Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

A forum for discussing boat or trailer repairs or modifications that you have made or are considering.

Moderators: kmclemore, beene, NiceAft, Catigale, Hamin' X

Post Reply
User avatar
Inquisitor
Captain
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Inquisitor » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:36 am

Image

My creative project juices started back in the late 2000's when I first saw this drawing by Currie. It was before he actually started the build and I really love the finished version as well. I had just found this forum before purchasing my boat and was amazed at all the creative spirits on the site.
Image

My fuzzy plans back then included closing off both the sides which means for access to the rear berth, the ladder has to become the doorway. The first version went in, in 2010 and served me well.
Image
Now... it just collects dust in a shed. I can't think of a way now, but maybe I'll find a way to repurpose it.
Image

The basic features of the 2010 version were:
  • I removed the teak treads of the two SS down posts and removed the SS posts.
  • I felt that because of the stoutness of their mounting top and bottom, that I must retain them to maintain structural strength. However, I moved them out one-bolt hole on the traveler track on both sides and reversed the posts so that the tabs extended outward. I knew I could take advantage of these for my "side" projects and improve their strength for free.
  • This gives a massive doorway into the rear berth of nearly 24 inches. I find ingress and egress to be far superior being able to crawl out using the battery box top.
  • Make the step heights consistent. All are 12" risers whereas the stock post varies by several inches.
  • I also wanted larger treads so that it is safe and as easy to descend like stairs. I think they're called boat stairs... go figure.
  • They had to be extremely solid - I can't tolerate creaks and groans from my wood projects.
  • Gas shock to help lift and hold the stairs in the upward position.
  • Match the interior "Rosewood" of the existing trim of the boat.
Flash forward ten years and the projects plans have changed. Inqism-05 includes moving the Head back to a position where the :macx: has it. It also encroaches into the floor space as much the rear starboard seat used to. Thus... the starboard SS post had to be moved back in to its original space and the width of the staircase needs to be reduced.

2021 version changes.
  • Reduce the width to about 19 inches.
  • Lighten the design. I think the old one was heavier than it needed to be. The down position was "stopped" by the legs actually landing on the bottom legs. Luckily, they always stayed nice and flush, but I think that was more luck that planning. In the new version, the legs on the top moving piece will not extend past the middle step and the side pieces will integrate stops so they rest on the SS posts in the down position.
  • Lighten the color. I like a lighter interior and I'm changing all the wood-work to a light Teak coloration.
Image

Image

Image

This one will be a fairly quick project... weather is good and the boat has to be in Florida at the end of the month!

More to come,
Inq
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

Idiotfool
Chief Steward
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:44 pm
Location: Homestead, FL

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Idiotfool » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:50 am

Neato. I sort of envisioned your original steps as being retractable in that they'd slide together to be compact at the height of the ladder arms. Somewhat telescopic, but with bigger steps. Just tossing that out there, since you like to build things that others can only dream of...

User avatar
Inquisitor
Captain
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Inquisitor » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:11 am

Idiotfool wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:50 am
Neato. I sort of envisioned your original steps as being retractable in that they'd slide together to be compact at the height of the ladder arms. Somewhat telescopic, but with bigger steps. Just tossing that out there, since you like to build things that others can only dream of...
Awfully kind of you. But I only see myself as somewhere be rough carpentry and house finish carpentry level. Certainly not anywhere near furniture grade. Pictures lie! If you saw my stuff up close... well... you might have another opinion. I wouldn't put this stuff in my living room. I learned a lot from Kevin in another thread about painting, staining, and spraying polyurethane. JimmyT clued me into Kerfing and I'm a Kerfing fool now. Like that hot sauce commercial... I put that s#!+ on everything. I'm trying to get better. :)

On the proposed design, I'm not exactly picturing what you're saying... but... I think it is very important for the steps to interfere in the gang-way. If they folded to the side, out of the way, I might just break my fool neck falling into the boat. Also, any "folding" mechanism is prone to wear and creaking. Did I mention... I hate squeaks and groans. :wink:

As you can see, the template is fairly simple and can be made easily with a table saw, scroll saw and sander. I'll give accurate dimensions later... but I really need to be the guinea pig with some use time on it. It is about half the weight of the last one... so I want to make sure I stress test it before publishing.

Inq
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

Idiotfool
Chief Steward
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:44 pm
Location: Homestead, FL

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Idiotfool » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:17 am

Telescoping ladder, either with nested pipes, a track system, or something else. The two retractable steps bottom out, but are easily retracted to their max height. Kind of like this:

Image

With actual steps

Image

With a piston, these could be set to auto retract, I think, but wouldn't ever be set to block the gangway, so I don't know that they fully meet your requirements.

User avatar
kurz
Captain
Posts: 988
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:07 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Zürich, Switzerland, Europe

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by kurz » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:17 am

if you want to swing up thisImage it is not possible as it is still too long. Maybe there are different models anyway. But when I checked it out I came to this. You could dismount it completely. But this was too much hassle to me becouse you had to store the whole ladder, not place for this and if you are in the cockpit in night maybe you don't see there is no ladder...

