Catwalk. An important, often underestimated accessory. If in this article we explain how to choose the right one for your boat, here we illustrate three “goodies” sent to us by our readers. Real low-cost shenanigans to improve, stow better, and even create catwalks!
THE CATWALK YOU PUT WHEREVER YOU WANT….
With this simple expedient, Sandro Gualierotti transforms an ordinary “multipurpose” walkway: “The resting walkway,” he explains, “is attached to the interlocking stanchions by means of pipe stops for electrical installations. The same interlocking is used to stop it at the “u” at the base of the ladder, and in the case of high pontoons it can be hooked to the stern pulpit. On the other side of the walkway, again interlocking and using the same system, wheels are attached“.
…THE EXTENSIBLE ONE…
Attilio and Maria, owners of a 14-meter Amel Santorin, present their ingenious solution to lengthen the gangway: “We have an Amel Santorin, 14m, on which we installed two “boomerang” davits for the tender. Because the latest generation of dinghies tend to be bulkier than those of the boat’s era (1993), mooring aft and putting the dinghy in the water often presents a gap, does not reach the dock, and can be a problem for some. Many friends with Amel and with the same problem have lengthened the gangway, taking it to the workshop, but since the gangway also serves as a bathing ladder, hanging externally on the broadside and removing the top board, we did not want to add unnecessary weight and steps, which would go under water. And so we simply added an aluminum extension hinged to the end of the footbridge, to be installed when someone is afraid to jump onto the pier. If in case of undertow the extension rattles, with a strop it is held up by attaching it to a crane“.
…AND THAT DO-IT-YOURSELF BOWMAN.
Do you find yourself needing to moor forward and the structure of your pulpit makes it difficult for you to descend? Look at what this gentleman has come up with to remedy the problem. We Italians are not devotees of bow mooring, which is much more practical in challenging weather conditions. When we get back to the harbor, we notice that all the boats are moored aft and we comply, even though there is a strong wind and the risk of crossing is high. One question that holds boaters back from entering the berth bow is the classic “Then how do I get off?”: if the bow pulpit is wide and open the problem does not exist, vice versa things get complicated. Strolling around the docks of Genoa’s Old Port, we noticed an old Marchi (designed by Vallicelli) moored at the bow, equipped with a bow gangway of clear homemade design. We approached and Gianni Ravizza, the boat’s owner, was happy to show us how his gangway works to be used for easy descent when mooring in the bow. There is nothing like a series of photos to explain the usefulness of an item that is simple and inexpensive to make, and that will save you from having to ask those moored near you for permission to board the boat in order to get off the dock.
HOW THE DO-IT-YOURSELF CATWALK WORKS
1. There are two eyebolts welded to the bow mirror plate and another, central, perpendicular eyebolt to which a cotter pin is tied.
2. A stainless steel tube is taken, drilled near the two ends, and a cotter pin is put to act as a block in one of the ends.
3. You insert the tubular steel module inside the eyebolts.
4. When it reaches the end of the stroke, the tube should protrude a little from the transom to accommodate the width of the gangway.
5. Now insert the steel pipe into a ring attached to the wooden walkway, properly sectioned to accommodate the system.
6. To the central eyebolt is attached the cotter pin…
7. …which will clamp the tube inserted into the catwalk ring.
8. Et voila, ready to descend comfortably from the bow! Should you decide to take advantage of this “technology” as well, don’t forget to set up a wheel system at the end of the gangway, and a ring (or two) that allows you to also use it as a traditional stern gangway and raise it with the help of a halyard. You may also decide to give the walkway a coat of paint.