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Old 25-01-2018, 09:49   #16
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

The easy solution is use 1/2" or 3/4" exterior plywood for the riser and the treads. Depending on the needed height you might cut an access door in one side. Two sheets should be more than enough assuming 4'x4' for the sides and back and 4 treads or less. I would also use 1x1's at all joints rather than gluing or screwing plywood to plywood. You can secure to the dock with a few 'L' brackets bolted to the sides and screwed to the dock on the inside of the unit. Seal the exposed plywood ends and paint the exterior to protect from weathering. You could go with 1/2" lumber for the treads but I think plywood is strong enough unless you need a very wide staircase.
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Old 25-01-2018, 10:00   #17
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

If you are going to screw 'em to the dock, why blind yourself with science? 3/4" ply cut with a jig saw for the wings (flanges), 2x2 stock for cleats, standard tread stock, all from the local lumber yard, a bucha deckscrews. You'll be done in less than 2 hours. Total cost: Way, way less than a hunnert bux.

You want a fancy dock box? Same procedure, just a little more material and time.

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Old 25-01-2018, 10:06   #18
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

You guys seen this?

Folding dock steps
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Old 25-01-2018, 10:33   #19
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

I use steps very similar to those that Jimbunyard has sketched. An addition or rather an omission that make mine different is that I have left out the front face of each step so that my steps double as a dock box wherein I store all my old dock lines, less a neighbor need double up my lines in my absence.

A word of caution; mount your new steps such that your boat can heel over at the dock without coming into contact with your steps.
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Old 25-01-2018, 10:35   #20
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

If the vertical distance isn't too great for the geometry, perhaps a gangplank/ramp would be in order. Steps can be a real hazard, especially if it's a floating dock.
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Old 25-01-2018, 11:01   #21
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

I have had very good feed back from our two small Bichon Frise pups after I secured indoor outdoor carpet to the top platform (which is twice the size of each tread) as this carpet helps them make the leap on and off without joining our fenders in the water between the boat and dock.
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Old 28-01-2018, 21:47   #22
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

We can see that with a little thinking out of the box, different solutions are numerous.
In the 80s I bought a 36 ft.1929 Liggett from Palmer Johnson in Sturgeon Bay. It was eye candy for my tavern. A mahogany salon step eventually became utilized elsewhere. Three steps with brackets with chrome pegs to hang onto chrome hdw with holes. Mortised headers with no risers. I used them on other boats, vans and pickups. This last summer I forgot them up against my motorhome entry whilst moving it. Alas I had five nice pieces of old weather monogamy!
One day at a rest area I reconstructed with galvanized drywall screws and gorilla glue which I always carry in the rv and truck. Like brand new , well almost, structurally better actually. Pretty good stretch for 1929 steps.
On another occasion I was able to scrounge mockup plywood boxes from a maritime school. They were used as helm configurations. After the kids had grown tired of playing with them I repurposed them. Boxes, no hinges , no latches, all nailed together. They became tool boxes and shop boxes. Lasts a lot longer than cardboard. One of them found its way onto our Columbia as a step in the vberth, it just fit there ! It doubles as a box for whatever use is needed. Some were 1/4 inch the step is 3/8 I believe. Another box holds sand paper and other abrasives. I peeled the tops off several and just added a dowel for a handle, bingo . Slapped some resin in the joints inside and out. A few have lasted 30+years .
Incidentally 1/4 can work if you construct it with thought to continuity in structural components in multiple supports. Never say never, oops I sad it !
Youíd be surprised with some of the fine lumber used in cast off pallets. Keep it simple...
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Old 28-01-2018, 23:10   #23
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

What a lot of thought, ingenuity and effort to replace a few milk crates!

Actually, since we live nearly all the time at anchor, when we do go alongside we board using a single step hung from the toe rail just under the lifeline gate. Simple and inexpensive to make, very quick to get installed and stows in a tiny compartment when we leave again.

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Old 28-01-2018, 23:16   #24
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
What a lot of thought, ingenuity and effort to replace a few milk crates!

Actually, since we live nearly all the time at anchor, when we do go alongside we board using a single step hung from the toe rail just under the lifeline gate. Simple and inexpensive to make, very quick to get installed and stows in a tiny compartment when we leave again.

Jim
I agree alot of effort. I use the below, it works and stores easy.
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Old 28-01-2018, 23:43   #25
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Exterior ply has the same glue as marine ply, so you dont need marine ply.
Can you get 1/4" exterior ply?

Also the cheaper exterior ply often warps when exposed to water.
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Old 29-01-2018, 08:04   #26
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
I agree alot of effort. I use the below, it works and stores easy.
A visit to a big-box home improvement store (or WalMart) will get you a wide range of folding, portable options.

When I bought my boat I found out at the last minute that the steps we were using at the seller's dock were borrowed; I'd need my own. I ran out an bought the cheapest three-step folding steel step ladder I could, just as a temporary measure. I've been using it ever since. This will be its sixth season. For some reason, despite almost year-round exposure to salt water, the thing just won't die!
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Old 29-01-2018, 08:19   #27
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Re: DIY plans for dock steps?

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If we can build small boats with 1/4" plywood, steps should be possible...
This theory is somewhat flawed. The distribution of weight over area is grossly different. A hull distributes the weight evenly over every square inch of hull.

A step distributes weight over every square inch of the foot print. In addition plywood boats are frequently reinforced with fiberglass and resin.

Three thoughts:

1) Will the marina allow a home-made contraption to be screwed to the finger pier? (Many won't. Most won't without permission, and those that do don't typically want 'homemade". Similar rules regarding dockboxes at many marinas.

NOTE: Many and MOST are not "ALL". DSome do, hopefully yours does.

2) The treads are going to flex alot unless your' stringers are very close together.
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