Emergency Boarding ladder

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Old Bill
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Old Bill » 12 May 2008, 19:07

Howdy,

As some of you may know I'm older than dirt, overweight, and not very agile! In other words, I'm too dang old and fat to climb back into my 14' fishing boat should I fall overboard!

Did I fail to mention that I'm also very clumsy?

So I decided that a simple boarding ladder might be something that might come in handy some day...or some night! The problem with some of the aluminum boat ladders I looked at is (1) They cost money! (2) Holes have to be drilled in the transom or (3) They have to be stored somewhere on the boat...and most likely would not be stored where I could reach the ladder if I was in the water.

A aluminum transom mounted boarding ladder would be OK except for the fact that I didn't want to drill any holes in my Classic 1957 Richline aluminum boat's transom!

So I ended up shamelessly copying a folding transom mounted wooden ladder that a man named Rob Rohde-Szudy made for his wooden sailing boat.

Here are several photos of the ladder showing it mounted on the transom of my boat using 4 SS bolts that use the existing holes. And, also with the ladder folded for storage and travel.

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I'm hoping never to actually have to use the ladder, but I do get some comfort knowing that it's there if I need it! :D :D
Old Bill
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Captain Ahab
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Captain Ahab » 12 May 2008, 19:09

Awesome job

Thanks for sharing =D>
Trying to Fish as often as Jim works :LOL2:

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Jim
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Jim » 12 May 2008, 19:10

Your the man Bill! =D> :beer:
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Old Bill
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Old Bill » 12 May 2008, 19:31

Esquired & Jim, thank you very much!! :D
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evattman
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by evattman » 13 May 2008, 10:39

Now thats cool! And a GREAT idea! I was just thinking the other day about how to put a ladder on my next project. I went to Bass Pro last night and an aluminum ladder was 65 bucks! Yours even looks better! Great job! And thanks for posting it.

mtnbasser
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by mtnbasser » 13 May 2008, 12:23

Thats pretty dang cool!!!! You put some thought into that!!

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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Waterwings » 21 May 2008, 15:28

Great job! 8)
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G3_Guy
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by G3_Guy » 21 May 2008, 15:36

Very Nice! Thanks for posting. =D>
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Old Bill
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Old Bill » 21 May 2008, 15:40

Thanks Guys!

Let's just hope that we never have to use such a ladder!

In case anyone is interested here are two rough drawings of the ladder.

Image

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Old Bill
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jim4065
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by jim4065 » 28 Aug 2010, 09:56

This looks like a great design. I'd like to know if anyone actually built it - and tested it. I'm old and fat and clumsy too. Yesterday I fell overboard from my new Tracker Pro 16 bass boat. (Second trip out in the boat!) Luckily - the Arkansas River was quite warm and I was in a backwater with no current. The fishing rod and my glasses were lost and of course I couldn't get back in the boat. Managed to snatch a life jacket (and cracked a rib doing so.....) but it was too small to put on - so while I was struggling to put it on the boat drifted away. (Did I mention STUPID along with my other faults? Wife has a comprehensive list.) It's been 10 years since I've done so much swimming - not good since the first heart attack was a couple of years ago. Eventually the boat drifted to shore where I joined it awhile later.

Things to do:

1) Buy or make a boarding ladder and test it.
2) Buy a bigger life jacket and wear it.
3) Get a waterproof holder for my next cell phone.
4) Attach floating knife to life jacket to cut fishing line which will wrap around legs.
5) Buy a floating strap for the next pair of eyeglasses.
6) Lose about 100 pounds. :oops:

What am I forgetting?

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Old Bill
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Old Bill » 28 Aug 2010, 10:30

Jim, as you can see from the photos of the boarding ladder, I did make one.

However, I never did test the ladder under actual boarding conditions in deep water. The only test I did was stand on the lower step to see if it would support my then 200 pounds.

The only item I would add to your to-do list is buy and attach a quality safety whistle (Storm Whistle is one of the best) to the life vest. A good whistle can be heard much further away than a voice.

https://www.stormwhistles.com/storm.html

I'm glad to read that you survived a near tragic event.

Old Bill
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Howard
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Howard » 28 Aug 2010, 11:21

Old Bill-- that is a great idea and now that I turn 50 this year I will look into this, on a side note got to visit OKC a few times and what a great place. Ate at Cattlemans everyday!

Jim 4065-- the knife is also very smart, so many people drown because of idiots throwing fishing line in the waters.

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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by jim4065 » 29 Aug 2010, 20:20

Bill and Howard - Thanks for your replies.

Bill: I re-read what I wrote and it sure sounds wrong. What I meant to ask was regarding the testing phase.

I'm not sure if I could get my foot high enough to reach the lowest step - when in the water. I tried stepping on the cavitation plate and getting a high enough boost with that, but it didn't work. (Used to be able to do that in my 20's, but it's a whole different set of problems on the wrong side of 60.) My boat has a 16" wide by 18" high clear space on the port side of the transom, but I can't reach the inside of about 2/3's of that area. I'm wondering about modifying your design to make it wider and out of aluminum scrap. Tracker says the boat is made of .09" thick aluminum - would you know if that's thick enough for a professional (NOT ME) to weld on some aluminum brackets? It would be nice to fold a step down to at least 18" under the surface to get a knee on. From there I should be able to get my torso above the transom and into the boat. From having been there, I can say that - even in warm water - all I wanted was to be back in the boat. Swimming after it had an amazing effect on clearing up my thought processes.

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Old Bill
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Old Bill » 29 Aug 2010, 21:15

Jim, I may be getting out of line here....but, it sounds like you have a nice boat aluminum boat, and since you are close to being as old as I am, I wouldn't recommend having a ladder made or welded onto you boat's transom. :cry:

I made the wood boarding ladder because I just like to make things! However, on my sailboats I always bought and installed aluminum folding ladders! Mainly becasue I always believed that I was more likely to end up in the water with my lack of sailing ability...than with my powered boats.

West Marine has about 5 pages of different types of boat ladders. WM items cost more than other boating outlets, but they do have a good catalog that will give you an idea what is available off the shelf. Unless you have a good friend who can weld aluminum most likely just the cost of welding would cost more than a store build ladder.

https://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/st ... SearchView

Here is one that I liked, but I'm not sure how it is mounted on the transom. I believe that your transom would hold a ladder, but would need a blacking plate on the inside of the transom...in my opionion.

https://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/st ... sNum=10398

Just my two-cents,
Old Bill
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Jim
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Emergency Boarding ladder

Post by Jim » 29 Aug 2010, 21:50

Jim,
Wow sounds like a crazy day. Luckily you are still here to tell us about it.
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