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Monday, May 29, 2006 – Bill Monroe, The Oregonian

A stepping device allows boaters to stay dry.

His “DStep” bolts to the tongue of a boat trailer and enables a boater to safely enter and exit the boat from the bow without wading in the water, stepping precariously onto the winch or trying to clamber in and out over the trailered boat’s gunwale.

“I love it,” said Danny Haak, a full-time fishing guide from Oregon City. Haak won one of Rocheleau’s DSteps in a silent auction during April’s annual banquet of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders.

“It’s so much easier to get in and out of your boat, especially places like the Clackamas Park boat ramp,” Haak said. “It goes quite a ways back into the water.”

Before installing the steps, Haak said, “I’d have to step on the winch or go over the side and get into the water.”

Haak’s boat, longer than most at 22 1/2 feet, takes a little more water to launch and retrieve off a long trailer. A shallow ramp means water is beneath much of the trailer tongue and knee-deep along the wheels.

“This really makes things nice,” Haak said.