Had a look at some pictures we took of HMS Victory in 2008. Three or four
gunports from the port stern, there's a door (with a fairly ornate
decorative lintel) which opens onto the middle gun deck - the top of the
doorway is more or less the save level as the tops of the gunports. We paid
attention to this bit, as it's the door you go in through.
We didn't really pay attention to the starboard side when we'd toured the
Victory (limited time & desire to see the Mary Rose) but I found a picture
we took showing the starboard side from a distance. There does seem to be a
similar door in a more or less similar position. There's a sort of hood
affair over it, and fixed steps down to the tarmac; I suspect it might be a
fire escape now.
There were also a couple of doorways made by deepening gunports near the bow
and stern of the lower gun deck on the port side; I guess they're
comparatively recent. The one in the stern is the exit from the tour (and
the gift shop).
Ships generally had an entry port on each side. It allowed boarding on the
windward side regardless which tack the ship was on. One generally boarded on
the wiindward side because the ship was heeled away from the wind, makng the
slope of the steps that much gentler and the likelihood of being rolled down
into the water that much less. Every little bit heped.
Did a google search on finished models. Had one or two pictures
showing the wood steps on both the port and starboard sides. The real
clincher was when I thought of inspecting the kit's parts packages.
There were two of those fancy "hoods" over the door opening(s). So
two sets of steps it is.
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