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
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.