Question about a boarding grab handle...

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LOUIS B HOLUB
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Question about a boarding grab handle...

Post by LOUIS B HOLUB » Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:13 am

Our 1999 MacX has a boarding ladder on the left side of the engine, and we need a "grab handle" somewhere instead of "hugging" the engine to climb on when the boat is on the trailer. I've noticed that the fiberglass seems "thin' in this transom area. Has anyone mounted a handle anywhere using screws. Bolts cant be used since access from within the boat to hold the nut is impossible. We sure could use some help or advice. Sure wish I could see a pic somewhere ....
Thanks in advance...I was considering some 5200 glue, and 4 screws with a stainless handle located at a local boat dealer. But that fiberglass seems so "thin"....
:macx:

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argonaut
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Post by argonaut » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:34 am

This is on my list too...
Look under "miscellaneous" in the Mods section.

One example

I wouldn't trust plain screws to something where forces are pulling directly screws, if it was a shear force I might. The glass is pretty thin, and I'm not. :)

Think you're going to want a backer, either screws backed with plates or large washers or wood screws into a moisture tolerant wood backing plate.
Looks like the technique is to cut a hole in the side of the transom and install a removable cover plate for access.
Cut about the height of the handle, clear the foam, drill handle holes, install handle & nuts/washers/wood backing, then install the removable cover plate to cover up the hole.
Make sure it doesn't interfere with your ladder.

LOUIS B HOLUB
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Post by LOUIS B HOLUB » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:15 am

Thanks Argonaut...that's what I was looking for. I was sure someone solved this problem, but I couldnt find it. If you come up with another solution before I start this project in the near future...I hope you share it.
Thanks Again,
The Holub Boat

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Bobby T.-26X #4767
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Post by Bobby T.-26X #4767 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:36 am

this is how i did mine...

Swim Handle

used a backing plate which was accessed by cutting two 1.75" holes.

Bob T.
"DaBob"
'02X w/ '04 90 TLDI
Last edited by Bobby T.-26X #4767 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Chip Hindes
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Post by Chip Hindes » Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:47 pm

Don't use screws alone. There is almost noplace on the entire boat you can trust an unbacked screw.

I don't believe in cutting holes large enough for a removable plate unless I intend to regularly remove that plate, say for storage, or like that.

For my boarding grab handle, I bought a relatively long one and backed it with fender washers. I was able to access the lower one from inside. For the upper one, I used a 1/4" x 18" electricians bit. Marked it for the most probable favorable exit location, then just drilled through the transom, through the packed in flotation foam, and it came out on the aft cockpit seat just to port of the captain's seat. Then with a hole saw, cut a hole for a standard size hull plug. Using a spade bit turning slowly, blasted aft through the foam until I hit hit the transom. I used one of those pushbutton finger pick up tools to add the fender washer, then stuck the nut in a socket on a long extension with some 5200 and was able to get it started on the stud pretty easily.

A little 5200 on the plug before you snap it in makes it waterproof.

I've done probably 10-12 fender washer-backed holes for deck hardware using this method. On the deck hardware, the hardest part is doing all the measurements so you can figure out exactly where the long bit is going to come through the liner. Through lots of trial and a little error, I've found the best method is to choose a location where the backside is wide and flat; That way it doesn't matter if the measurements are a little off.

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Tom Spohn
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Post by Tom Spohn » Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:34 pm

BWY offers this one. One call to them will get a recommendation on how to install it.

Handle

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Jack O'Brien
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Boarding Handle

Post by Jack O'Brien » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:27 pm

Do a LONG handle. Mine is 21 or 24 inches long. This lets you grab the bottom of it while still in the water, then slide your hand up it as you climb up. There is an access hole at the top inside of the transom MacGregor uses to reach the cleat bolts. Use that for the top handle bolts. Make a new hole at the bottom, same size, and fit a cover plug just like the one at the top. Fender washers work just fine. 8)

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ALX357
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Post by ALX357 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:20 pm

Image

visible behind the raised rudder .... this long handle is actually a stainless steel "handicap" shower handle from the plumbing section of Home Depot or Lowes', installed with just screws, three on each end, right into the fiberglass, bedded with 5200 adhesive, and covered with the included stainless steel finisher rings. Been on there for over a year now, no problems. Long handle is useful as another member mentioned, for reaching from the water while swimming, or from the ground on the trailer. Notice also the black flexible handle installed on the transom top portside (left) for using while standing up at the motor. Maybe overkill, but it is reassuring and handy to have lots of places to hold onto.
NOTE: the photo is not "flopped" -- the helm seat hinge has been moved to starboard to allow a better boarding path, and the backstay was moved to the portside due to the hinge and seat location mod. (another thing to hang onto also) The ring-prop didn't work out, and is returned to West Marine, but the stainless steel curving fins on the motor are still in use.
Last edited by ALX357 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bobby T.-26X #4767
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Post by Bobby T.-26X #4767 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:22 pm

i don't like "screws only".
need to have a backing plate/large washers and lock nuts to do correctly.

Frank C

Re: Boarding Handle

Post by Frank C » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:06 pm

Jack O'Brien wrote:Do a LONG handle. Mine is 21 or 24 inches long. This lets you grab the bottom of it while still in the water, then slide your hand up it as you climb up. ....
Agreeing w/ Jack, I bought a stainless shower grab-bar from Home Depot, 24 inches in length. I used fender washers and locknuts at the top, thru the factory's hole plug for the helm seat hinge. Down below, drilled a similar hole thru the liner over aft berth (probably similar idea to Chip's post) - need a Mate down there to hold a wrench on the locknuts.

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ALX357
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Post by ALX357 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:18 pm

screws only ....., like them or not, they are on there until removed with a screwdriver, and alot of prying and scraping off the 5200.

as long as the pilot holes are correctly drilled, the right size, and the gelcoat around the hole is relieved first.

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Dan B
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Post by Dan B » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:53 am

Until you figure it out, you could take the easy route as I did. I just hung a length of line (with knots every 6 inches) down from the rear cleat. The kids can reach it from the ladder to pull themselves on board. No holes, no $, and it does the trick for now.

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norbert
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Post by norbert » Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:11 pm

:idea: :idea: :idea: great idea. why didn't i come on this simple mac-like solution?

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Post by Paul S » Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:46 pm

Finally going to install a grab handle on our 04M. Since access is blocked where the top of the handle will go. I guess I will have to drill an access hole in the side of the splashwell. No biggie.. Now where can you find the hull plugs to fill the hole created?

Is the hull plug (or one similar) used in this mod (previously mentioned in this thread) Handle mod available locally (west, home depot, etc), or is it a Mac dealer item?

If there is a decent generic item, I will go for that too

Paul

Frank C

Post by Frank C » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:00 pm

You can find the plastic one-inch surface plugs at Home Depot and competitors. Look in the "orange drawers" on the hardware aisle. The large plugs ... I just asked the factory when I was ordering something more significant. They tossed a half-dozen in the same package, gratis.

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