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Old 23-03-2015, 20:18   #1
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Dock steps are expensive

Howdy Folks,

My wife and I have decided that we really need a set of dock steps for the boat. Our marina has floating docks and it's a pretty good step up to the deck of the boat. Not really an issue for either of us most days but it's been a problem for older parents, not to mention a drunk friend taking an unplanned swim this past weekend...

Anyway, I was absolutely shocked that the crappy plastic steps that everyone sells are so freaking pricey ($200+ for the 3 step versions). Which has me thinking about just making my own out of wood. Though the more I think about it, I've walked a lot of docks and looked at a lot of boats and almost, never see wooden steps. Is this because it's considered too ghetto for most marinas?

Other than weight, any big negatives with just making them myself and saving some $$?

Thanks,
EB
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Old 23-03-2015, 21:05   #2
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Our marina has several wooden steps, usually painted white or covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting. We use a milk crate with a board screwed on for stability. When my parents came for a week, I borrowed a neighbor's steps to make it a little easier for them. In hindsight, I should have asked one of the neighbors with wooden steps with a handrail.

The drunk friend would probably have to climb up the stern ladder, anyway.
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Old 23-03-2015, 21:11   #3
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

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)
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Old 23-03-2015, 21:14   #4
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

TREXX would look wooden and last longer. Pre- drill and use screws. Stain of choice and your done.
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Old 23-03-2015, 21:29   #5
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

We too were a little taken aback by the cost of plastic stairs. We decided to make our own and were very pleased with the result. Cost was about $80 bucks and $30 of it was for the paint. We bought a whole gallon of the nice paint and primer to match the boat from Home Depot. The other supplies were a 2x10x8 one 6' treated deck board, a 6' 2x4, and some stainless steel screws. Took a couple of hours start to finish. I'll try to attach an image or two. We routed joints into the steps to give it the teak look and plan on filling them with sealant to complete the look😀

Cheers
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Old 23-03-2015, 21:38   #6
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Here are some pics I think
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Old 23-03-2015, 21:39   #7
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

And another
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:35   #8
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

You can buy the risers pre-cut at any home center. That's the hardest part.

You can also go to a mobile home supply store and buy steps pre made with the railing.


Just be sure that if you design and make your own steps that the treads are properly supported. Simply screwing them into side rails isn't going to cut it. A sturdy handrail is important if you have more than two steps.
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:38   #9
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Looks great clipper. It's hard to tell from the picture but how did you attach the steps, are they blocked underneath and screwed then screwed to the runner?
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Old 24-03-2015, 07:07   #10
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

I made my own out of 2x6's and risers from home depot. I used 2x2's for the railings. The plastic/fibre glass ones are not only expensive, they also don't provide as much stability as wooden steps with a railing.

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Old 24-03-2015, 07:15   #11
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Hot tub steps are considerably cheaper. Usually around $100, no labor involved, and no splinters.
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Old 24-03-2015, 07:17   #12
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Here's a photo of my steps. The railing was added later. Disregard the clutter, I was in the middle of winterising.

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Old 24-03-2015, 07:19   #13
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Also, if you live near a Tractor Supply, you can pick up a horse boarding step for $55.
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Old 24-03-2015, 07:44   #14
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

Of course they're expensive. They're at WM and labeled "marine." What is so surprising?!?

Go at Ace Hardware and get a step stool, they're plastic and they fold up flat for stowage in your locker or lazarette.

Or, as suggested, make some.

One of our dockmates added PVC pipe to his homemade dock steps as hand rails for more safety.

Good luck.
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Old 24-03-2015, 08:04   #15
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Re: Dock steps are expensive

IKEA for the win!

BEKVÄM Step stool - IKEA

It's like 15 bucks

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