I have already glassed in the second to bottom step up to the starboard bunk and I am just waiting on the front edge fill of the bottom step before glassing it in. I have shaped it, as with every stair set in the boat, the bottom step needs to be oversize so that it can protrude further into the hull than the one above it, which in turn means it is protruding into the companionway further than would be optimal, so as a result it has to be shaped so that it does not have sharp corners that can be bumped into with your shin or knee whilst still providing the shape required to create a safe footfall from above (it is always descending that requires the footfall). That done (again the trusty cardboard cut out helped me decide).

sb bunk step hatch space 1sb bunk step hatch space

And then, while I was fitting the newly cut out bottom step, a solution to a problem that I had long ago forgotten having not been able to think of a solution became plainly obvious. I have decided to have an escape hatch in the port hull in the bathroom, it is the only place in the port hull that I have to fit it. Escape hatches are very much optional, and lets face it, most people fit them because they make a nice feature of being able to see the water from inside the hulls rather than contemplate the disaster that an inverted boat brings, which is the real reason for having them. And of course, ideally you would have one in each hull because its not like you can plan which hull you might be in at that crucial disastrous moment. But I had been lost for where I might put the starboard escape hatch. And then while not really thinking about anything and certainly not where I might put an escape hatch I was squatting staring to fit the bottom step, get it level and mark it out, and staring at the shape of the space where the 2 upper steps would go and suddenly realized what would fit into it beautifully. The space is over the chamfer panel, which is where an escape hatch must be fitted, it cannot be in the hull as it is too close to the water line and cannot be in the bridgedeck as it is not as accessible, the angled chamfer panel is the perfect location and the top 2 steps into the bed are over the chamfer panel. The issue becomes that the steps must be firmly in place for safety in climbing in and out of the bunk but quickly removable if ever needed to be used in an emergency. This of course is a problem that I can solve, but of course I cannot glass these steps in and thank goodness I did not start from the top steps down rather than the bottom steps up.

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Paul