A Step for a Westerly Fulmar by Roger E. Best

There is no doubt that the Westerly Fulmar was one of the finest boats ever produced by the company. Fulmars are great performers in all conditions, the accommodation is practical, well made and pleasant to live in at sea and in harbour, but, always a but somewhere, getting up and down the steps required a technique. Someone at Westerly thought a little step, offset to starboard, would be adequate to allow a safe descent into the cabin and for regular users, using the correct technique, it was, unfortunately when a visitor came aboard it was another story, “Mind the step and take care” was the advice. Unfortunately a few visitors over the years didn’t hear or misunderstood my warning, missed the step and took a painful tumble into the saloon and so, after about 17 years of ownership, I decided to do something about it. A friendly local shipwright found a handy teak off cut and a slither of matching nonslip material, removed the old step, after salvaging the supports and in a twinkling of an eye, I now have a splendid, full width, safe step which blends in with the original joinery perfectly and does not require a special technique to use. Why didn’t I do that 17 years ago or more to the point, why didn’t Westerly build it in from scratch? Bit of a mystery!