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Old 18-07-2013, 06:14   #31
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
That fender idea is genius. One of the little protective covers for the metal pegs vanished so I was going to have to fab something. I'll unscrew them and strap a fender to it.
The genius is a much overused word - but in this case I think entirely with merit .

FWIW, my protective covers also vanished - I used a hole cutter to make some plugs out of softwood, a tight fit that needed a touch of hammer, but not too much as I figured they would expand in the west anyway.....the hole in the middle of the plug is a drain hole (probably!).......a bit of rough shaping by hand with a file was all that was needed - admittedly I am not so fussy as others about my topsides, but I they don't mark up the hull (if it had polish on it may be different! - or not).
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Old 19-07-2013, 19:48   #32
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After painfully climbing up my ladder my son suggested this...pool noodles cut to size and zip tied on. Functionality above appearance
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Old 19-07-2013, 20:41   #33
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Originally Posted by rtbates
A good boarding ladder needs to be ALWAYS ready and deployable from the water. Ours uses a line that can be yanked from the water to allow the ladder to drop down. As an often single hander I find it comforting.
this is what I have also and would not have it any other way. I have a slip knot rigged for easy deployment at neck deep.

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this is what I have also and would not have it any other way. I have a slip knot rigged for easy deployment at neck deep.

Exactly.
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Old 20-07-2013, 10:07   #34
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
This my solution to the problem with OP's ladder (at least the early version - no photos of the later mods, but can get the basic idea).

This is a flat fender, cut down and a couple of holes drilled for the ladder legs (which still reach the hull side).

The fender is tied on but no weight on the lines when ladder in use. The big improvement is that when the ladder gets a nudge from the dink that it does not fold anymore. I don't think it puts any greater stress on the ladder, but I ain't as fat as some!








Been using it this way for 3 or 4 years.

Putting the fender on the ladder is a 2 handed operation, but only a few seconds - removing can be done one handed whilst standing up in a dink and smoking a ciggie Apart from the ladder being tied on, it also now floats .
Well, I ain't as fat as I used to be...but it's not the weight, it's the angle. That "flat fender" idea is very clever, and I'm going to poach it, if you don't mind. It circumvents the problem of too-short standoff ladder legs and the inward curve of the hull no longer matters.

Nice one!
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Old 20-07-2013, 10:11   #35
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by gathhill View Post
After painfully climbing up my ladder my son suggested this...pool noodles cut to size and zip tied on. Functionality above appearance
I had better buy stock in "Pool Noodles": between ladder steps, lifeline cushions and cheapo gunwhale flotation collars for my PortaBote...I'm going through a lot of the things!

Another good idea. All praise to the clever and practical CF poster veterans. It's funny, but I can't recall a similar thread on boarding ladders, and yet it's one of the few things every (legal) boat has in common.
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Old 20-07-2013, 10:35   #36
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Well, I ain't as fat as I used to be...but it's not the weight, it's the angle. That "flat fender" idea is very clever, and I'm going to poach it, if you don't mind. It circumvents the problem of too-short standoff ladder legs and the inward curve of the hull no longer matters.

Nice one!

This is a clever bunch of people!
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:20   #37
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
This my solution to the problem with OP's ladder (at least the early version - no photos of the later mods, but can get the basic idea).

This is a flat fender, cut down and a couple of holes drilled for the ladder legs (which still reach the hull side).

The fender is tied on but no weight on the lines when ladder in use. The big improvement is that when the ladder gets a nudge from the dink that it does not fold anymore. I don't think it puts any greater stress on the ladder, but I ain't as fat as some!








Been using it this way for 3 or 4 years.

Putting the fender on the ladder is a 2 handed operation, but only a few seconds - removing can be done one handed whilst standing up in a dink and smoking a ciggie Apart from the ladder being tied on, it also now floats .
Yep, exactly what I did on a couple of boats. I had a small one of those fenders that was perfect. Those flat fenders are rugged as heck and useful all over the boat.... do they still make them?
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:31   #38
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Well, I ain't as fat as I used to be...but it's not the weight, it's the angle. That "flat fender" idea is very clever, and I'm going to poach it, if you don't mind. It circumvents the problem of too-short standoff ladder legs and the inward curve of the hull no longer matters.

