I can see how this boat scared off a lot of people. Going out the pilothouse door requires nerve and balance. I think I’ve arrived at a solution. Here’s what we’ve got now.
When I started thinking about absolute must haves, it started inside. I can’t be afraid of the open door, and I want to be able to extend my head and torso out the door with complete confidence and security when underway in any conditions.
Next is ease of entry and exit to the dock. I’ll be living aboard in the frozen north. The cockpit is a lot like Mazurka’s, but deeper and smaller. There really isn’t an elegant way in and out. I’m fine with that. So again, we’re back to the pilothouse doors as the front entrance.
Working on deck aft of the pilothouse is reserved for special occasions. I’ll wear a harness. Working on deck forward of the pilothouse is unavoidable, but the more I think about it, the more I favour an overhead lifeline that I’ll always clip on to.
So, final solution. I’m going to have a pair of stainless rails fabricated for each side that extent outward from the top of the deck house outboard then vertically down to the deck. There will be one on either side of the door as far outboard as possible and providing an opening maybe 8-12″ bigger than the door. Bracing at the top, and appropriate hand holds and lashing points to accommodate heavy straps or coverings. Then I’ll rig permanent lifelines extending from the top of the new rail to the bow. Can keep them taut above the deck. Good roost for birds 😦
I’m going to keep the option of a solid outboard rail forward, but it’s going pretty far down the list for now.
Anyone know a good fabricator on the Trent Severn? I’m ready to roll on this. Will also work nicely with shrink wrapping to frame the entrance.