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Old 26-06-2016, 09:36   #1
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Found a possible candidate boat

Morning all,

Yesterday we viewed a 1986 Hatteras aft cabin and a 1986 Chris-craft Catalina 426 aft cabin. Would appreciate some ideas on stairs.

The Hatteras was ruled out within just a few minutes because there was oil under the port engine in the bilge, there was considerable evidence of water intrusion around the windows, the galley was a bit tight for two people to be in at the same time, and there was no dinette area at all.

The Catalina was a fine boat. The owner has taken great care of it, upgraded too many things to list here, and it's truly turnkey ready. My concern is about the dogs and my mother-in-law when we anchor out or dock at a floating dock. The boat is otherwise perfect for us and only needs to interior redecorating.

The owner of the Catalina has a cocker spaniel that he just puts over his shoulder and carries down the ladder to the swim platform. That won't work with our 95 pound labradors (yeah, they're a bit chunky) or my mother-in-law (not so chunky).

The Catalina's dingy storage is the type that clamps onto the swim platform and leans up against the stern. If the dingy storage was a winch to a cradle on the hard top or forward deck, to problem. We could put the dogs in the dingy before lowering it over the side. Unfortunately, that's not an option on the boat, as is, and we don't want to pop the $16,000 for a winch and cradle.

Here is a photo of an example of the model:

Would it be possible to shift the eisenglass and panels so the transom door was on the port side of the stern, remove the existing ladder, and have someone custom build stainless steel railings and teak steps from the transom door to the middle of the swim platform? That would make entry much easier for everyone. Has anyone done this? Would it look stupid... or ruin the Catalina lines? Input appreciated.

Thanks.

John
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Old 26-06-2016, 09:51   #2
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Re: Found a possible candidate boat

Sure, why not. I'm not sure why that would be easier than just leaving the transom door where it is but building a solid ramp or easy stairs with railing though?
Another option would be two sets of stairs. One on the port side from the swim step to the aft deck. Railing from there to the center steps (2?)which could even be molded glass with railing.
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Old 26-06-2016, 11:03   #3
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Re: Found a possible candidate boat

Train the labs to use the ladder you would be surprised how quick they will pick it up. On my Gulfstar we had a very similar setup. My Goldens would climb the ladder and use the swim platform for their business. It was great as the poop would go between the slats and the other was washed off by the waves. However make sure that while on the boat you feed them dry food only. They also climbed a full size ladder while we were in the shipyard and actually had to push the ladder away from the boat to keep them onboard.
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Old 27-06-2016, 08:23   #4
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Re: Found a possible candidate boat

Thanks for the feedback. Based on further review, it seems like the best options are to either install a cradle and crane on the fore deck, walk the dogs to the fore deck, lead them in the dinghy, then use the crane to lower them and the tender to the water. An expensive proposition just to make it more convenient for the doggies. ...or plan to dock at a marina, no anchoring out, when the dogs are aboard.
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Old 27-06-2016, 10:06   #5
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Re: Found a possible candidate boat

Because I also read Pintrest regularly, being a dog and boat person, I was drawn to some of the Pins on dogs and dog safety. One of them was a doggie ramp that can be lowered to the water for picking up our pet(s) from your dingy or the water-being labs I know how much they like the water. They are able to swim to the ramp and walk up it to the deck w/o too much trouble (as for your mother-in-law, I fear this may not provide an appropriate solution-then again, depending on your relationship, you can always have her "walk the plank in reverse Lol. If you find this of interest or wish to check it out, go to Pintrest and check out the dog aboard section (use the search icon and enter dogs aboard). I don't really need it with my 12# mini-pin but it sounds like it would cost a lot less than $16,000 and be more conveniently used and stored too. They also have some pretty hefty harnesses that might allow you to "crane" your does aboard but I think that might be a PITA. Good luck with your dogs. Fair winds and following sea. Bruce
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Old 27-06-2016, 17:07   #6
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Re: Found a possible candidate boat

I'v seen doors that lead directly into the aft cabin on several boats. You might be able to modify a direct entry at that point and not have to climb a ladder. I orriginally looked at boats that were of the flush deck variety because I wanted a stand up engine room. Ended up getting a raised pilot house with both side entries and just two steps up from the swim platform thru the transom. Another option might be to extend the swim platform so that stairs can be built to get you and the pups where they need to go.
Good luck!
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Old 28-06-2016, 06:08   #7
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Re: Found a possible candidate boat

Not so easy to solve, John. We've had big dogs aboard -- a Pretty Good Pyrenees, a couple big Golden Receivers -- and found it's best to just buy a boat that will work for the dogs, without creating more hardships than you can stand at 0300 at anchor when a dog's gotta go.


Yes, some dogs can be trained to deal with ladders. But some can't. And the downhill run can be sorta dangerous to a big dog when the boat's bobbing.


Yes, some dogs can do their "bid'ness" on the boat. We didn't have much luck training that, presumably because we'd done the "gotta have grass" training too well previously.


Yes, you could use the dinghy as a lift... but then you'd always be having to lift the dinghy back on board before loading and then re-deploying...


But in the grand scheme of things... a swim platform, a transom door, a cockpit, and a cockpit-level entrance... are all better. In our case, we also now have molded-in stairs to the flying bridge, and that works whereas a ladder would not (assuming we'd want the dogs near us while underway... yep, we do).


And remember the possibility of midnight trips to shore -- and back -- in the dark...


IOW, I'd suggest that's not your boat.


Try a search on "cockpit motor yacht" and see what you think about some of those.


That said... it might be possible to fashion a circular staircase from the swim platform to the party deck...


-Chris
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Old 28-06-2016, 10:17   #8
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Re: Found a possible candidate boat

Why not two sets of Fiberglass stable steps and some railing? (Steps black/railing blue) Also, can your dog fit thru one of those aft cabin ports? If so build a ramp inside for the dog to walk down? Bigger port?
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