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What is this clip thing?


Jimbobs

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Morning everyone and please excuse the ignoramus level query!

 

I’ve seen these chrome clip things on a number of narrowboats and I’ve always wondered what they’re for. 
 

So, please enlighten me - what are they?

 

Many thanks. 
Jim

4794C3CD-99F6-4892-BD8E-3CDE54BB097D.jpeg

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15 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

It is a folding step to allow you to get up onto the roof.

 

And very worrying they are too, being cheaply cast from brass. 

 

Cast brass is hardly the strongest or most reliable material to make a highly stressed component from, and every time I use mine I'd almost certainly be going in the cut should it break just as I put my full weight on it. This thought makes them feel very risky and exciting to use! 

 

 

 

Edited by MtB
To finesse a point.
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Wow - I’d assumed that they were some sort of historic throwback that was there to hang a lamp from or something. Not sure I’d want to support a whole human with it!

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21 minutes ago, Jimbobs said:

Wow - I’d assumed that they were some sort of historic throwback that was there to hang a lamp from or something. Not sure I’d want to support a whole human with it!

 

The only 'throwback' is the fact they are made from brass, the 'original' ones used on salty water boats are  stainless steel.

 

stainless steel large folding boat step 103mm - GS Products

 

or

 

This type :

 

Stainless Steel Folding Mast Step (marinescene.co.uk)

 

 

 

I'm sure some narrow boaters will have realised the problem and have purchased steel ones.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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3 hours ago, MtB said:

 

And very worrying they are too, being cheaply cast from brass. 

 

Cast brass is hardly the strongest or most reliable material to make a highly stressed component from, and every time I use mine I'd almost certainly be going in the cut should it break just as I put my full weight on it. This thought makes them feel very risky and exciting to use! 

 

 

 

I once caught one on a lift bridge and it didn't break, the side of the boat bent a bit though so they do seem to be fairly robust.

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

The only 'throwback' is the fact they are made from brass, the 'original' ones used on salty water boats are  stainless steel.

 

stainless steel large folding boat step 103mm - GS Products

 

or

 

This type :

 

Stainless Steel Folding Mast Step (marinescene.co.uk)

 

 

 

I'm sure some narrow boaters will have realised the problem and have purchased steel ones.

If they ever made a Mad Max canal style they would definately use that one Alan!

 

image.png.d0ab82ff75ae80d09c061c4243920b34.png

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Mine almost sank my boat once as the centre rope caught under it while descending a Nene lock.  I was operating the guillotine and it all happened very quickly. Fortunately it released just as the boat reached an alarming angle but it left the step a little skew with the spring missing.

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We had two pairs of those foldable steps on the sides of our boat (front and back), and it never occured to me that they might break under my weight, but they didn't get used much as I rarely ever got onto the roof except when single handing locks. However, they did come in handy for suspending fenders when moored against a concrete edge. We never left the steps folded down when cruising, just in case they got caught on something, or in case I banged my leg on one, when walking along the gunwhale sidewalk.

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer
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There is another kind. Basically triangular with rounded m profile at the top, and having a small ledge. Brass. no moving parts.

 

 

989483417_Stepup.PNG.77d0810739461b2658ae83238387d121.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
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To give us some confidence, has anyone recorded one breaking due to a human ? Mine didn't break, but I did discover that they were held on by aluminium pop rivets ! Now replaced with bolts.

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1 hour ago, Higgs said:

There is another kind. Basically triangular with rounded m profile at the top, and having a small ledge. Brass. no moving parts.

 

 

989483417_Stepup.PNG.77d0810739461b2658ae83238387d121.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes. I have seen those but, not being foldable, they permanently incorporate the two problems I envisaged when leaving the foldable type folded down.  They also seemed a bit small, which would be a problem for me as I always boated wearing big heavy boot type shoes.

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2 hours ago, robtheplod said:

If they ever made a Mad Max canal style they would definately use that one Alan!

 

image.png.d0ab82ff75ae80d09c061c4243920b34.png

This looks similar to a coconut shredder, similar to a tool used by Asian cooks around the world to extract the flesh from a fresh coconut. I'd go for one of these any day, given its functional look, non-skid corrugations and use in the kitchen. Easy to brush off the towpath mud, after a spell of locking, before using it as a culinary tool.

I never find my breakfast coconut and rice appam tastes the same made with packet coconut, do you? 🤔

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Just now, David Schweizer said:

 

Yes. I have seen those but, not being foldable, they permanently incorporate the two problems I envisaged when leaving the foldable type folded down.  They also seemed a bit small, which would be a problem for me as I always boated wearing big heavy boot type shoes.

 

Non are really ideal. Don't think I ever bothered using either type. It always seemed much quicker to just use the handrail, haul up and roll onto the roof. But I like the simple brass one for decorative reasons. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Higgs said:

There is another kind. Basically triangular with rounded m profile at the top, and having a small ledge. Brass. no moving parts.

 

 

989483417_Stepup.PNG.77d0810739461b2658ae83238387d121.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

We have that type on the working boats and I'm forever smacking my knee on them. 

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2 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

We have that type on the working boats and I'm forever smacking my knee on them. 

^^^^^^ exactly this - first thing I did after buying my last boat was removing these steps

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5 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

We have that type on the working boats and I'm forever smacking my knee on them. 

 

That's not good. A couple of no-votes for the solid brass job. 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
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Years ago (about 18) a random non boater bloke by a lock in Leicester explained to me that these fittings are where you put your boathook when you want to pull the boat in to the side. 

 

I did tell him they were steps but he wasn't having any of it. They are for pulling the boat in to the side with a boathook. 

 

 

Edited by magnetman
Edit to remove racist sex references
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8 hours ago, MtB said:

 

And very worrying they are too, being cheaply cast from brass. 

 

Cast brass is hardly the strongest or most reliable material to make a highly stressed component from, and every time I use mine I'd almost certainly be going in the cut should it break just as I put my full weight on it.

Perhaps the brass variety are not intended to be used - just decorative ?

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9 hours ago, MtB said:

....., and every time I use mine I'd almost certainly be going in the cut should it break just as I put my full weight on it. This thought makes them feel very risky and exciting to use! 

 

 

 

I'm quite sure I would end up in the cut before you Mike, always use mine and not snapped.....yet.

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