Another project, doghouse step


Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2016
Punxsutawney Pennsylvania
So as much as I love our 26 H/T one of the quirks I didn't like was the cramped walkway between the rear helm and dog house step. Our boat originally had a factory rear helm which reduced that space to a few inches, as you can see from pic when we first brought it home...


so while Chris dug into repairing mechanical and electrical I removed , redesigned and built a new rear helm, which helped a lot...

but after a couple years of use I was still not happy about tripping over the step corner or stubbing my toes, so I head scratched and drew up new options. Since I have no fiberglass skills (yet) I knew my best option was a 2 piece set up with wood and sheet metal.
I wanted a hatch cover that allowed access to the battery switches and fuel valves without removing it. I settled by building one out of teak scrap wood I salvaged from old locker covers and other projects. A simple drop bolt makes it easy to remove any time we need further bilge access. I will watch for heat retention issues and may cut some vents into it if needed.

Then the second piece was built out of sheet aluminum (I scuffed it with a drill and wire wheel brush to give it the swirled finish) with angle pieces welded around top edge, with the step tread attached to it via screws from underneath. There are 2 pins in the front of the riser that drop into holes drilled into the bottom hatch cover to keep it in place, and snap over latches holding it to the doghouse. I was supposed to have stainless vent covers for the sides but they haven't arrived yet, so will add the side vents when we get them. Chris cut out the front shamrock with a plasma cutter. It is filled with mesh I spray painted green.
debating on doing another aluminum riser and using the plasma cutter to cut out the full shamrock logo....well, maybe next year....

And best yet... now I have a great walk space between the doghouse and rear helm! Mission accomplished!

now I need to redo the floor...
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