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Old 08-07-2008, 15:32   #1
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Accomodation Ladders

Hello everyone,

I'm doing a little market research for a potential client who has developed an accommodation ladder for his 1986 Chris Craft 381. Basically due to the hull construction his vessel was difficult to board at mooring especially with supplies and pets. Therefore, he constructed a ladder system, made a prototype, and installed it on his vessel. I think the idea has merit in certain hull designs and especially in some sail boat/yacht applications. I'm not trying to use this forum as a base to push a product as it's still under evaluation but I think the system has potential and we are trying to feel out experienced sailors and get some feedback if they think it has potential. I encourage you to visit his website at
(Home) to see the application on his vessel. The original prototype was constructed from stainless steal and he has recently made another application from aluminum. I hope to hear some feedback.

Safe travels,

Dan
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Old 08-07-2008, 15:39   #2
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Would only work on mega yachts and there's lots of suppliers for these already. Too expensive and problematic to stow for us poor sailors.
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Old 08-07-2008, 17:29   #3
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Sorry to say Dan, what your client has developed is a pretty standard commercial accommodation ladder that does not meet yacht standards of aesthetics, can easily be manufactured locally and does not lend itself to sailing yacht installations that have a lot more flair and tumblehome to retrofit a pivoting slab on the side.

There are many ingenious methods already being used that are incorporated into the boats design. This afterthought solution would not be a big seller.
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Old 08-07-2008, 17:33   #4
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While I do agree with the above, I can see one niche market:

Older people who are less fit (unable to climb a transom or other boarding method) to carry groceries, etc...

Especially older ones who don't really go anywhere, but to visit the boat on a mooring and enjoy the atmosphere. Maybe a little handicap lift on there?

Good luck with the product.
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Old 08-07-2008, 18:03   #5
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One of those Rubbermaid step things works fine for those people, Sean. I'm thinking of one myself.
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Old 08-07-2008, 19:28   #6
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The design shown is quite incomplete and impractical. Accommodation ladders have been around for many years and this one doesn't make the grade. Most have a platform that hinges so that it easily folds up against the lifelines to get underway. The platform itself usually has a circular section connected to the rectangular part that swivels so that the entire ladder can be swung out to land on a pier, dock, or float. The steps are normally supported by two rails such that they always stay horizontal regardless of how high or low the lower platform is positioned depending on the height of the float or pier. The lower platform also normally has wheels or rollers to let it move on a dock or pier. There need to be fenders on the inboard part of the ladder and platform to prevent damage to the yachts hull if a boat slams into it in bad weather. There should be vertical rub rails on the outside face to prevent a boat from over riding the lower platform in waves, causing damage and injury... and on, and on, and on.

It just doesn't make it, but that doesn't mean that accommodation ladders for yachts is a bad idea, because it isn't, and it would definitely appeal to larger yachts. That is if it were made right.

Have fun

Joe S
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Old 08-07-2008, 21:19   #7
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I appreciate everyone's input. These are all concerns I have had as well. Some that were stated have been addressed and corrected in the second model built. It was built for a sailboat owned by an elderly couple that have a dog who could no longer transfer from boat to boat on his own. I have yet to see a motor yacht built in the last few years that doesn't have a dive deck for easy access. This application was made for older boats and some sailboats that have substantial free board to make it necessary. The finished project was quite attractive though (picture on website doesn't do justice) with teak steps and decks.

Once again I'm open to all feedback and appreciate your posts!

Safe travels,

Dan
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:46   #8
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This is serendipitous. I'm working on a foam sandwich version of this for my Searunner. It is mounted at the aft, inboard side of the starboard ama/float, descends downward toward the main hull, and ends in a platform that can adjust to a few inches above the water or float on the water for diving and overboard recovery. The platform's inboard side will be suspended from the sterncastle deck by Spectra lines. I estimate the weight to be about 20 pounds, and everything should fold and stow either on the stern quarter or in the float. It should take under a minute to deploy. I'll send pictures once we get it roughed out. But first, the foam hard dodger!
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