Transom Steps on Catamarans

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by brian eiland, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I’ve seen all of these ‘grand stairways’ to the sea that incidentally most often offer no handholds to grab onto….fine at the boatshows, but not at sea. I much prefer to walk down my more narrow, indented steps with something to hold onto, or lean against rather than fall over the side. Besides I don’t need a big width of steps to stroll down side-by-side.

    While attending the Annapolis Sailboat Show and took a couple of photos of these two different sterns that illustrate my point. Which one would you rather negoiate, particularly at sea?
     

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  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Yah.... your steps looks very practical, easy and secure to use. . Only defect is that they takes up storage space. Everything is a compromise on boats.
     
  3. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    The handhold is good. But if you've ever tried to climb aboard one of these things they also need an extension that folds down into the water. Makes it much easier to climb out.
     
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    You know who made a great little invention for climbing up out of the water onto your boat?

    Chris White

    I saw one of his older boats about 6 months ago. There was a little block put into the trailing edge of the rudder right where you need it to be in order to step up from the water to the transom steps.

    The guy's a bit of a Nazi about his pictures, so I can't link for display here. Take a look at his site for a comment on it:

    http://chriswhitedesigns.smugmug.co...6090_w8TxgV/4/736858756_JD54A#736778982_8tUvQ

    I am not sure that the block does good things for turbulence at the rudder's trailing edge, but definitely handy for climbing up.
     
  5. catsketcher
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Blow me down

    Hey Cat - I have a little step on the back of my rudder as a step - just like Chris White. It does hum some times. I can't for the life of me figure out why it does some days but not others. It certainly makes it much easier to get back out of the water. The step is a 100mm by 60mm shaped piece of Nomex glued onto the trailing edge about 300mm down the back.

    As for Brian's take on the steps out to sea - strangely enough going onto the steps out at sea is rarely done on Kankama. I don't tend to go down there at all under sail - so for me step design should be orientated around swimming, kayaking and dinghying.

    The steps with the deep edges would be pretty tricky in the dinghy. I like to come up the side of Kankama and throw stuff up whilst the person in the back gets out. Hard to do on the steep sided boat.

    I would never have a cat (or tri or mono for that matter) without steps if at all possible. It is easier to get onto Kankama than my little 6 metre trailer cat as it has a vertical transom. I went on a 38ft tri the other day without steps and it was such a trial to get onboard from the dinghy. A cat with good steps is a plaything - this tri was so much harder to frolic around.

    These type of steps seem a little unusual to an Aussie eye. That is probably because our water is warm and we like to use the steps for swimming a lot. Then again Robin Chamberlin has a few designs that look a little like the deep channel version.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  6. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Blow Me Down Too

    My Dad integrated a cool step on each side of the transom hung rudder on his wide sterned mono, they acted as ventilation fences also, & get this for coolness, the ladder each side of the rudder was integrated as the rudder stops!
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    On many boats a simple fold down step...like a foot step used on masts....on the rudder is a great way to aid boarding for swimmers and could save your life if you fell overboard. Traditional Greek fishing boats have them built into the stem for this very reason..
     
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  8. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    What is catamaran? It is a boat that consists of two staircases joined by saloon floor.
    :D
     
  9. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    That wide stern in the right hand picture looks like it may have a fold down step molded in or is it something else? you definatly need the first step below the water on any boat. I like the clear cockpit in those Chris White cat,especially the simple crane for lifting the tender into the cockpit,the best place to carry it.
    Steve.
     
  10. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    No Alik, that is Condomaran !
     
  11. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    We have 'condomarans'! This is what average customer wants...
     

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  12. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    I'll have a red one please !

    With a lap pool :D

    RR
     
  13. pool
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    pool Junior Member

    Also, a cut-out on the inward side can be very useful when boarding from a dinghy, particularly in a choppy anchorage
     

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  14. cavalier mk2
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    It is also a good idea to be able to "close the door". Seals, sea lions and otters love stairways. A folding maststep on the Nicol's transom gave otters enough of a leg up to clamber on board before I tied it shut. Then there are 2 legged varmits to consider.....
     

  15. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    That's one of the first things I thought of as well. Too easy to board.
     
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