User avatar
Inquisitor
Captain
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Inquisitor » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:13 am

kurz wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:17 am
... if you are in the cockpit in night maybe you don't see there is no ladder...
My thought exactly.

In a later project I plan to use the tri-colored strip LED lights in the cabin... viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26638&start=30#p333325 red at night, white when desired, any other color for goofing off. I think they can be cut every three LED's and work. I want to put a 3 portion on the bottom of the steps to shine down on the tread of the step below. That way the treads will always be lit. Even when up. The treads are easily visible from the cockpit when up now.
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

User avatar
Inquisitor
Captain
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Inquisitor » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:38 am

Idiotfool wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:17 am
With actual steps

Image

With a piston, these could be set to auto retract, I think, but wouldn't ever be set to block the gangway, so I don't know that they fully meet your requirements.
Interesting concept! It might be safe enough... your foot would definitely hit the step as you come in (in the dark). I think the "early" hit and it starting to drop under the weight might really unbalance someone (at least newbe's). Also... with my current design it was easy to mount a fan flush on the back-side. I took the hinged battery compartment base off one of these and wired it into the 12 volt system. It moves some air!

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail- ... n/22630911
Image
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

Idiotfool
Chief Steward
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:44 pm
Location: Homestead, FL

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Idiotfool » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:17 am

Inquisitor wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:38 am
Idiotfool wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:17 am
With actual steps

Image

With a piston, these could be set to auto retract, I think, but wouldn't ever be set to block the gangway, so I don't know that they fully meet your requirements.
Interesting concept! It might be safe enough... your foot would definitely hit the step as you come in (in the dark). I think the "early" hit and it starting to drop under the weight might really unbalance someone (at least newbe's). Also... with my current design it was easy to mount a fan flush on the back-side. I took the hinged battery compartment base off one of these and wired it into the 12 volt system. It moves some air!

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail- ... n/22630911
Image
Interesting, indeed, and I was curious how you were going to pull it off but, clearly, I misunderstood. Now that I have an M, my previous thought of wraparound galley with a countertop step still seems the best for my needs, but with your head relocation (that's something I never thought I'd type), your needs are very different.

Nice info on the fan. That is something I may incorporate, myself, perhaps at the front hatch. Hmm...

C Buchs
First Officer
Posts: 455
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:49 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Camas, WA; 2001 26X w/ 2000 Honda 50

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by C Buchs » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:06 am

Inquisitor wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:13 am

In a later project I plan to use the tri-colored strip LED lights in the cabin... viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26638&start=30#p333325 red at night, white when desired, any other color for goofing off. I think they can be cut every three LED's and work. I want to put a 3 portion on the bottom of the steps to shine down on the tread of the step below. That way the treads will always be lit. Even when up. The treads are easily visible from the cockpit when up now.
The RGB (Red/Green/Blue) lights are OK. To get white light, you just turn on all three and it's not great. If you really want white, I recommend getting RGBW that includes a white light.

Jeff

User avatar
Inquisitor
Captain
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Inquisitor » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:39 am

C Buchs wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:06 am
The RGB (Red/Green/Blue) lights are OK. To get white light, you just turn on all three and it's not great. If you really want white, I recommend getting RGBW that includes a white light.

Jeff
Jeff,

I remember reading that they're only so-so for white light. My only expectation for them will be mood/indirect lighting. :)

I haven't gotten any yet, so I'm not too sure what you mean about "it's not great". What do you think about...

The M has a lip around the hatch on front and sides and I was hoping that if I use the strip "indirectly" and bouncing off the beige color interior jell coat, it might give the warm light like incandescent bulbs. Do you think even with the so-so white, it bouncing like this will smooth/warm it up?
Image
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

C Buchs
First Officer
Posts: 455
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:49 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Camas, WA; 2001 26X w/ 2000 Honda 50

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by C Buchs » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:49 pm

I think that will work nicely. LED strips are used a lot like this behind crown molding to give a room mood lighting. RGB will be fine for mood lighting, but if you want usable light, I would go with RGBW. The cost difference is marginal. Most of the kits come with an IR remote and can connect to a wifi network.

You could set them up to work with voice control. Use your phone to set up a wifi network and you can have Siri or Alexa do the work.

Jeff

User avatar
Inquisitor
Captain
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: Inqism-08: The Grand Staircase

Post by Inquisitor » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:31 pm

C Buchs wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:49 pm
I think that will work nicely. LED strips are used a lot like this behind crown molding to give a room mood lighting. RGB will be fine for mood lighting, but if you want usable light, I would go with RGBW. The cost difference is marginal. Most of the kits come with an IR remote and can connect to a wifi network.

You could set them up to work with voice control. Use your phone to set up a wifi network and you can have Siri or Alexa do the work.

Jeff
I hadn't run across versions with four LED's. I'll look it up.
Thanks,
Inq
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

Post Reply