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Old 27-05-2019, 22:18   #1
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Boarding Ladders

I was viewing another thread about self steering gear and it's read a post about re-boarding after going overboard and the need for a stern boarding ladder, the fitting of which some wind vane steering prevents.

I recently removed a SS boarding ladder which had failed at one of it's supports when I was weight shifting in boarding from my dingy. Fortunately I still hed good support from the foot on the dingy or it could have caused a serious incident. Anyway I decided to build another out of aluminium as it's nowhere near as treacherous a material as stainless steel.

In addition to it's treacherous nature the SS ladder ladder had a number of other annoying design feature one of which was the non alignment of the steps when in the folded state and another a lack of a latching up mechanism which could be released by a swimmer from in the water.

The new ladder is made from 50 x 25 x 3 mm rectangular hollow section.

The steps line up in the folded position giving me a 105 mm wide step for my bony old feet.

It could be one step longer which would make it easier to mount from in the water however it would then have hung in the water a little bit all the time and banged and bumped with wave action whilst underway. It's long enough to get a knee onto for the first step and hey, it's seldom a perfect world.

I wrestled with a latching mechanism which would allow extension from in the water yet be reliable for a couple of days until inspiration struck. "It folds up you moron so you can fold it up to un-cleat a line and un-cleat it from in the water if you put the cleat on the bottom end."

Overall I'm fairly happy with it but would put a bit more effort into nicer looking hinges next time.
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Old 27-05-2019, 22:23   #2
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Re: Boarding Ladders

I like it! I made mine from stainless, but doing it again, I would consider aluminium.
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Old 28-05-2019, 06:44   #3
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Re: Boarding Ladders

Not sure what you mean by describing stainless steel as "treacherous." It has its strengths and weaknesses, just like aluminum does. Each one has situations where it is optimal, and situations where it is not. And, of course, there are different grades of stainless steel, just as there are different grades of aluminum.


Stainless has been used successfully for boarding ladders for many decades now. Given an appropriate grade of stainless, properly built and maintained, I can't see anything particularly "treacherous" about using it for a boarding ladder.


Of course, nothing wrong with using aluminum either. So, as they say, whatever floats your boat.
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Old 28-05-2019, 08:39   #4
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Re: Boarding Ladders

Aluminum really should be anodized if you expect it to last though
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Old 28-05-2019, 15:48   #5
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Re: Boarding Ladders

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Of course, nothing wrong with using aluminum either. So, as they say, whatever floats your boat.


And, technically, your boat would float higher with an aluminium ladder.
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Old 29-05-2019, 05:30   #6
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Re: Boarding Ladders

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Not sure what you mean by describing stainless steel as "treacherous." It has its strengths and weaknesses, just like aluminum does. Each one has situations where it is optimal, and situations where it is not. And, of course, there are different grades of stainless steel, just as there are different grades of aluminum.


Stainless has been used successfully for boarding ladders for many decades now. Given an appropriate grade of stainless, properly built and maintained, I can't see anything particularly "treacherous" about using it for a boarding ladder.


Of course, nothing wrong with using aluminum either. So, as they say, whatever floats your boat.
When the SS ladder failed I was expecting to find a failure at a point where the SS had been welded. I was surprised to find that both legs of a fork which had been made by milling a slot into the end of a piece of 25 mm SS round solid had failed at the bottom of the slot.

However I have also experienced failures in 3 or 4 Ronstan blocks which had been fabricated by welding SS components and also a lower shroud failure at the roll form fitting. The boat I have now has had the rigging chain plates replaced because of a failure in the original SS plates.

as an oil driller I had experience with probably hundreds and possibly thousands of carbon steel rigging fittings and fastenings during my 45 year career and can recall very few, if any, failures in them.
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Old 29-05-2019, 08:31   #7
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Re: Boarding Ladders

I prefer not going overboard when I'm sailing
Teters are easy to operate.
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