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Old 22-08-2008, 10:30   #1
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Safest place to board your boat.

We live aboard our newly purchased Ericson 39B. I am struggling with which way to go when it comes to boarding the boat at anchor. I would like to make a classic boarding ladder ( like the military uses ) for next to our boarding gate on the stbd side. It can fold up out of the way when not in use and I will only have to store the lower platform that you step onto to get in and out of the tender. But most people I talk too prefere to come aboard from the stern. On the stern I would have to make a fold up platform and a couple of steps going up the stern and then make another stern pulpit with a gate and there's the backstay issue also. I have no problem welding and the ability to make things strong and light weight. So should I make it so we board from the stern or stbd side boarding gate. Would love to here any and all feed back.

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Old 22-08-2008, 11:15   #2
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Why Reinvent the Wheel?

Boarding over the transom is prblematical in all but settled weather. It would be much wiser to board at your boarding gates. And, rather then trying to build something yourself, have a look at . A less costly alternative by Edson is this , which you can also build out of StarBoard in your garage if you're handy.


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Old 22-08-2008, 12:40   #3
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Sea Maid,

We use one of the west marine gunwale mount ladders and have mounting brackets on both sides.When we are sailing we just throw the ladder in the dingy which is on davits. It works for us and is cheaper than the Mystic stainless units.

Good luck, Bill A.
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Old 22-08-2008, 13:18   #4
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I disagree with SV HyLyte.

We spend most of our time at anchor when cruising

If your boats design allows itÖthe stern is by far the best place to board at anchorages.

1/.. Most protected area in the shadow of the boat from wind and waves to make transfer

2/.. Your tender is usually tied astern Making boarding much more convenient.

3/.. Wind and current naturally keeps tender away from yachtís topsides when broadside to the stern while waiting for someone. (less scuff or even need for fender)

4/.. Allows the option of larger boats to transfer supplies from the stern in rough weather

5/.. Gives you the option for Med mooring access in case you ever need it.

Another point to consider is why not have both? Usually mid-ships is lower which is to me the only advantage it has and the gates are already there, but the stern is much more functional when at anchor.

I have recently modified my stern boarding ladder to make an effective support that clamps up under the RIB when it is on the davits, making it very secure in rough weather and relieving the weight from the lifting davits.

Sorry donít have a photo yet, but here is the old arrangement
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Old 22-08-2008, 13:29   #5
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The best place to board YOUR boat is the spot that is most comfortable to you. As you see you will get responses for both and advantages and disadvantages to both. Ultimately you need to decide your comfort level and do what is necessary to make that happen.
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Old 22-08-2008, 20:19   #6
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Chuck has a point. It really depends on the boat. The transom on my boat has way too much going on. Some boats have nice "Sugar Scoop" transom and this is a natural boarding point. I use the midship gates as this has no stantion rails to climb over. Lots of room to ofload goodies and the dog. I have no ladder but a neat fender called a "Fenderstep" which attached to the gate stantions and works well for our needs.
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Old 23-08-2008, 08:19   #7
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Boarding port, or strbrd is no problem
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Old 23-08-2008, 09:01   #8
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Boarding port, or strbrd is no problem
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Old 23-08-2008, 11:45   #9
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All I can say is, try it both ways, then decide. We used to board at the stern all the time, but after I bought one of those "$25 little white plastic hanging step thingies" at West Marine, we now prefer the gate on the port side.

My wife has a very bad back, and she finds stepping from the inflatable's tube to the single step and then to the deck, with the gate stanchions as hand-holds, to be the easiest and safest for her. Also, there's more room to put stuff from the dinghy (visitor's luggage or groceries) on the side decks than the stern, when making the transfer.

I picked the port side because I sit on the starboard side of the dinghy when driving. Port-side boarding allows me to grab the boat easily when pulling alongside.
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Old 23-08-2008, 12:48   #10
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I used to use my boomkin, but last winter after stepping on an ice covered boomkin and hanging sideways upside down by one knee with my other foot and my head under frozen water I decided to try some other way of boarding. I now use the shroud stand-off (or what ever the technical term is). If I need to board from a swimming position I use fold down steps on my rudder.
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Old 26-08-2008, 09:11   #11
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Thank you for all your information. My main goal is too not do something twice!!!! I think I am going to go with the Stbd side boarding gate. As this ladder/steps that I am going to make can also be use used pier side. It will be a bit before I make it, have to finish some other stuff first. But will post pictures when it is done.

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