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Old 05-01-2016, 08:58   #16
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Re: Boarding Ladder

Thanks for posting your pics and the narrative on how you did it. Nice looking ladder. Hope it works for you. You certainly have a lot of issues with the dinghy davits and other geometry problems. I may have to do one like yours.

One caution: if your rivets are aluminum you might have some dissimilar metals corrosion over time, may be a short time. You might try putting a corrosion preventer like TefGel or Lanocote on the rivets before you pop them. I also wonder if the side tubing will be strong enough (not bend) when putting your foot on the lowest rung and lean back with your full weight to pull yourself up. Just a question as it may well be fine for the job.

Let us know if you decide to modify the ladder as you said you might.
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Old 05-01-2016, 09:47   #17
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Re: Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
............................
....................... One caution: if your rivets are aluminum you might have some dissimilar metals corrosion over time, may be a short time. ..............
................. I also wonder if the side tubing will be strong enough (not bend) when putting your foot on the lowest rung and lean back with your full weight to pull yourself up. ...............
Thanks for these cautions. I did use 3/16" stainless steel rivets. I'm pretty sure I won't have the bending problem for two reasons. First, I used this same size tubing on my former ladder without problems and second, most importantly, I used your advise in post #2 to angle the ladder out a little from a vertical drop. Of course, too much of an angle would promote the bending, but we will not be leaning back with our foot on the lowest rung. This lack of a need to lean back is also aided by other advise that caused me to place a full meter and four rungs under water.

I'll also add that this ladder does add some complexity to the use of my dinghy. I do need to move my dinghy aside after releasing my lifting tackle in order to drop the ladder and move the dinghy aside again to lift the ladder. All this means that I will need to enter and exit my dinghy by stepping around the ladder and use the "backside" of the ladder for dinghy access. This may cause others to reject a design like mine, but my motives are all for my wife's mobility. I'm sure the time will come when we both may not be able to remain as active cruisers, but I'm doing what I can to keep life easy aboard for both of us.

Thanks to all for making this ladder a design by the input of several members here!
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:39   #18
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Re: Boarding Ladder

All good! Keep us posted.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:13   #19
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Re: Boarding Ladder

Hi Hudson;
I like your use of pop rivets.I've recently made a boarding ladder similar to yours.
I'm wondering what you've found to use as a flat tread surface. I've purchased trex and can cut it to work but am open to a better solution.
My ladder is double hinged and folds in the middle to allow it to stow 3 feet above the deck level aligned with the top rail. The second mid point hinge permits it's use as a boarding ladder from the dinghy as well as a swim ladder. I used a jaw slide and cap for the middle hinge and for the transom stand offs. Perhaps something like that might ease your clearance with the dinghy. I don't have any picture to post right now but will take some as soon as I can.
Thanks for sharing your pictures.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:24   #20
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Re: Boarding Ladder

Especially with decreased mobility I would rethink the steps. You need a more substantial flat surface, no less than 2" wide I would think. 3" being better. Additionally it should be "grippy" in some way. When the wind is blowing or passing boat wakes occur, people who are not that comfortable can slip sideways when the boat rolls etc very easily, jamming their foot etc..
-SS tube is bad for feet, even if flat on top.
-Starboard is too slippery.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:06   #21
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Re: Boarding Ladder

Is it retrievable by a person in the water unassisted as per ABYC ?
(and good sense).
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:39   #22
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Re: Boarding Ladder

Great work and functional.
Can you post a picture of the hinge detail?
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:18   #23
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Re: Boarding Ladder

