Boarding ladders

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3 years 8 months ago #2417 by Robert Snelling
Boarding ladders was created by Robert Snelling
The Coast Guard regs (at least here in Canada) specify that there has to be a boarding ladder that is accessible and can be lowered by people in the water (MOB). The existing ladder I have is not really cutting the mustard to begin with, and in researching new ladders, the options don't appear too numerous. What ladder systems do some of the boat owners on this site use?

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3 years 8 months ago #2421 by Frank Fitzpatrick
Replied by Frank Fitzpatrick on topic Boarding ladders
We (#195) have a boarding ladder on the transom with the usual configuration - upper half permanently mounted and lower half hinged to fold up against the top or unfold to extend down into the water. The hinge is perhaps 6" above the water, so, when the ladder is unfolded, several steps of the bottom half are under water so you can easily get your feet on it..

We run a length of light line from the deck to the lowest rung of the ladder, with a foot or two of slack when the ladder is down. We use this line from deck to pull up the bottom half of the ladder, and then to tie it in the folded position (i.e., while we are under way).

Nothing unusual so far - the trick for the MOB is we tie it using a slip knot, arranged so the end you pull to untie the knot loops down below the hinge of the ladder where it it easily accessible from the water. If you wind up in the water and need to extend the ladder, just pull this line to release the slip knot and let the ladder unfold into the water. (Move to the side of the ladder before releasing it so you don't get hit as it unfolds...)

Hope this helps.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Robert Snelling

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3 years 8 months ago #2422 by Robert Snelling
Replied by Robert Snelling on topic Boarding ladders
Thanks; I was also looking for the make & model of ladder

Great information, and much appreciated

Rob

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3 years 8 months ago #2423 by Frank Fitzpatrick
Replied by Frank Fitzpatrick on topic Boarding ladders
Hi Rob. Our boarding ladder was on the boat when we bought her. (John Cece, the previous owner, monitors this forum and may be able to tell us who fabricated it.)
There's nothing really special about the ladder itself. In ours, the top section has 3 steps and begins "one step" below deck level, with the hinge immediately below the third step. It is permanently mounted on the transom with 4 "legs". The bottom section has 2 steps, both of which are in the water in the "down" position.
The basic folding ladder design is very common and I'm sure you have seen them on any number of boats. You should be able to have one made one up - or modify a commercially available one - to fit your boat fairly inexpensively. Check local stainless welding shops and fabricators of things like bow and stern rails.
I think I have a picture of ours somewhere if that would help.

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3 years 8 months ago #2425 by Scott Lee
Replied by Scott Lee on topic Boarding ladders
If you find a good replacement I'd like to know about it too. I have not found a suitable replacement online and our local fabricator wants well over a grand to fabricate one similar to the ladder we have. Ours is rusting out at the attachments and the treads are corroding to the point of falling off.

Anyone know who made the original stern ladders on the Whitbys?
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3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #2426 by Frank Fitzpatrick
Replied by Frank Fitzpatrick on topic Boarding ladders
I know Tops In Quality made the original bowsprits. They have been bought out by White Water (who unfortunately never go the original bowsprit plans and jigs). On the off chance that Tops in Quality also made the boarding ladders, I called White Water and asked if they have the original plans. They promised to search the archives and let me know in a few days. I'll post any info they give me.

I did notice that the photo of Joie de Vivre shows a somewhat different ladder than on Just Desserts (#195, 1982) - see photo below. So perhaps one of us already has a replacement, or the design changed a bit over time.

(The plastic steps (Trex?) have been added by someone over the metal rungs - easier on the feet. And my fading memory thought the bottom half had only two rungs rather than the 3 that it really has. Sorry...)

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Last edit: 3 years 8 months ago by Frank Fitzpatrick. Reason: Wrong photo

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3 years 8 months ago #2430 by Frank Fitzpatrick
Replied by Frank Fitzpatrick on topic Boarding ladders
Follow-up:
I heard from Mike at White Water and he reports that he cannot find the original Whitby boarding ladder plans from Tops In Quality. (But he does have their original plans for a number of other Whitby items.) He said he will have another person there search again, just in case... If I hear any more info, I will post it here.

In lieu of the original plans, I asked him for a rough estimate of the cost to fabricate a 6-step folding boarding ladder and he guessed it might be around $450 or slightly more, including plastic tops on the steps.

Nettypatch - They said they do not ship to Canada, but that they're only a few hours drive from Ontario for pickup.

If you want to reach White Water, their number is (810) 987-4837, and they have more info (plus a measurement form) on their website at www.whitewatermarineinc.com .

Obligatory disclaimer - I have no interest, financial or otherwise in White Water - just passing on info I was able to find.

Hope this helps.
Frank

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