Installing a Grab Rail

While Malö offers an optional grab rail on the windscreen, Cats Paw didn't come with one.  They are really necessary because otherwise you find yourself bracing against the canvas cockpit cover as you go forward — hardly a secure handhold.  The stock handrails follow the windscreen aluminum partition at the top of the side windows.  This puts the rail at about waist height forward, but only knee high aft.  I also wanted something I could lean against when working on the aft part of the boom, setting a reef, or putting on or off the sail cover.

Hal Thesen came up with a clever design that puts the rail at about chest height — perfect for grabbing when things get really snotty. Unfortunately, the guy we got to actually build the rails did a less than stellar job.  I'm happy with the design, but wish a little more "fit and finish" had been put into the welding of the stainless steel; it's not in the same league as Malö's. 

View of the new grab rails from forward
Overview of the new starboard grab rail. The stock Malö rail is positioned much lower, at about the canvas/glass divide.
Detail of the weld at the aft end of the new grab rail.
The weld at the aft end of the grab rail. The rail was welded onto the existing mainsheet feed tube. The weld is not pretty, but it is functional.