Nice one!
The MKII version (no photos) has a hole cut in it above the middle rung - about half way up the next rung and out to the ladder sides....means that can put whole foot on that step rather than just toes (albeit took me a year or so to bother / think of the idea! / drum up the courage to cut - so clearly was not a biggie, at least not once you learnt it was not a whole step!).....that hole does not seem to have made the slightest bit of difference to the rigidity (that comes from the second and third steps).

You may also notice that the flat fender got trimmed down a couple of inches to make it level with the second step - not the neatest of cuts!

I have thought about extending the legs (that sit against the hull) so the angle of climb is not straight up as I don't think that would change the rigidity - but I have only been thinking for a couple of years about that, so not yet time for action .......besides it's perfectly fine as it is (initially a bit weird from having spent a lifetime with that sort of ladder on various boats and always being aware that it could fold sideways, especially if not sitting correctly having been bumped by the dink and then usually needing two hands to straighten both legs up.......and now it no longer matters ).
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Old 22-07-2013, 08:53   #39
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Good stuff. I like the "cutout for toes" idea in the "flat fender" as I have ridiculously long feet with toes to match...or is that mash?

I picked up a odd but functional looking removal boarding ladder yesterday on clearance. Weirdly, I can't find a picture of it online, so I'll post a shot of it later.

It's similar to a regular fixed aluminum house-type ladder, but with the curved "hooks" at top. It's unusual in that it folds VERTICALLY for stowage, with hinges on the steps themselves. It ends up looking like a letter "J" and actually slips into the cockpit locker easily.

I'll report in later should it prove to the task.
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Old 22-07-2013, 12:20   #40
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Good ideas, but has anyone had any luck just buying longer stand-offs?

GARELICK 005_158_001_503 at West Marine
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Old 31-07-2013, 12:42   #41
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

UPDATE: I went with something weird.



The world encompassed: Reboarder patrol

Seems good so far! Thanks again to all in this thread who contributed good ideas. Some of them will be incorporated on our bigger boat...but I needed to solve this issue before the end of swimming season.
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Old 31-07-2013, 12:59   #42
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
UPDATE: I went with something weird.
Never seen a ladder like that before, looks neat (and robust).

I was enjoying reading your blog on the subject until I got to my pic.........and saw the accreditation .

Not that I am fussy as such, but me lawyers are enroute
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Old 31-07-2013, 14:13   #43
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

The boats I sail have wood/rope ladders, stowed where we can get to them quickly. We call them Jacob's ladders, but I'm not sure if that is their correct name. Wikipedia has a photo at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_ladder but that's not the style we use.

Ours have round wood rungs into football-shaped wooden standoffs, which are roped together to form steps. A rope ladder without standoffs is painful to use! As someone above pointed out, you'll want three rungs in the water, if that's where you're coming from.
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Old 31-07-2013, 20:59   #44
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Never seen a ladder like that before, looks neat (and robust).

I was enjoying reading your blog on the subject until I got to my pic.........and saw the accreditation .

Not that I am fussy as such, but me lawyers are enroute
Oh, hell...that one's on me! I linked to a photo in a quote!

I will attribute properly immediately, of course, and I can only plead that a couple of weeks passed before I wrote that up.

Would you prefer "David Old Jersey" or your real name, sent backchannel via a PM?

Apologies...I'm a stickler for attributions, and I try not to screw up...
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Old 31-07-2013, 21:05   #45
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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The boats I sail have wood/rope ladders, stowed where we can get to them quickly. We call them Jacob's ladders, but I'm not sure if that is their correct name. Wikipedia has a photo at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_ladder but that's not the style we use.

Ours have round wood rungs into football-shaped wooden standoffs, which are roped together to form steps. A rope ladder without standoffs is painful to use! As someone above pointed out, you'll want three rungs in the water, if that's where you're coming from.
I concur completely. Even with a fair bit of upper body strength, levering oneself not only out of the water from chest level, but against the hull at a greater than 90 degree angle is hard work. Doing it in any kind of a sea would be a nightmare without assistance in the form of a halyard...and then you tempt broken ribs if a wave catches you.

The only solution is steps well below the WL so you can get a decent start, plus sufficient standoffs. The typical pilot ladder manages that, although you will note in the photo the welded in rod that is standing the ladder well off the hull.
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