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  #11  
Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

It might sound stupid but what about a stair helper like in the photo attached.
It doesnt look too big, only on for a few seconds so not too much power... Not quite as dorkey as a full chair lift.

(He doesnt need to wear the red bow tie!!)
http://www.billaustin.co.uk/page2.htm
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Handicapped Access to Salon?-billstair.jpg  
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 06-30-2013 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

But the tie's so stylish! :-)

I think the OP said his legs were the main problem.

I can see how you might use some U-channel to make brackets & use a come-along or other ratcheting winch to move a wheeled seat up & down.

Do you have room to use a portable wheelchair ramp to reduce the angle of entry?

Is there a way to mount a lift in the overhead, as some garages have?

Sorry - used to brainstorm with my customers when they had an interesting problem.
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

How about a climbing ascender with some running rigging. Just throwing out ideas.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

I let my husband read all of your responses (and thank you so much for your great advice!) and while he did say no to the bow tie (more's the pity), some of the links led him to more links which led to a battery-powered ATV winch which could possibly be hung from the mast. It has a 2,000 lb rating but he has emailed to see what the dead weight rating is.

We'll figure this out. In the meantime I'll keep the cooler full of beer so he doesn't mind being stuck in the salon.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

'stuck in the salon' with a 'cooler full of beer' watching the world drift by while someone else does the gruntwork - nice work if you can get it!

Personal mobility questions adressed to himself below - do not answer if you don't want to. It's easier to prescribe if we know what you can and cannot do.
(If you prefer, I am garybooks2012 at the googly commercial mail facility.)

Can you walk at all, or transfer to a mobility device? Trying to minimize the weight added to the boom, I am thinking of a snatch-block mounted over the hatchway with a cable running to a roller-furling-like winch, with a hand control you can use to raise or lower yourself. How do you get around in the cockpit & salon? How is your upper-body & arm strength? Have you looked at swimming-pool lifts?
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

Gary—his mobility is a moving target since this is a progressive disease. Right now he can walk a few steps with braces and a cane and somewhat longer distances with braces and a walker (we call it his Lamborghini). Beyond that he uses a manual wheelchair. His main mobility challenge now is lifting his foot, particularly the front of the foot, more than an inch or two. The standard step rise is about seven inches so we’ve built some inserts for our home steps to reduce the rise and we’re looking at ramps/lifts to help him manage at home. At the moment he does have the full use of his upper body and since the doctor has promised us this is a slower than normal progression of the disease, we’re hoping to keep the upper body for a number of years.

One of the blessings of a sailboat is that there are plenty of handholds, so he’s using them to aid his balance in the cockpit and salon. A swimming pool lift would be great but there’s not a whole lot of room in a 30-ft Catalina to start mounting lift systems. Ideally we’d like to come up with a more compact option, but it would also be ideal if it’s something he can use without assistance. My husband knows a whole lot more about the mechanical stuff than I do so he’s looking at your suggestions. We probably need to get the specs on all the lift options and start measuring the available space. Maybe there’s more space than I thought? I’m concerned about weight on the boom and I take it from your reply that you would be concerned as well.
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

OK, just bullring stuff:

Think of a hydraulic ram base at the bottom of the companionway. Its shaft when compressed is at bum height. Shaft extended is at top of companionway.
A simple, narrow, padded rectangular seat has one end secured to the top of the shaft.
Person hangs onto companionway rails.
As shaft extends the person can swivel the seat on the shaft to be facing aft so when shaft is fully extended he steps out into cockpit.

Understand what I mean?

Because the shaft rotates in the ram tube...

Sorry for non technical descriptions But could be made at home, almost.
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

What Mark described is available as a tub lift, operates off water pressure. Only problem is it would block companionway until parked somewhere.
N.B. weighs a ton in 'up' position because it's full of water, has to drain to drop.

What is the vertical distance to be covered?

Do you use a brace or splint to control foot drop?

Depending on your boom, you *may* want to reinforce it. I've read of booms being used as cranes to hoist dinghies, supplies, people & engines, so it is probably strong enough. My main concern is adding a minimum of extra weight and 'stuff'. Don't want anyone getting conked on the head, right?

An ATV winch sounds like a good idea - should be small & fairly weatherproof.

Right now, I'm tending toward the kind of thing you see on the Sea Angel copters used by Coast Guard & Navy rescue teams. Mount the winch near the base of the mast (should be strongest part of boat), ring on boom to attach block over companionway, whatever seat/sling works best. Hand control on a springy 'phone cord'. You might even use the rig as a boom vang to help shape your sail.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

kc, I think the simple solution might be a ramp, sit on your bum and use hand strength to control the slide down and the pull back up. Bulky, inelegant, but simple. Other than that, once you get into lifts and hoists you are probably best off looking for a local machinist or someone who is actively involved with active assistance designs to try figuring out something that will take up the least space and cost, and offer the best reliability. For instance, the electric lifts that lift a wheelchair up behind the bumper of a car, could just as easily lift a small platform in your companionway, turning it into an elevator. But you still might want to cut away any "bridge deck" that has to be stepped over from the cockpit, and then reinforcing to compensate for that.

Surely there are some organizations that would have contacts, not just to salesmen but to folks who can do some clever engineering as well?
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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?

Not a tub lift... but simpler...



Its just a plank of wood for him to sit on that he swings himself arouund on the way up... and it swings out of the way both in the up and down positions.

Whadda ya think?
Could make one yourself with bits from http://www.clark-engineering.com/engineering/hydraulics and a Jabsco pump from the Chandeler.
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 07-01-2013 at 05:31 PM.
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