeoff is worth it to them.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #8
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Not so hard to have some stairs fabricated. Seen these done, btw spiral and straight. A few old Hatteras MYs have these, as it is a pretty long climb, almost 6 feet on mine.

This option is very common for people who are unpaid captain and crew for a dog.

We were sure when we bought the boat we would install something back there, as we are very frequent anchorers and mooring users (lived full time on moorings for months at a time in FL and MA, and anchoring out is our SOP) and were concerned about not-so-able friends. But after living with the ladder, we never did get around to it after thousands of ascents and descents.

There was a recent thread on Yachtforums about a guy doing a small spiral on an old Carver.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:30 AM   #9
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The only problem I see about adding steps (and specifically but not exclusively spiral steps as George suggested) would be what direction they would land on a swim platform. Unless there is enough space to walk around the steps (and that would make for a very large swim platform), let's pretend they face to port (meaning you walk from port to starboard to ascend to the sundeck). They become way more of an obstacle should you be moored in a starboard-side tie. Does that make sense?

The ladder, while sometimes inconvenient, works from both sides :-)

Just something to think about.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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Good points Tom.

Depends on how big the platform is and how agile the user is. I tried a few spirals and found them less easy to use than a ladder. It was easy on our boat to take stuff off the dinghy and put it over the top of the ladder, rather than schlep it up some stairs, especially a spiral. Not so much an issue I guess when the deck above has no sideboards or netting around it. The solution I liked best was an open metal stairway where the last two or three steps folded to free up more space when loading and unloading the dinghy or merely swimming or fishing off the platform.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:14 AM   #11
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The Ocean Alexander 42-44 sundeck with cockpit fill the bill.

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Old 08-29-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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Skidgear... that's a nice looking boat. I prefer a dinghy on the hard top but I see this design probably doesn't allow for that kind of weight up there.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:37 AM   #13
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Skidgear... that's a nice looking boat. I prefer a dinghy on the hard top but I see this design probably doesn't allow for that kind of weight up there.
Absolutely no reason the dink can't go on the sunroof. Many OA owners do exactly that. Ours just happened to have a Nick Jackson stern davit...which by the way makes launch of the dink infinitely easier, safer, and more flexible than roof top mounted location. Many roof located dinks must be launched to the side...and if you're in a slip, there's no way. A couple shots of salon...

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Old 08-29-2014, 11:48 AM   #14
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This would also work....
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:48 PM   #15
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Can you fully enclose the sundeck on the OA?
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:05 PM   #16
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I think older grand banks had steps diagonally across the transom.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:23 PM   #17
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We have the same thing. Sundeck (some call them California Decks) with a cockpit. Our stairs are very wide and easy to get on and off the boat.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:29 PM   #18
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The Heritage East 36' sun deck had a molded stairway from the swim platform to the deck. This was the newer model around the early 2000's.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:32 PM   #19
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Can you fully enclose the sundeck on the OA?
Sure. You can probably find photos on Yacht world.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:49 PM   #20
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Carver 404.
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