In Part I of this post, I explained that two events triggered my desire to make getting on and off Sea Gem easier, and that the first step I took to achieve that goal was to install a lifeline gate.
As I explained in Part I, the reason I fell into the water while getting off the boat was because the step-stool we had on the dock had moved over the edge, and when I stepped onto it, it fell into the water and took me along with it. (Actually, the step stool was tied to the dock with a rope, so even though it fell over the edge, it stayed nice and dry.) Even when it was in the proper place, our old step-stool ($10 at Home Depot) was slippery when wet and never firm under foot. Clearly, we needed a new, more robust set of stairs that we could fix in place on the dock.
We settled on the Taylor Made 3-step staircase. It is high enough (24") to make boarding easy at high tide, has non-skid steps for good traction when wet, and it has an optional handrail (which we bought and installed) for extra security. Although the Taylor Made steps are much heavier and less prone to movement than our old step-stool, we made sure that it will stay put (and thus not tumble over the edge with one of us right behind) by securely lashing it to our dock piling:
Although our new staircase cost substantially more than our old step-stool from Home Depot, it is built to last and it makes boarding a lot easier and safer. Between the staircase and the new lifeline gate, getting on and off Sea Gem, while still not as easy as walking into a house, sure is less of an adventure.