Yacht main deck to pilot house to fly bridge stairs

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Project by builtinabarn posted 02-19-2009 05:09 AM 3146 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are pictures of a stair case on a 120 foot Broward yacht (Cortina) a few years ago. I’m posting this job because by far, it was one of the most challenging projects I have have endured and am very proud of of the challenge and difficulty I over came. Of coarse I did not make the metal banisters, but I worked hand in hand with that guy on that project also. Most of the stair construction was made of laminated 1/4” thick solid cherry, epoxied and clamped in place (layer by layer). The larger “flat” areas were 3/8” bendable ply with cherry veneer applied over that . The caps are all 8/4 with an interior dado to fit over the body (sides) of the stairs, all pieced together, epoxied and shaped by hand with a series of hand saws , planes and scrapers. The handrails are made with the same method only of 12/4 cherry stock. Oh ya, mortises on the underside to except the banisters. The stair treads fit into dadoes ( the stair treads were made from the deck carpenter and made of teak with holly inlays). Although I did not build the treads, I did cut splines in them to fit in to the dadoes and I installed them. The deck carpenter gets all the easy jobs( he just makes the treads). I have to make his work fit with zero tolerances of any gaps and loose fitting joints.

-- Built in a Barn Bob

13 comments so far

View lew's profile


12498 posts in 3992 days

#1 posted 02-19-2009 05:19 AM

Beautiful Job!!

I hope you received a hefty sum for this work because- in my opinion- someone has waayyy toooo much money.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Sean's profile


156 posts in 3852 days

#2 posted 02-19-2009 05:23 AM

That is true craftsmanship. The one thing I’ve always really fantasized about with woodworking has been to do the carpentry on a yacht.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View builtinabarn's profile


98 posts in 3622 days

#3 posted 02-19-2009 06:04 AM

To comment on both of your reply’s. In the yachting industry , the people buying these boats have Bill Gates kind of money. Money is no object. Most of these people pay to have a staff of 5 live on their yacht and enjoy it. Then the owners go on their boats a couple of times a year for a few days. It’s a pretty sad thing.

As far as my pay: $20 /hr @ 50 hrs a week X 4 weeks of build time = I got ripped off as an employee. They pay me $4000 (before all the deductions, taxes etc.) for a month of work and they probably charged $300 an hour to the customer for my time spent ($300 X 200 hrs = $60,000). Oh well that’s life.

I do truly miss that job. Those years of learning and knowledge were priceless. But I really enjoy building whatever job comes my way, in my little shop in my barn, at my own pace, answering to no one but the dinner bell.

-- Built in a Barn Bob

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3629 days

#4 posted 02-19-2009 07:00 AM

Wow, those are beautiful stairs! and boy, did you get ripped off on the labor, but as you said, thats the way life goes I guess. We gotta feed ourselves. Imagine the shops we could make with the kind of money it takes to build and maintain even a modest sized yacht? Dare we dream, fellow Lumberjocks?

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View savannah505's profile


1825 posts in 3823 days

#5 posted 02-19-2009 07:11 AM

Really great work, and yes I feel for you on the pay scale, been there done that scenario. Nothing can pay the experience you gain though, and the sense of accomplishment, those with the big bucks could never know. Generally, they can’t do squat, thats why they hire people like you, and too many of them were born with the silver spoon in their mouth already. I’ve been around these kind of people most of my life, sad to see. You might like to see the staircase rail I made in steambent cocobola wood. You did a great job to be proud of here.

-- Dan Wiggins

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4117 days

#6 posted 02-19-2009 02:16 PM

great looking stairwell bob , i can relate as i did the same type work at trident shipyard in tampa . the pay stunk but it was fun to get away from the residential work for a while . we built 120 to 180 footers there . nice work looking forward to seeing your projects .

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4455 days

#7 posted 02-19-2009 04:20 PM

Exquisite work! I’d love to see the rest of the yacht.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View yosoybyrd's profile


23 posts in 3770 days

#8 posted 02-19-2009 05:09 PM

Stunning… like everybody else i would love to see more of the boat especially if you had a hand in it.

-- William Byrd- WAR EAGLE!

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4060 days

#9 posted 02-19-2009 05:23 PM

Some of the most stunning woodworking that I’ve view in my live time has been on marine vessels and this is no exception. You are a true craftsman, absolute beautiful….Blkcherry

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

795 posts in 4069 days

#10 posted 02-19-2009 06:09 PM

Beautiful work beyond my capabilities. You definitely got the short end of the stick on the pay scale. You deserved much more for that exquisite work.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4102 days

#11 posted 02-19-2009 06:18 PM

Very nice.

-- He said wood...

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4637 days

#12 posted 02-19-2009 07:46 PM

Beautiful Job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4111 days

#13 posted 02-20-2009 01:11 AM

Incredible! Love all the detail.

-- Happy woodworking!

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