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post #11 of 17 Old 10-27-2015
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Re: folding mast steps

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Originally Posted by BMLipiec View Post
Halyards can catch on the fixed steps when the boat is rolling a lot while raising or lowering sails. You just have to keep a bit of tension on the lines to keep them from whipping around.
Indeed. You can also lace some lightweight twine from each step to out to the shroud and back to the next step. Ends up looking like a fine white zigzag pattern and keep the lines from getting caught.

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post #12 of 17 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: folding mast steps

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Originally Posted by NortenoSailor View Post
I was sailing on a newer Dufour and was impressed with the composite mast steps and so took a picture thinking I might want to install these on my PS37
When you say composite, do you mean the steps were nylon/plastic, or some sort of aluminum alloy?
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Re: folding mast steps

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
This is what the ends of the ratline steps look like.



I measured the spacing between the shrouds for the top and bottom steps. I divided the space between them for the other steps, then figured their length by proportion. The steps are 1" tubing and the ears on each end of the tubing are 1-1/2 x 2-1/2 x 0.090 rounded on one end with two drilled holes. The walls of the long bottom step are thicker than the others as it was a little too bouncy when thin. Cable clamps hold them to the shrouds. I had some trouble finding clamps for my 9/32" (7mm) standing rigging, but when I found them, I bought a box. A cap nut covers the exposed threads and serves as a locking nut. I made up the parts and had the welding done by another person.

There is a teak step bolted to the fourth step down to make it comfortable for me to stand there for a while with a radio and compass to con my wife below on the tiller through coral.

I actually think my method is too complicated. Were I to do it again, I'd just heat up the ends of the tubing with a torch, smash them in a smooth jaw vise, round the ends, and drill the holes. It would be a lot simplier.

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Bill, what is the vertical spacing between the rungs - 18" or so?
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Re: folding mast steps

big fan of the fixed steps. but depending on the main cover you have they can interfere.

My fixed steps start above the main cover .... and I have two folding steps down low so I can flip them out and climb up to the fixed steps.




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Last edited by bristol299bob; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:16 AM.
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Re: folding mast steps

We have folding steps in both boats. All the way to the top. On the top the small boat has two steps so you can share your weight evenly. On the big boat I had them add a second set of even steps on the top so that I can get my head well above the mast top, thatís helpful but can be dangerous so you need to be careful.

The folding steps may need some. Encouragement to open. Carry a small tool bag up with something to persuade the steps. If Iím doing any significant work aloft I climb but also have a harness attached to a halyard. Wife at the mast winch. I climb and defend under my own power. It have this backup. Canít do that solo obviously.

I canít see having no steps. I watched a very experience me fellow try to use an ATN, looked like a a PITA.
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Re: folding mast steps

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Originally Posted by kbbarton View Post
Bill, what is the vertical spacing between the rungs - 18" or so?
Yes, 17-1/2". I figured out where I wanted the top one to be and where I wanted the bottom one to be. It thought the spacing should be about 18", but it worked out to be a little smaller. I measured the distance between the wires at the top step and at the bottom step then set up an Excel spreadsheet to proportion the ones in between so that they would not bow the shrouds apart or together.

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Re: folding mast steps

OSHA specifies 10-14". Mastmate is 17" and most folks wish it was less. Just sayin'.

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