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Old 24-03-2015, 08:30   #16
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

We see lots of variations used. One thing to consider is a means of securing the steps espeically if they are 3 or more tall. We've seen a few nasty falls when the steps tumble off the dock.

At our summer marina last year, they required a nylon strap around the dock (fixed dock) to hold them in place.
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Old 24-03-2015, 08:42   #17
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

milk rate with a mahogany veneer plywood top that you seal with epoxy works. you can also look at synthetic deck lumber. if you are handy and have the tools.
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:08   #18
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Try Camper World or other RV supply place, they sell folding steps for around $25. They work just fine
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:12   #19
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
X2 on using a milk crate. Bit of rubber attached here and there cut from a car floor mat to prevent slippage and can be used to hold stuff when under way. If that's too redneck for you, hardware stores should sell a plastic step of the kind that is used by vertically challenged people to reach high cupboards in their house at a reasonable price (i.e. without a "marine" price tag attached)

Initially we had one of those folding kitchen step thingies but then found a simple step stool with 2 steps from Home Depot I think around $8. Then we found a used set of steps on our dock for $100 and bought them. The home Depot ones are stowed in the space underneath the 'proper ones' well of the way and get taken if we go away and are expecting to need something with us.

more expensive now but still available Easy Reach by Gorilla Ladders 2-Step Plastic Project Stool Ladder-PL2-13 - The Home Depot
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:42   #20
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

like the op said: make sure they are secured to the dock in some way .. also the nice thing about the plastic steps is you can get a nice handrail which is another good thing to have. i once slipped on my steps due to ice so make sure you have non skid on them. needless to say that falling from dock steps could easily be deadly.
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:48   #21
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Boat Fender Step | Boat Side Boarding Ladders ‚ÄĒ Yacht Candy

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Old 24-03-2015, 09:58   #22
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

I see wood ones all the time. nicely done they look fine. Put a little non skid on them.
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:59   #23
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Lots of great info here. Boatmap, I've always liked the fender steps particularly since many can be deflated for storage. My concern is the strain on the stantions. Our IP doesn't have the type of toe rail you can tie through, so we'd be forced to use the stantions which worries me about long-term usage problems. I'm also thinking they might be tricky for older parents to use when coming to visit, though granted I've never actually used one.

Any thoughts around those two potential issues?
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Old 24-03-2015, 10:08   #24
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Wal-Mart has a 2 step ladder (Rubbermaid) for around $20.00...
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Old 24-03-2015, 10:10   #25
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

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... I've always liked the fender steps particularly since many can be deflated for storage. My concern is the strain on the stantions. Our IP doesn't have the type of toe rail you can tie through, so we'd be forced to use the stantions which worries me about long-term usage problems. I'm also thinking they might be tricky for older parents to use when coming to visit, though granted I've never actually used one.

Any thoughts around those two potential issues?
1. I think you might have gotten the drift by now that your favorite "marine" store should be ACE Hardware, IKEA or Home Depot. Most of us have learned that years ago, even when new to boating.

2. Stanchion loads with fender steps are not an issue for stanchions, because the load placed on them by wrapping the lines around them is in shear. The lines are pulling sideways against the through bolted stanchion bases, not the top of the stanchions. This is not an issue.

3. Your older parents MIGHT have trouble negotiating a single fender step. That's why there are so many OTHER answers already provided with solid steps, folding steps, wooden steps and others readily available in less expensive varieties.

4. Your IP most likely as all other IPs, has a HUGE distance from dock to deck, because IPs have high freeboards. Get some steps, real ones as suggested, that are high enough to make it easy to board. Get fender steps for yourselves if you want, but maybe not for guests and maybe not for your home dock. They also make fender steps that are not inflatable, but flat plastic, easy to stow and IMHO much, much easier to use, same "hang by line" concept.

Good luck.

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Old 24-03-2015, 10:21   #26
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

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1. I think you might have gotten the drift by now that your favorite "marine" store should be ACE Hardware, IKEA or Home Depot. Most of us have learned that years ago, even when new to boating.
Not sure how to take the tone of your message overall but will just take it at face value. You're right and we'll likely go the plastic step stool option to save some $. I was hesitant to go this route due to the ease of them slipping and sliding during boarding which is why I like the wood option. But I guess a strap or other easily removed anchoring option is probably worth the extra hassle due to the major price different.

Just like exploring all the options since part of what I like so much about CF is recommendations from a variety of different perspectives.
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Old 24-03-2015, 10:26   #27
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Here's one I built for a friend. The box is a water-tight storage compartment, and the dockstep can be made reversible by simply removing the hand rail and turning it the other direction (only so the carved figurehead would be visible). The steps have a white vinyl nonskid. The owner wanted a nice entry, with plenty of stability. Cost a bit more than $200, though. Sometimes you only get to make a good impression once. The boat's name is AEOLIS, the god of wind, hence the figurehead. I used the biggest blowhard I know as my model (it's hard to hold a mirror and chisel at the same time).
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Old 24-03-2015, 10:31   #28
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

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Not sure how to take the tone of your message overall but will just take it at face value. You're right and we'll likely go the plastic step stool option to save some $. I was hesitant to go this route due to the ease of them slipping and sliding during boarding which is why I like the wood option. But I guess a strap or other easily removed anchoring option is probably worth the extra hassle due to the major price different.

Just like exploring all the options since part of what I like so much about CF is recommendations from a variety of different perspectives.
I don't like step stools. If you get off balance and cross load them they'll break, if not properly screwed down, they slip they slide. They have a very small foot print. For regular use I recommend proper stairs, either purchased or built.

But of course, you know your usage better than I do.

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Old 24-03-2015, 10:35   #29
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

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Not sure how to take the tone of your message overall but will just take it at face value.
There was the in there. Tone? Hardly. Whenever, as a boat owner, home owner, car shopper or shopper in general, I find anything priced in an exorbitant manner, I do comparison shopping. That's all that was meant.

A majority of the "marine" stuff is way out of whack. You can get stainless fasteners from ACE Hardware at a fraction of the cost of WM, for example. There are TONS of "boaty things" that I find elsewhere. You just have to to look around. That's all.

The different "perspectives" were, essentially, all the same: find steps somewhere else that cost a lot less.

Great ideas, though, all of 'em. Also great ideas can be had just looking around a marina, although if you're in the north, you're probably still snowed in. Hope it melts fast for you. But you're in Texas, right?

Good luck.
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Old 24-03-2015, 10:39   #30
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

I made a set from Home Depot fake trex. (fake fake wood? Whatever the non-trex brand stuff is that HD had in stock.)

Cost all of $30 or so, with $5 going for screws. Even engraved the boat name in it with a router. Looks good, is quite heavy (so it doesn't move around), and is open base. The marina says no storage in steps, they need to be open. We're also required to dock bow-in... Dunno why.
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