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Old 09-12-2019, 08:46   #1
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Companionway steps as you get older

Looking for advice on monohull models 40-45 ft where the steps of the companionway are easily managed by someone with medium knee/mobility issues as I get older. Many pictures (and boats I've been on) show extremely steep companionway steps with large rise, shallow treads and hand holds only on 1 side that are often quite a reach! This could be an issue for us, as we intend to be liveaboard for 6-8 months a year. Any advice? Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:43   #2
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

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Looking for advice on monohull models 40-45 ft where the steps of the companionway are easily managed by someone with medium knee/mobility issues as I get older. Many pictures (and boats I've been on) show extremely steep companionway steps with large rise, shallow treads and hand holds only on 1 side that are often quite a reach! This could be an issue for us, as we intend to be liveaboard for 6-8 months a year. Any advice? Thanks.

===


You're not going to like this answer but your situation is exactly the reason that many former sailors (including myself) have "graduated" from sailing to power boating. In our case it was because of my wife's chronic back problems but now there are storm clouds on the horizon with my knees. My best recommendation, which you will probably not like, is to get a so called fast trawler, aka lobster boat, which is mostly on a single level. Much as I enjoy the flybridge on our Grand Banks trawler, there will come a time when the climb up the steps will become an issue.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:47   #3
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

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Originally Posted by whiskybuoy View Post
Looking for advice on monohull models 40-45 ft where the steps of the companionway are easily managed by someone with medium knee/mobility issues as I get older. Many pictures (and boats I've been on) show extremely steep companionway steps with large rise, shallow treads and hand holds only on 1 side that are often quite a reach! This could be an issue for us, as we intend to be liveaboard for 6-8 months a year. Any advice? Thanks.
Moody 45DS?
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:51   #4
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

I was fortunate. When we bought our boat 22 years ago, it had, and still ahs!, great handholds with superb steps.


Yes, there are boats that don't.


Simple, and not smug, answer: don't buy one of those.


Good luck, happy hunting.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:52   #5
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

3 wide, easy steps on the companionway of the Outbound 44 and 46.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:35   #6
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

Well, you’ve bumped up against another of the hidden dichotomies/incongruities of our sailboat world – boats (at least stock sailboats) designed for 50 year-old bank accounts and teenage athleticism. We have seen the same issue with our smallish ODay… only solution for us is additional handholds. Am placing them above and below the companionway slide both sides, as well and additional ones in the galley… But when knees go, you just have to be patient – I was lucky and mine have healed quite a bit after a bout with the orthopod’s scalpel, but I had nearly a whole year when I was more or less “locked” out of my boat… am not yet ready for a power boat, but the Admiral is already asking me to look and see what is available – we’re uncomfortably north of seventy, but not ready for defeat quite yet…
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:51   #7
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

I would second the Outbound 44 or 46.

I purchased my Cooper 416 exactly for this reason when my father was alive and sailed with me. Descending down a steep companionway was becoming burdensome and dangerous for him as he aged. The companionway on the Cooper is similar to the Outbound.

Also, some of the newer "deck salon" style boats have an easier access via the companionway.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:27   #8
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

Do not buy a boat that has no properly placed handholds (unless it is feasible to add such handholds).
And if you sail in bumpy seas also check the handholds in the saloon - in the modern, wide, boats it is common to have wide open space where there is nothing to catch in a roll.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:43   #9
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

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Originally Posted by whiskybuoy View Post
Looking for advice on monohull models 40-45 ft where the steps of the companionway are easily managed by someone with medium knee/mobility issues as I get older. Any advice? Thanks.
My 2005 Hunter 46 has regular stairs with a hand rail very similar, albeit a little steeper, to the ones you might have at home. They are easily managed by myself and my small, short legged dog. Happy to send you a photo next time I am on the boat this weekend.
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:13   #10
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

Try going down the stairs backwards (facing aft), and you will be much more secure. Also, make sure you have a least one good handrail.
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:25   #11
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

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Try going down the stairs backwards (facing aft), and you will be much more secure. Also, make sure you have a least one good handrail.
+1. This. Works very well and is simple to get used to. But still not all boat companionway steps are created equal. Ours is 5 steps on the ladder to the salon floor from the cockpit. I just helped a friend move his J boat 35C and he has only 3 steps to the floor. Quite a difference in step height. Look for one that works for you and your crew and has good hand holds as Jack says
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:34   #12
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

99% percent of people who are liveabords six months of the year it seems almost always do so in a Marina, the boat is their affordable Florida home, they donít cruise.
If a realistic look finds you in that majority, then a power boat is most often a much better Marina Florida Winter home.
Sailboats only really make sense if they are covering long or relatively long distances.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:14   #13
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

Love the Beneteau Sense for this. Also like the separation of noisy from sleeping.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:29   #14
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

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99% percent of people who are liveabords six months of the year it seems almost always do so in a Marina, the boat is their affordable Florida home, they donít cruise.
If a realistic look finds you in that majority, then a power boat is most often a much better Marina Florida Winter home.
Sailboats only really make sense if they are covering long or relatively long distances.
I'm sure when you are hanging around FL it looks like this, but your 99% number is just wat off. Most cruisers who do 6+ on type cruising are actually cruising, not sitting in a marina - Bahamas, Carib, S. Pacific, SEAsia, etc.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:44   #15
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Re: Companionway steps as you get older

The Passport I had had nice wide, non steep companionway steps. With Treadmaster on them.
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