Jun 24 2008

Marina Step Stool Maintenance: Sturdy and Slip-free

Published by under Boat Maintenance

The step stool to get from the Ericson 29 to shore was made of fiberglass, and quite frankly, a bit wobbly.  Also, when it was wet, I would often step straight to the dock.  Unless I was wearing boat shoes, fiberglass and water meant that I might slip.  Last year, a long-time sailor slipped in-transit from dock to her boat, hit her head and drowned quietly in the water.  So, I am a bit mindful.

Step 1: Make it sturdy


I looked underneath to determine why there was wobble in the stool.  Quite simply, there was no reinforcement.  Thin fiberglass was cast in this shape–and, the sides were not thick enough to have any resistance.

  1. From Home Depot, I purchased a single 2×4 fence stud.  It was $1.99.
  2. I measured across the bottom of the step stool–21 1/4 inches.  With the circular saw, I cut 2 pieces to that exact length.
  3. With the drill, I pre-drilled the holes through the fiberglass.  The wood on the 2×4 was really wet and I knew the screws would grab hold.
  4. Put the 2×4 into place, screwed the brass deck screws into place and voila!  The step stool was instantly more sturdy.

Step 2: Clean and Apply Grip Tape for No More Slipping

step_stool1.jpg This part was easy.  Using rubbing alcohol, I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned it.  The dirt came off onto the rag, the rubbing alcohol evaporated away, and the surface was clean.

Afterwards, I applied 2 2-inch strips of non-slip tape to the step stool on both steps.

Project Totals

  • $1.99 – Pine 2×4 stud
  • $0.50 – 8 1 1/2″ deck screws
  • $0.99 – Rubbing alcohol
  • $5.99 – 2″ Non-slip tape
  • 30 minutes of my time

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