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Old 12-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #1
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stairs/ladder?

ok, I am sure I am not the first to ask but I can't find what I am looking for.

I am looking at Europa style trawlers but the admiral is not happy with the vertical ladders to the upper deck. I have seen others modify the existing ladder to give it some angle to ease transiting. But has anyone had a new set of stairs installed along the port or starboard side? this would probably require cutting the upper deck and some structural mods to make it safe.

I know anything is possible, just curious if someone here had done it and maybe a ballpark cost to make it happen?

thanks guys
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Old 12-27-2016, 02:26 PM   #2
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Can't answer directly, but I know some brands/models may have both internal stairs and the external ladder... and that might not always be easily discovered in pics. Don't know what size range might be a minimum for this feature.

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Old 12-28-2016, 09:06 AM   #3
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Every boat is a compromise so if you find the boat you love but it has a vertical ladder, you and your wife might have to accept that. The ladder is probably vertical to save space or to make it fit in a certain space.


Only by looking at the specific boat could anyone decide if a change could be made and how much it would cost.


Perhaps handrails could be added to make it seem safer.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:33 AM   #4
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Most Europa style boats do not have stairs until you get up into the 50 foot range due to space considerations. If your wife is uncomfortable with a vertical ladder, there is your answer, look for something she is comfortable with or risk her not wanting to go on the boat. We had a 32' flybridge cruiser that had a 7 step vertical ladder that we found would not work with my wife's shoulder replacement or getting our 80 pound Lab up to the bridge. I loved the boat, but it just did not work for us when looked at logically. We now have a 41' Sundeck trawler that has steps up to the bridge. Both the wife and the dog can go up and down easily, life is now good.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:10 AM   #5
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You might want to look at some of the North Pacific Yachts (such as in my avatar) or their clones the Helmsman Yachts. Both have full width salons and Pilothouse so are not a Europa design, but they do have outside stairs on each side going from the deck to the fly bridge with solid rails. It makes it very easy to get up on the fly bridge deck level from either side of the boat.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:10 AM   #6
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you guys are right, with each style of boat there is a compromise to be found, and as a guy I want to solve those compromises. We were living aboard a fine 45ft bayliner pilothouse, but relocation prompted selling that boat. Now we are looking for a new live aboard in the so. cal area around 38-42ft.
cockpit boats are great for getting on and off the boat but in the size I want the living space is limited. Most trawlers in my price range have twin bunks in the master vice a centerline queen. Sundeck or aft cabin boats have more living space but are a challenge to get on and off. The Europa style boats are easier to board, are generally single deck living, have safe high freeboard decks to walk around but is a challenge for the admiral and guests to get to the large fly bridge area.
all with individual challenges, the search for the perfect boat continues.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:14 AM   #7
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Not sure I would choose a Europa design to live aboard. The side decks are great, but not as much living space inside compared to that Bayliner you had.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunasea View Post
you guys are right, with each style of boat there is a compromise to be found, and as a guy I want to solve those compromises. We were living aboard a fine 45ft bayliner pilothouse, but relocation prompted selling that boat. Now we are looking for a new live aboard in the so. cal area around 38-42ft.
cockpit boats are great for getting on and off the boat but in the size I want the living space is limited. Most trawlers in my price range have twin bunks in the master vice a centerline queen. Sundeck or aft cabin boats have more living space but are a challenge to get on and off. The Europa style boats are easier to board, are generally single deck living, have safe high freeboard decks to walk around but is a challenge for the admiral and guests to get to the large fly bridge area.
all with individual challenges, the search for the perfect boat continues.
45 ft bayliners can be truck. So if you like the boat have it relocated.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:20 PM   #9
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I've made a new flybridge ladder to replace the existing one. More steps, and shallower, plus it folds flat against the house. It makes all the difference in the world. My design effectively increases the size of the hatch and my knees tolerate it better.

Actually, I've made and installed the permanent hinges but only a full-scale model of the ladder of pressure treated decking. I'll make the permanent ladder this winter.

I will also make a new ladder from salon to fore peak, three steps in lieu of two.

We concur with your favoring a boat with a back porch and the Europa styling is nice for rain and sun cover. (Four salon windows seldom get wet and therefore don't leak!)
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:22 PM   #10
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try looking at selenes,they have stairs
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:29 PM   #11
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Some designs are wide-body boats or asymmetrical with one side deck and often have an external ladder from the helm station up to the upper deck on the outside.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHeckrotte View Post
I've made a new flybridge ladder to replace the existing one. More steps, and shallower, plus it folds flat against the house. It makes all the difference in the world. My design effectively increases the size of the hatch and my knees tolerate it better.
Very nice job on that ladder.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:48 PM   #13
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I've got several years of planning to go, but this issue jumped off the page at me. My day job involves climbing ladders, but I can not imagine doing that on a moving boat, while carrying anything, in the rain, with bare feet, or in another several years. The top two items on my current priority list are stairs to the flybridge and a shower stall separate from the head. At this point in my life, it's hard to imagine those priorities dropping.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:20 PM   #14
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If steps are not desirable avoid falling in love with a sundeck.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:32 PM   #15
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Ladder or no flybridge. Hmmm.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:40 PM   #16
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One of our members PM'd me:

{{Hope you put a patent on it. Very smart idea. I am looking for a 32' GB or 36' GB Sedan and your idea would work perfect for our old bones. Have you thought about making to sell folks not as talented as you ?}}

I answered:

I certainly do not have a patent on it. Every boat will have its own problems and opportunities. I'd be happy to send you (anybody) my AutoCAD drawing, though simply adapting the idea, if applicable, would more likely meet your needs when you buy your new problem boat.

I built a model of the hinges, too. I clamped the hinge model in place and mounted the stair model to it to try the design. Both the hinge model and the stair model required some fussing to cope with the curved flybridge and the curved back porch.

I certainly will not make these for other folks, I'm retired and my work doesn't meet any kind of reasonable schedule nor does my workmanship meet my own expectations. I will happily pontificate and send drawings and pics.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:55 PM   #17
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We looked at Mainship 350s and 390s. We didn't board one of their newer 400s. All have stairs. We liked the idea of stairs and these were comfortable, adequate railings and so forth. The walking surfaces did not have any sort of non-skid and would seem slippery when wet and perhaps perilous when the boat was bouncing around. When descending, I'd surely have a dandy chance of slipping and falling some unacceptable distance. Ladders pretty much force you to face 'em and give you something to grab.

Additionally these, and any other similar design, use valuable floorspace and take an unattractive (to me) hunk out of the corner of the salon. Those folks who like all the space and deck levels inherent in Aft Cabins and Sundecks won't notice the square footage loss since the stairs are often over each other.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:25 PM   #18
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Post 2005/6 Clipper 40/Mariner trawlers have 3 steps(storage under) then stairs, done in f/g, not ss and teak steps. One reason for open steps is aft visibility, closed staircases remove that.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:32 PM   #19
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Hmmm, good perspectives on stairs vs. ladders. It's all a compromise and until you try them all out, it's hard to prioritize those compromises. Makes sense.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:59 PM   #20
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Sounds like the OP has done his homework on the pros and cons of various designs. I'd only offer that a good set of portable dock stairs can make a sundeck more accessible. Once aboard, there is climbing to do, but--on ours, at least--no ladders.

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