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Old 29-10-2014, 11:15   #1
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Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

We are having a boarding ladder fabricated, and my plan is to have it double as a boarding plank when docking stern to. When the ladder is horizontal, I will use plywood to fill in between the rungs to give us a nice means of boarding. I'm thinking of epoxy paint and some antiskid to coat the plywood.

More importantly, I am looking at five feet (1.5 meters) for the length of the ladder. What do others recommend for this length to allow easy stern boarding?

Cheers!

Steve
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Old 29-10-2014, 11:40   #2
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Our passerelle is 2.6 m long. It's a little longer than most; 2.3 or 2.5 may be more common. Most commercial passerelles of this length will fold in the middle. You need it to be long enough to stern to a concrete quay without risk to your stern. The necessary length may vary depending on the type of stern you have, and whether you're athletic & prepared to jump on & off, or just walk on & off as most of us do.
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Old 29-10-2014, 13:35   #3
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Ours is 6'. I might depend somewhat on how much stuff is on your stern. We have a windvane so I like more room. Then, what kind of transom you have is big.
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Old 29-10-2014, 13:53   #4
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

We have a slightly reverse transom. I have not yet mounted our Auto Helm windvane, so I'm not sure how far it will extend, but I'm thinking no more than a foot.


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Old 29-10-2014, 14:19   #5
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Recommended is 6 inches shorter than you need.


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Old 29-10-2014, 14:41   #6
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

If you have a scoop transom then you can usually safely get the stern close to the dock. Any other transom or if a windvane is mounted then I recommend you go bow-to the med mooring with a ladder or passerelle mounted on the bow (e.g, anchor or anchor platform). Not only are the docks a potential threat to a windvane on the stern, but also a vertical or only slightly reverse transom brings the rudder close to the dock and any debris that may have collected on the bottom next to the dock. The bow is normally the strongest part of a boat and the forward sections are cut-away to avoid a possible impact with stuff on the bottom.

Here is a picture of the passerelle I used when in the Med a few years ago: http://www.svsarah.com/Sarah/Images/...arelle%201.JPG. This one was about 7' long with a hinge in the middle. It was held up by elastic cord from a halyard. That kept the passerelle off the dock such that dock critters couldn't come aboard.

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Old 29-10-2014, 18:19   #7
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

JStevens - very nice! I had not thought of going bow-to. I'll do some pondering. I also like the idea of keeping the passerelle off the dock to cut down on pests. I hadn't thought of that.

And I have learned a new word on this thread. I had never heard of "passerelle" before!


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Old 29-10-2014, 18:36   #8
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Did loads of med moors. I'd say 6 feet on average.

Never liked bow passarelles and the admiral hates them often they are way too steep on low docks. And then you have to clamber over the railings.

You definitely need to support the free end of the dock.

Make sure they don't get slippy when wet.

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Old 29-10-2014, 18:54   #9
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Med-mooring must be an awful pain. Never looked forward to it. Prefer conventional docking.



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Old 29-10-2014, 19:05   #10
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

I hate it when the plank is shorter than the distance from the stern to the dock.

If in doubt, make yours longer.

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Old 30-10-2014, 04:37   #11
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

I suppose one question would be how & how often would you plan to use it? If you'll be in the Med & in marinas fairly often, a good passarelle is really important as you'll be on & off it a dozen times a day. If you're thinking of the odd use, elsewhere it's obviously less critical, and they are a PITA to store. Med charter boats all just use a plank of about 2" x 10" wide x whatever length, and lash them along the lifelines when not in use.

I'm with the previous poster in that I don't care for a passarelle off the bow. Sometimes conditions necessitate it, and you can lash it on, but you still have to climb over the pulpit, & often the angle is steep. You can buy, or have fashioned, a stainless steel ladder which hooks over the pulpit & allows you to step over onto the ladder & then descend two or three steps to the quay. That works pretty well as long as you're physically flexible. It's not so convenient for hauling provisions across though. You need to be passing items back & forth to another crew member.

It is preferable to keep the passarelle off the quay not only for bugs, but to prevent it dragging or rolling back & forth & being noisy. Use a halyard to lift it. Perhaps I can find a photo which will give you an idea.
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Old 30-10-2014, 05:13   #12
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Most of the boats I've skippered in the Med had an 8 foot passerelle, with a central hinge.

You attach the far end to a halyard using an elastic bridle about 20 foot long. When in port it hangs about 1 foot above the dock, only dropping as you stand on it.
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Old 30-10-2014, 08:26   #13
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Steve,
st599 has it about right....but there are many variations...

