|Yes, it's a relatively simple bend and drill and tap and fasten job, but it has to support me and my big feet.|
Nonetheless, some decisions can be deferred no longer. The new main is approaching completion, and I already know that the new Tides Marine batten cars, along with the more robust fabric of the sail itself, will add considerable height to the sail height when lowered above the boom. I needed to stretch fully to unshackle the halyard, to secure the cover and other such putting-away jobs. My wife is a full foot shorter; her only option has been to climb atop the pilot house roof. As the new main will make this situation even more out-of-reach, it's time to get a leg up with "tabernacle steps".
Alchemy's mast sits in a 1/2 inch aluminum plate flange affair about 1.2 metres high. It's massive and is tied into the main beam that crosses the boat under the deck in front of the pilothouse, which in turn is tied into the stringers via secured piping. Throw in the 11 5/16th inch stays and shrouds, and we don't worry about losing the stick much. The mast has a heavy steel pin through it allowing it to pivot aft over the pilot house, which is handy for doing canals or changing mast top lights or other maintenance that might require a bosun's chair. But the tabernacle is strong enough to have two steps secured to it which will allow us to reach every part of the "stack", even in heavy weather.
Should be a nice place to hang coiled lines, too.
|I can see my pilot house from here!|
|Partially future garage sale, mostly boat stuff, the drift is shrinking gradually.|
|The elderly bench grinder has just about had it.|
|I was going to make a jig, but that wasn't necessary with vises and clamps and dowelling to make nice curved bends.|
|I made marks on the plastic coating in grease pencil to indicate where the bends needed to be.|
|Eh, a failed experiment is also instructive.|
|The blue piece of particle board scrap has a rounded corner that was perfect for bending the angles I wanted.|
|Not so bad with the plastic off.|
|The second one is in. This will allow Mrs. Alchemy, who is just over five feet in height on damp days, to reach the new main headboard and to secure the cover.|
If I find I'm really missing the full turn on the port side mast winch, I can rebend that step slightly or I can weld an extender onto a winch handle "starsocket" or even weld up a custom crank. I could also even take that trend and move it up so the extrusion stand-off for the winch supports it, bringing that lower attachment inward, which gives me the clearance. So if this is an issue, I've given myself some options.