After all, we steer from the back, anchor from the front, and merely pass through the middle, right? Perhaps, but even this taken-for- granted territory merits our attention. Is there proper nonskid? Is the passage forward convenient? Can the sailing tasks that still must be executed at the mast be done so safely?
Let's start with what might be called the middeck terrain. The traditional squared-off trunk cabin,so configured because of structural requirements inherent to building in wood, has all but disappeared from the modern fleet. Designers sought sleeker lines and less windage. enter the forward-tapering cabin and semi-flush deck. The resulting low cabin sides can no longer accommodate large opening ports, so to counter the loss of interior light and ventilation, a plethora of deck hatches have been added. Hatch sills have progressively shrunk in profile until the absolutely flush hatch with recessed drainage gutters is nearly standard. this, coupled with their size and numbers, make them areas of likely footfall, necessitating uncompromised structural integrity. in other words, there's no place for "no step" warnings on an active sailing vessel.