Paserelle's (boarding gangway for med-moored boats), run the gamete from a scrap piece of wood found on the side of a road, to carbon-fiber and alum extravagances, to custom hydraulic / electric ramps, etc...
So, whatever you build / use will fit right in...
BUT...

But, understand that stowing and lugging-around a heavy paserelle on-board can be a REAL pain...(yes this is common for Med cruisers, but just something to consider now, before you build something that is too big/wide and too heavy!!)



As for "length"....
That depends on your boat design and on the quays/pontoons/docks you'll use....
Sorry if that sounds like I'm ducking the question...but, if you have a sugar scoop stern (as I do) and/or are med-mooring in areas which have some surge (or even med-mooring to non-floating docks, such as my photos from Gibraltar show), then you absolutely want a LONGER paserelle!!!
(Mine is 8' long and worked perfectly for me...)

If you have a traditional transom and/or are always going to be in areas without surge and floating docks (pontoons), then you can get by with a short paserelle...(such as 4')
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
We are having a boarding ladder fabricated, and my plan is to have it double as a boarding plank when docking stern to. When the ladder is horizontal, I will use plywood to fill in between the rungs to give us a nice means of boarding. I'm thinking of epoxy paint and some antiskid to coat the plywood.
(plywood would not be my choice, as this will make it heavy and another thing to clean, maintain, paint/varnish, etc..)

More importantly, I am looking at five feet (1.5 meters) for the length of the ladder. What do others recommend for this length to allow easy stern boarding?
(see details above...)
Here are some photos of my home-made paserelle....
It is 8' long and 14" wide (I used half of a 16' heavy-duty, OSHA-approved extension ladder), with 12" wide anti-skid King's Starboard planking screwed onto it (SS screws)....
Yes, it is bright yellow....and yes, as the call fiberglass in Europe, it is GRP....and yes, it did draw many comments (all good) from fellow cruisers and dockmates!!
I made it so I can use it as a "plank-paserelle", and flip it over and it's a "ladder-paserelle"....which ever was needed....(on non-floating docks and quays, the "ladder-paserelle" was a Godsend!)
Supported by the main halyard it worked great!!
BTW, I was going to rig/install a pintel and socket to allow easy swing/pivot (which is always normal SOP for paserelles), but time got short before leaving Florida for Europe, and I ended up using the rubber bumpers on both ends and a couple extra guide-lines....and it worked great...but, if I was planning on a few years in the Med, I would absolutely install a pintel/socket/swivel-mounting...
(and I had HD casters for the dock end, and would use 'em if I was going to be in one marina without floating docks, for a long time...)







And, here's a shot after the tide went out and I forgot to secure it higher...(I then added HD bungee, to keep it up until stepped-on...)



And, here is where I stow/transport it...it is NOT in the way at all, and while very strong it is actually light enough to be an easy thing to move / rig-up by one person...




I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 30-10-2014, 11:37   #14
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
We are having a boarding ladder fabricated, and my plan is to have it double as a boarding plank when docking stern to. When the ladder is horizontal, I will use plywood to fill in between the rungs to give us a nice means of boarding. I'm thinking of epoxy paint and some antiskid to coat the plywood.

More importantly, I am looking at five feet (1.5 meters) for the length of the ladder. What do others recommend for this length to allow easy stern boarding?

Cheers!

Steve
That sounds like an unanswerable question. A little more info. might help?
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Old 30-10-2014, 12:05   #15
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Re: Med Mooring - how long for a boarding plank?

Our wooden one is about 2.3m long which is about the average length around the Adriatic. You can get lightweight fibreglass or aluminium ones which fold up for easier storage or do as we do which is lash it to a couple of guardrail stanchions.

To prevent damage to boat and passerelle from rubbing we wrapped a 3m length of rope around the ends and through the gaps and have 2 lengths of thin line tied to each end so we can easily lift the end to "raise the drawbridge" as I like to call it.

Whatever you do don't make it too short, 1.5m is probably too short, as you want to make sure your stern is far enough from a concrete wall to prevent wake/wash from other boats pushing you back on or in the event of stormy conditions the same think happening. 99% of the time you will be on bowlines (with lazylines) so you can reduce the "bounce" by ensuring you tie these tight then reverse back on them to tie the stern lines but even so you will move back and fore. Thankfully tidal range in the Med is minimal but can be up to 1m sometime more if the wind is the wrong way.

Keiron
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