Putting a Stern Boarding Gate
in the Stern Pulpit

Climbing over the 24 in. high stern pulpit every time someone wanted to swim or board the dinghy should not be necessary. The ladies with shorter legs were always stating that access should be easier. With this in mind I decided to remove a section of the upper rail between the two vertical stanchions in the stern. First I ordered two internal eyes from Tops In Quality (original manufacturer of all the stanchions and pulpits). Once they had arrived I removed the mounting pad for my dinghy outboard motor. I then borrowed a tubing cutter with a heavy duty cutting wheel from my canvas man who built my dodger. In ten minutes time I had the section removed as can be seen in the two photos below.

Next I drilled the tubing and the internal eyes from the bottom with a #25 cobalt drill bit and then tapped the tubing as well as the internal eye with a 10-24 tap. The eyes were coated with 5200 and pressed into the tubing and the 10-24 stainless machine screws were used to secure them. The purpose of the 5200 was to provied a watertight seal so sea water could not get inside the tubing. The below photo shows the two eyes installed.

I reattached the outboard mounting pad and it can be seen in the photo below.



The next step was to make up the short section of lifeline to close off the opening when underway. For this I purchased 2 ft. of lifeline cable, a toggle terminal for the Starboard side and a pelican hook for the port side. I used the hand crimp terminals available from Johnson Marine. The photo below shows the completed installation.


Material Required:

2 each Tops in Quality internal stanchion eyes ($24.00)

2 each 10-24 x 1/2 in. stainless round head phillips machine screws (on hand)

3M5200 adhesive (on hand)

2 ft. of 3/16 in. 7 x 19 coated lifeline wire ($2.98)

Johnson hand crimp toggle terminal ($14.95)

Johnson hand crimp pelican hook ($36.00)

Total cost: $77.93

Tools Required:

Tubing cutter

Rat tail file

3/8 in. variable speed electric drill

#25 cobalt drill bit

10-24 tap and tap wrench


NicoPress tool

This project took a total of approximately 2.5 hours to complete.


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