For a while now, we’ve considered easier access to My Way, and a side door being the most appropriate way forward. The plus side to a fully functioning access door, are being able to simply step aboard, the landing of larger fish but also access for the many anglers that are with wheelchair.
On deciding to proceed, we checked out the industry standards for wheelchairs, and noted that a 32” width to be the preferred size. This was to be our starting point.
Measured out, the left hand of the pic was a square cut, and to the right a 32″ width, the cut was made at an angle, a little unclear in the photo (hindsight would take a better one) the angled cut prevents the door from opening outwards.
With the bowed self draining deck, we were unable to cut the door flush to the deck. A step of around 1″ was soon realised. However we took this to a height of 2″ and a more pronounced visual step, and less of a trip hazard when exiting.
To support the weight of the door, a strong piece of 4×4 timber was cut and fibreglassed into position.
For the door, a supporting structure needed to be glassed into position to take the hinges, glassed with strong cross beams for added security.
Once in place, end caps needed to be fabricated from woven matting and then using pre mixed glass fibre, placed into position and then with additional matting for additional strength and security bonded to the post and door.
Next came the painstaking job of adding filler, and sanding using 240grit paper, to achieve the perfect fish required for a good job.
For hinges, we decided on the 2 large stainless steel square hinges. Then with space for 2 more and noting the weight of the side door, the additional strap hinges were acquired. Firstly the hinges were mounted to a section of post, so as to align all hinge and areas perfectly, before being fixed to the fixed post.
The door was then hung back into place and fixed into position. 4″ stainless screws ensuring that nothing was being left to chance. Finishing touches to the filler and sanding taking place soon after.
Followed by the top coat of paint, allowing the door to look a normal part of My Way
Finally we needed to cut the rail, and have some new legs fabricated for the door piece. This time with square feet and additional fixing points to the existing rails.
For the existing rails, we had end caps fabricated, with holes on to take a wire cable and tensioner for added security at sea.
An aluminium threshold on the step and the door was looking like it had been there from the start.
No job would be complete without some My Way humour, heres a video of Mark, examining the limbo approach to boarding My Way if we left the rail in place. Click on ‘Download File’ to view the video.
A friend of ours Neil K, remarked how he would need to limbo as he’s a little shorter than a few go us, so …. another video needed making. Click on ‘Download File’ to view the video of ‘Neil’ stepping aboard My way before the rail was removed.