I had to rebuild mine a couple of years ago using rectangular hollow section(RHS) because my old feet did not like climbing on 1" round tube. I hole sawed through the ends of the 2" x 1" RHS and slid the rungs over the round verticals and had them TIG welded in place.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:05   #24
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Re: Boarding Ladder

hudson---i found with my diminishing abilities, that having a wood ladder with metal fittings the likes of which schooner chandlery deals(sorry, but i have yet to find em anywhere else) and wide flat wood, not vsrnished boards for my feets, that boarding from either in water, from kayak, or from dinghy was easilhy accomplished withou tbecoming th etown entertainment.
unfortunately the furycame patricia ate my beautiful ladder so i am forced to create another.
it should have 2 rungs in water., it should have an easily released hinged lower section so it is not always in the water. my mahogany ladder, before being decimated completely by patricia, was becoming worm eaten. the bare wood was perfect for my feets. the ladder also facilitated my loading of garafones of water.
i find the bare stainless rungs uncomfortable, difficult to grip when wet or wearing shoes, and for me, potentially dangerous. i have a spare emergency ladder i was given post patricia so i could more easily board and disembark my boat.
mine looked like these--was mahogany, although any hard wood would do, and bronze. i really miss the damnthing. the hook on mine was located where i could reach from water without having to be a water polo champion. mine was unfinished so i wouldnt slide. varnished surfaces are slick.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:27   #25
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Re: Boarding Ladder

Let me try to update with some responses to the questions above:

Boatpoker, I do wish the ladder was retrievable as you recommend, but it's raised forward of my dinghy that's on davits as shown in the earlier photos. Any means to deploy the ladder from the water would need to include deploying the dinghy too. I have not thought of a safe and practical way to to this.

SVtatia, At this time, as my camera is broken, I've lost my ability to add photos, but you can scan above to see the hinge though it's not enlarged. I have a hinge on each side of the ladder made of stainless endcaps (Perko) that are fixed with stainless rivets to the base plate on the transom and the side bars of the ladder. These same hinges can be seen as commonly used in gateway rails on vessels with stainless tubing instead of life-lines.

A half-dozen others have asked about the steps being suitable for feet or recommended materials for steps added on to the tubes. To date, we are relying on our "reef shoes" or wet suit "booties" to solve this problem. It seems so much easier to add the secure comfort and padding to our feet during use instead of maintaining a surface on all of the rungs full time. We're not fully decided on this, but we will spend some time cruising before we try something else.

Thanks again for all your ideas. We've decided not to add an additional step or rail above our hinges for the ladder. Foot and hand holds that we were formerly using suit us well,- our rub rail, the mizzen sheet, our one step platform from amid-ship and our stern rail posts.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:57   #26
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Re: Boarding Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I had to rebuild mine a couple of years ago using rectangular hollow section(RHS) because my old feet did not like climbing on 1" round tube. I hole sawed through the ends of the 2" x 1" RHS and slid the rungs over the round verticals and had them TIG welded in place.
My plan for the slippery rung problem was to drill a row of holes along the top surface of the rungs however I found that the alloy rungs are not as slippery a surface as was the SS ladder rungs it replaced so have not bothered to do so.
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Old 23-07-2016, 12:16   #27
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Re: Boarding Ladder

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Thanks Ann, but I do have another need. I'm going to require some type of pad or pipe covering over the rungs for comfort. Wood, rubber, composite... non-slip... securely fastened? I don't want to fully encase the stainless pipe due to the problem with promoting corrosion. I'm not a fan of wood on my "chlorox bottle" boat. I certainly would not spend any time caring for wood when composites are available! I'll find something. 'maybe with some U-bolt attachments.
Hi Hudson;

I've posted some photos of the ladder I made. Similar to your original sketch with the addition of treads 2 1/2" wide and a fold in the center so that I can use it short 3' or long 6' with 3' into the water and allow it to stow roughly aligned with the rail at 3' above the deck. I made the stand offs with a hinge that deploys when it is folded down and lays flat when the ladder is folded up for storage. I don't know why the photo of the stowed ladder is sideways, it was not on my computer.
The treads are made from Trex, a composite decking material from Home Depot. The standoffs angle the ladder away from vertical about 7" over 3' and the lower under water portion follows that alignment.
I'm still working on a way to deploy it from the water any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 23-07-2016, 12:40   #28
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Re: Boarding Ladder

TREX you wouldn't need much for steps.


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