So that Marcellite's 91-year-old mother and I can board Empress safely at her end tie at the Marina Village Marina, we had Rick Busch build a new set of dock stairs as shown in the photo below. Rick is one of the marina dock captains who also is very skilled at carpentry and boat repairs, having lived aboard a sailboat for many years.
New Empress Dock Stairs
To bridge the gap between the dock stairs and Empress when the wind or tidal current causes her to stand off the dock, Rick cleverly devised a boarding plank that is hinged to the dock stairs and rides on wheels on the side deck of Empress when deployed. When not in use, the boarding plank folds flat on top of the top platform of the dock stairs. The photo below shows the boarding plank deployed.
Folding Boarding Plank Deployed
Rick totally enclosed the interior of the dock stairs and provided a door to allow the interior to be used for dry storage as shown in the photo below.
Dry Storage Under Dock Stairs
I am in outpatient physical therapy now and am becoming more mobile every day. I hope that my next blog post will show me back aboard Empress.
Photo is a sister ship on a sea trial. As built, Empress is a 65-foot, flush-deck, 74-ton motor yacht designed by Jack Hargrave. In her current configuration, she is 70 feet overall. The hull was built by the Halmatic yard in the Northam area of Southampton, England, and she was completed at the Richardson Boats yard in Meaford on Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. The original name of the yacht was San-Su-Cher III and she is Hargrave Design number 6404. Jack Hargrave intended the design to be the basis of a new line of yachts, but economic conditions and fuel prices in the mid 1970s stopped this project from going forward. The yacht got from Meaford to the West Coast of the US on her own bottom throught the Panama Canal. The current name Empress is after Queen Victoria who also was Empress of India. Former owners liked to tie up in front of the Empress hotel in Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada. Empress currently is owned by John and Marcellite Penhune and is operated by the Penhunes and their extended family. The Penhunes also enjoyed the San Juan Islands, Victoria, the Empress Hotel, and Butchart Gardens while cruising aboard a 45-foot Sea Ranger trawler, Allons-y!