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Double doors on my wide beam fore and aft are really annoying?


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As the title says - having to use two hands to open and close the companionway doors all the time is really annoying to the point of distraction...or invention.

 

Is there any system that opens both doors if either one door is moved - I'm thinking of a small hydraulic system that links the doors, so that when one door is moved, that movement is transferred to the other door so that they operate on tandem. Could a hydraulic steering system be adapted? 

 

Any thoughts or ideas? Please no naysayers.

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Hydraulics would be slow, pneumatic would be better, either would be expensive . Have a look at the mechanical system for opening the firebox doors on steam locos, whatever you do I fear that it would be something to bang your head on. 

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I was thinking of small hydraulic cylinders mounted low - on the outside of each door - the  flexible pipe linking the two doors could be under the door sill or even under the deck - the push/pull pipes reversed on each cylinder to compliment the doors opposite travel - pretty simple to imagine, but I've no experience with hydraulics so sizing etc. is a bit of a guess - although the force needed to open the doors is very small.

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2 minutes ago, alistair1537 said:

I was thinking of small hydraulic cylinders mounted low - on the outside of each door - the  flexible pipe linking the two doors could be under the door sill or even under the deck - the push/pull pipes reversed on each cylinder to compliment the doors opposite travel - pretty simple to imagine, but I've no experience with hydraulics so sizing etc. is a bit of a guess - although the force needed to open the doors is very small.

Nice to daydream but the practicalities on a boat are maybe in cloud cuckoo land. My present boat has  a one piece Mahogany front door, which unusually opens inwards. We have to remind leaving guests to pull it open, not push. 

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It is obviously possible - many shops, for example, have automatic doors so you don't even have to open one door.

 

I just find it a sad comment on the state of our race when we find it too difficult (really annoying,or inconvenient) to even open the door on our boat.

 

 

?

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And the naysayers are also in lockdown I see...

 

To be clear, these people all crank their engines over by hand, because to invent an electric start would be too ambitious, or too difficult, or too much laziness...

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4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

It is obviously possible - many shops, for example, have automatic doors so you don't even have to open one door.

 

I just find it a sad comment on the state of our race when we find it too difficult (really annoying,or inconvenient) to even open the door on our boat.

 

 

?

Probably right, I have spent some days in the shed making brass and mahogany light switches for the boat as the old ones didn't match the ambiance of the decor. The old ones were the most annoying things in my life at the time *sigh*

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4 minutes ago, alistair1537 said:

And the naysayers are also in lockdown I see...

 

To be clear, these people all crank their engines over by hand, because to invent an electric start would be too ambitious, or too difficult, or too much laziness...

I suggest you send p.m. to Bizzard - he will have a simple solution involving tin cans, pieces of string and candle wax.

 

bloody hell, I have 3 double doors in my house and have no difficulty opening them - why is it so difficult on a boat?

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We have double doors on one of our boats, (sliding 'patio-door' on the other boat) but I don't understand why you need to use 'both hands'.

 

Left hand full of shopping bags, dog, or ropes ? use Right hand to open one door, and then use the same hand to open the other door.

 

Simples.

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5 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

bloody hell, I have 3 double doors in my house and have no difficulty opening them - why is it so difficult on a boat?

Usually you're carrying something onto or off the boat, if you're able to use just one hand to open both doors simultaneously, it would save having to juggle what you're carrying, co-ordinate the closing of the leaves of the door, and so on. 

 

I can imagine having one handle on the outside of the outer door - you grip it and pull, the doors both open together and you can step into the boat.

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1 minute ago, alistair1537 said:

I can imagine having one handle on the outside of the outer door - you grip it and pull, the doors both open together and you can step into the boat.

 

 

Are you saying that you have 'outer and inner' doors like an airlock ?

That is a different proposition entirely.

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Are you saying that you have 'outer and inner' doors like an airlock ?

That is a different proposition entirely.

Sorry my bad. I did write that clumsily - I have double doors, as in French doors - not as in airlock type doors - I should not have used "outer" door at all. Just plain door.

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I have to say I agree with some others here. Having to open the double doors to get in and out has never struck me as a major issue during the past 15 years of living on my widebeam. If it's really that much of a hassle why not just replace the double doors with a big single door? I wouldn't do it personally because it will never swing fully open but it might be better for you.

 

I use the bow doors as my main entrance because it's easier than lifting the heavy sliding hatch to get the rim over top of the stern doors. The back edge of the hatch goes over the top of the doors which is great for security, but makes using the stern doors more difficult. I wouldn't mind a smoother way of lifting the hatch up and dropping it down.

 

 

Edited by blackrose
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15 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Gas strut ?

 

 

 

Yes I'll probably get around to doing that one day...

 

Would I need a gas strut on both sides? The hatch is about 3ft 6in width.

 

How would it slide with struts attached?

Edited by blackrose
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17 minutes ago, blackrose said:

I have to say I agree with some others here. Having to open the double doors to get in and out has never struck me as a major issue during the past 15 years of living on my widebeam. If it's really that much of a hassle why not just replace the double doors with a big single door? I wouldn't do it personally because it will never swing fully open but it might be better for you.

 

I use the bow doors as my main entrance because it's easier than lifting the heavy sliding hatch to get the rim over top of the stern doors. The back edge of the hatch goes over the top of the doors which is great for security, but makes using the stern doors more difficult. I wouldn't mind a smoother way of lifting the hatch up and dropping it down.

 

 

reminds me of a residential widebeam that used to be moored in Bristol marina.  The front door was always padlocked from the outside.

 

The bad bit was that the forward cabin was the child's bedroom.  Someone had not done a risk assessment.  When I pointed it out to the owners they looked very shamefaced and fixed it straight away.

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22 minutes ago, blackrose said:

lifting the heavy sliding hatch to get the rim over top of the stern doors. The back edge of the hatch goes over the top of the doors which is great for security, but makes using the stern doors more difficult.

My sliding hatch clears the top of the doors? I have installed a 5 lever deadbolt lock in the door that shoots up to secure the hatch. Pics if you need?

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2 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

reminds me of a residential widebeam that used to be moored in Bristol marina.  The front door was always padlocked from the outside.

 

The bad bit was that the forward cabin was the child's bedroom.  Someone had not done a risk assessment.  When I pointed it out to the owners they looked very shamefaced and fixed it straight away.

 

Why does it remind you of that? None of my doors or hatches are locked from the outside and nowhere have I said or implied that.

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6 minutes ago, alistair1537 said:

My sliding hatch clears the top of the doors? I have installed a 5 lever deadbolt lock in the door that shoots up to secure the hatch. Pics if you need?

 

Thanks but I do quite like the security of the lip of the hatch going over the stern doors. A friend of mine has something like your arrangement and it just doesn't seem as secure. 

Edited by blackrose
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4 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

Thanks but I do quite like the security of the lip of the hatch going over the stern doors. A friend of mine has something like your arrangement and it just doesn't seem as secure. 

But what locks that into place?

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Is there enough space for a single door to swing? The reason for twin doors on a narrowboat is so they can fully open back against the bulkhead without going outside the profile of the boat. On a wide beam, things may be different, depending on dimensions.

Jen

 

Or replace them with automatic Star Trek sliding doors?

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Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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