Companionway Steps - Part 1, Moving them

Back to Home ... Projects ... Trick Wood Projects ... s/v Stella Blue home

Back to Home ... Projects ... Trick Wood Projects ... s/v Stella Blue home

I forgot to take a "before" picture, but to the left you can see that the counter top under the companionway had a sliding portion on the near side. It slid away to reveal a compartment, which I've probably opened up twice in the last five years. For some reason, the front edge was about four inches longer on the sliding side, and the steps were attached to the permanent side.

Here's the view after I modified the sliding portion over the engine access hatch, but before moving the steps.

The steps weren't directly under the companionway. I have plans to make new steps, integrating tool boxes into the steps, but those plans have been tacked on my office wall for two years and I haven't started. and suddenly these offset steps really started to bother me.

I've standardized on Minwax Spar Urethane for my interior wood projects.
It's an exterior Urethane varnish, and it behaves just like a marine varnish,
with UV inhibitors.
(I still use Epiphanes for exterior stuff.)

This nice thing about this is they also put it in spray cans. I build up about four to six coats of Gloss, using a brush and sanding between coats. Then for a finish just spray on a couple of coats of the Satin and it's done. It's much easier to get a good final finish this way.

Here's a side view, after the trim was glued onto the real counter top. That hidden reinforcing strip makes the edge strong.

Perhaps it was just that a quick and easy temporary solution became obvious!

So I sliced off the leading four inches of the offending counter top, and made a small strip of teak that will match the trim on the other half of the counter.

Here I'm using it as a guide to make sure the teak trim is just the right height above the hidden reinforcing strip.

Then it was a simple matter to attach new
"Ladder Hooks" from ABI.

I put the new hooks on the outside edge of the steps,
and left the old hooks on the inside.
I also left the old hardware in place.

This way, it's a simple matter to move the steps back to the old location, when I need to open up the engine access hatch, and they'll still be firmly attached and useable.
It looks a little funky, though, but it's practical.

When I finally get around to making the new steps
with integral tool boxes, I'll come up
with something that looks better.

This hardly qualifies as a "trick wood project", but what the heck. Maybe I should make a category for "quick hacks!"