Project: Folding steps for the engine room

LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Rinker Custom Projects
My 370 engine room was built with a single U-shaped step bolted to the stringers.  Today I replaced it with two folding steps mounted to the bulkhead -- a much better solution.  It's safer and easier to use.  If they are in the way, I can fold them up.  And now I can reach into the bilge (which was not possible with the original step).  


In the first photo (forgive the leaves and mess) you see the original step (this is aft looking forward).  Normally, the fire extinguisher bottle is mounted to the bulkhead just forward of the step.  The new steps are on either side of the fire extinguisher.  Here's the product I used:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G6JYNC

If you attempt this mod, double-check what's on the other side of the bulkhead (in case a screw pokes through).  









Post edited by LaRea on

Comments

  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 5,932 ✭✭✭✭✭
     Very nice upgrade!
    2008 330EC
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Definitely.  The original step was way too low.  I always hated making that "leap of faith" to get my foot onto the step.  

    I used the new steps a lot yesterday.  Much, much better.  
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 3,224 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nice! Those steps remind me of climbing the mast on my dads sailboat. 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 6,254 mod
    Very nice.  I know my bulkhead would be a little too forward to do that.  But, my step down is a little higher and works ok for now.  I like that upgrade!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • davidbrooksdavidbrooks GermantownMember Posts: 811 ✭✭✭
    Step down.  I always thought that is what risers were for.
    It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere!
  • WillhoundWillhound Lake Simcoe, Ontario, CanadaMember Posts: 3,345 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Step down.  I always thought that is what risers were for.
    On my 270 they sure were. Bulkhead too far forward for those steps. Have seen and used them on trucks I drove as a younger man though.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What do you mean by the bulkhead being too far forward?  The hatch opening has an overhang on the forward side?

    I always liked the nonskid they put on top of the risers.  Not.
  • YYZRCYYZRC Georgian BayMember Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭
    On my 330 there is probably 16” of depth from the edge of the hatch opening to the bulkhead. 
    2008 330 EC on Georgian Bay
  • WillhoundWillhound Lake Simcoe, Ontario, CanadaMember Posts: 3,345 ✭✭✭✭✭
    At least a foot or more on the 270.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 6,254 mod
    LaRea said:
    What do you mean by the bulkhead being too far forward?  The hatch opening has an overhang on the forward side?
    Yes, I have an overhang.  My step is a bit different than what you had and it's not too bad.  Maybe when I get to your age I'll think differently :smile:

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • echandler1971echandler1971 Member Posts: 1
    I'm late to the show on this thread. I just have a question about  how the steps attach. Can one just use screws rather than bolts? I'm just wondering if the force of 200+ lbs of weight on a step could rip screws out of the fiberglass. It's an awesome idea I'm thinking of taking on myself, but just want to plan it out.
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hey, welcome to the forum. 

    I used four very stout screws into the fiberglass ... #10, maybe #12 but I'm not certain.  I'm 185 lbs on a good day, and if I bounce on the step it feels solid and safe.  

    Drill the right size pilot hole.  Too big, the screw might pull out under load.  Too small, the screw will bind and could shear off.  

    Might be a good idea to trim off the insulation under the mounting area.  I didn't, so there's just a tiny little bit of give when under a heavy load.  
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 14
    @echandler1971 - instead of Phillips head screws, consider using a lag screw with a washer, so you can tighten it with a socket instead of a screwdriver.  
  • GrahamuGrahamu Port Credit, ON, CDAMember Posts: 75
    Great idea. I have no problem getting in to the engine compartment but at my age and flexibility getting out is a problem, I will be looking behind the bulkhead to see what's there.
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Grahamu said:
    Great idea. I have no problem getting in to the engine compartment but at my age and flexibility getting out is a problem, I will be looking behind the bulkhead to see what's there.
    You need to do more boat Yoga
  • GrahamuGrahamu Port Credit, ON, CDAMember Posts: 75
    @Handymans342, I think I am pretty active at 80 years old so I doubt I'll be doing yoga LOL
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 14
    If anybody buys exactly the same steps I bought:  you might need pry bars to open the hinges for the first time so you can install them.  It's not a high-precision casting.   

    Also, the top edge of the step is kinda sharp.  It's great for traction, but about a month ago, I slammed my elbow - hard - right on the edge.  Then there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  
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