Originally Posted by Bacchus
Jason , Tom,
If I'm interpreting your comments correctly you are looking for a "Tuna" door off the side deck/ aft deck on Stbd side for dock access?
Our MS is a 34 but similar arrangement to the 400 - door to swim platform step to gunwale on Stbd / port. Our home dock is fixed a fairly high so we use the side step / gunwale access. When traveling and at floating docks the tuna door makes for an easy access and the vertical flybridge deck support makes for a good handhold for entry / exit to swim platform.
I also modified the fwd Stbd rail to add a "gate" that provides an easy access for the exceptionally high mooring walls that we encounter in some locations. We now have 3 options for entry / exit depending on height of docks.
If side door is a must the Beneteau's have one on Stbd side and one to swim platform except they put the aft door on the (Port) wrong side IMO - requires stepping over swim ladder and a dingy on Weaver davits would be in the way.
I don't want to hijack the OP's thread, so I'll just say that the side door is a nice-to-have, while the swim platform door is a must-have and deal breaker if not present. Best if the cockpit sole is the same elevation as the swim platform. It's all about mobility issues and being able to step directly from the floating dock to the swim platform to the cockpit and into the cabin. A step up from the swim platform to the cockpit is probably ok, like my FIL's KK42, but the fewer steps the better.
A fly bridge is also a must-have (though I really like the classic look of your 34HT
), and that means stairs, not a ladder. And that limits the field all the way down to Mainships, unless someone knows of another that fits the bill. I've been hanging around here reading and researching, and independently since well before that, and I've not seen anything with those features yet other than the MS's.
Oh, and a lower helm with a starboard side door to the outside decks with full walk-around access
, again for mobility issues and the fact that it's almost always best for me to single-hand, even with crew, like I've always done on sailboats (including boats well into the upper 30 ft range). It's just how it is and has to be.
I'll leave it at that, as it's not my thread (my apologies, South of Heaven). But to the OP's point, the MS400 is almost ideal, though a bit bigger than I really need. A single screw would make it even better, but I haven't seen one yet.