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Old 08-12-2010, 08:56   #1
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Removing Boarding Ladder Bracket

A monohull drifted sideways into my transoms while trying to pull away from the dock and mangled my boarding ladder bracket (Does that make all mono's unsafe while docking?...j/k). Trying to remove it the screws come partway out and then spin. Guess they are bolts. I'm thinking they were installed during construction because there is very little room underneath there and I have no idea how to access the bolts. Does anybody else have experience with this situation. Thanks
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:53   #2
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If the nuts were laid up into the hull during constuction, you're going to have to drill a larger hole in the glass to remove them. You could try to kludge this, use a plier or wire cutter to put pressure (pulling up) on the bolts and unthread them the rest of the way, then reseal the nuts back into the hull and start over with a new ladder and new through-bolts.

Or a more proper repair, drill in, remove the nuts, repair the hull. Either refinishing the transom or working from the interior side and just capping the holes on the outside.

I don't think you're missing any magic solutions, this is one of those little problems that can't be fixed without making it a bit bigger.

Assuming the other guy is going to do the right thing...he may not believe how much work may be involved, you might want to just tell him the job is going to get too involved for you and let a yard do it. Won't cost any less, but....
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:39   #3
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Thanks, Hellosailor. I was afraid that was the answer. I contacted him and it seems like he will be doing "the right thng" . I'm hauling the boat next month for maintenance, so it will taken care of there.
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:55   #4
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Our step has stainless wood screws holding the step bar on. Sucks to hear about the damage, people seem to think our swim step is a dinghy landing pad....

When you look in the step area from engine room, do you have a foam that was poured in there taking up part the space? Seems our port foam has dislodged and is floating on a small amount of water that has gotten in there.

~GlobalHopper
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:37   #5
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You could try to drill the screw heads off to get the bracket off,then use an electric drill on the remaining stud to spin the bolt in reverse while pulling out on the drill to unscrew the nuts.But then how do you mount it back in place?

Phil
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Old 20-12-2010, 16:36   #6
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Screws would really be used here?

I have images of a 270 lb person halfway up the ladder before the screws rack and rip out sendin' 'em down to the crushin' depths to meet Old Hob (or possibly the sand bar that's a foot below the keel..., your call ).
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Old 20-12-2010, 17:56   #7
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lol..I see me doing that (still under 230)..no they are bolts... I'm letting the yard take care of it. The guy has been in touch with me- drove up from Miami one day to look at problem- so I think he or his insurance will take care of it.

Globalhopper-
yes I have foam back there. It is loose, but I don't think its floating. There is a piece of foamboard blocking most the opening, so it isa pretty hard to see.
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Old 11-01-2011, 18:19   #8
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Swim Ladder

I realize that this question doesn't have much to do with what you folks are
talking about, but maybe somebody can answer it for me anyway.
Is it mandatory to have the boarding ladder on the transom?

Dave
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Old 11-01-2011, 18:35   #9
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Quote:
Is it mandatory to have the boarding ladder on the transom?
Depends on if you need to get back on the boat.

Going from in the water even a short distance up is not easy for the less than athletically endowed. If the ladder goes under water about a meter it makes it FAR easier to scramble back up if not really easy. A little less than a meter is a huge help. Consider someone goes over and is injured just a little bit.

In a swimming pool with nothing but the lip of the pool it's not easy getting out and that is flat water. Once you add variables to the scene the ladder becomes critical. For a child it's impossible. The problem compounds if the water is cold. Ladders are mostly a safety device for those times when they are the only good answer.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:01   #10
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Ladder

Thank you for your response Paul.
I guess i should have been a little more clear with my question.
You see i have a small transom and want to make a self steering wind
vane for that area, no room for both. So can i put the ladder on
the starboard or port side?
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Old 14-01-2011, 07:48   #11
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Boarding ladder

In keeping with thread, if i move the ladder to port or starboad it will be
fastened with 4 - 1/4" SS bolts with 3/4" white oak backer, i am over
200 lbs and it would break my heart to see a chunk of glass tear out
because of the thinking " oh, thats good enough"
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Old 14-01-2011, 08:27   #12
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OK the PO of our boat did that. A good ladder is important. I did that on our first boat. I added a SS FoldAway ladder from Mystic Stainless (a bit expensive but they are the best.)

What won't work is to just screw the ladder top mounted to the toe rail. It needs to be through bolted all the way through with a proper backing plate inside the boat and of course bedded so it won't leak. The PO on our boat used 4 large SS wood screws on each side of the ladder into the teak toe rail. It didn't really work properly so he did the same thing on the other side when the wood split / rotted and of course it failed there too. Failure to bed a screw even the best Asian Teak will rot. They cruised the boat about 6 years so it got a lot of use. You really want the ladder mounted through the hull and I would use metal plates because they bed easier and fit easier.

I would not mount it so that it protrudes from the side of the boat. There is just a good chance you will come into a dock or a slip and catch it and do some damage. That was why I went with the Foldaway ladder since it can store up in the lifelines folded in 3 sections with nothing sticking out and is self storing thus saving locker space. It was all 316 SS construction and you'll find 303 ladders look like crap after just a few years. 303 is strong enough just not salt resistance enough. They are cheap and what you find easily. They are just fine in freshwater.

Another way is to install to an outboard T track so the ladder can be mounted to that and of course could be removed. Mounting T track requires backing plates but are made to take large loads. I would use good metal backing plates. AlMag is the best but others can be had too.
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Old 14-01-2011, 09:17   #13
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Furface, it is probably good enough assuming you use sealants and washers (probably barrel washers, which are larger and spread the load more) under the nuts so the bolts don't pull them through the wood eventually.

Since even the best of wood is vulnerable to rot, you might try Grainger or McMaster who used to stock thick fiberglass board, i.e. 1/2" or 3/4" fiberglass similar to what circuit boards are made up on. The stuff is heavy, but strong and inert. It simply can't rot. I'd glue it (that's arguable) inside the transom before the drilling and bolting. An adhesive will help to spread the load evenly between the backer and the transom, rather than point-loading on the bolts.

Paul's suggestion of using tracks or mounts instead of a fixed ladder would be more work and cost, but a more elegant solution. Somehow, anything that's bolted down finds a way to become an obstruction some time.<G>
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Old 14-01-2011, 09:46   #14
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The T track gets nice when you get into a location where one side of the boat or the other needs to be the side you get in and out from. Being able to move the ladder to the other side is a nice advantage. General rule - the ladder will be mounted on the wrong side
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Old 14-01-2011, 10:02   #15
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well here was the yard's fix. They cut a hole in the top of the bottom step-I had to leave the yard- this gave them access to the bolts. There's some foam in there but not all the way to the back. Removed the brackets, repaired them and then put in an access port.
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