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post #1 of Old 11-07-2003 Thread Starter
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Ladder question

I have a fairly trivial question on a custom ladder I''m having built for a 43'' sailboat. But I''d like some opinions.
I want a ladder amidships that I can swim from and use for boarding. (Stern ladder is blocked by davits.)
New ladder is a custom amidships folding ladder, fitting on the Genoa track and extending to the water through the lifeline gate. When deployed, it extends down to the water and into the water some distance, for ease of climbing while swimming or diving, or if you have fallen into the water. When folded, it folds into 3 sections and flips up between the lifeline gate stantions.
We are in our 50''s, not particularly athletic, so deeper in the water makes it easier to get aboard.
Question is: How long should the ladder be? Longer makes more ladder into the water for ease of climbing when swimming or with dive gear. Longer also means that the folded ladder would extend above the lifelines and stantions and generally look pretty ugly and be heavy to remove and heavy to deploy when we only want to board from the dingy.
Right now, a standard 56" ladder would extend 16" into the water (with 40" of freeboard amidships) and fold not higher than the lifelines. A 64" ladder would extend about 1" above the lifelines when folded, and provide 24" of ladder under the water. A 68" ladder would extend 28" into the water and be about 4" above the lifelines. A 70" ladder would be 30" into the water and about 6" above the lifelines when folded.

Short of conducting experiments, I wonder if anyone else has taken a look at this. And, yes, I know, it is not a question likely to rank with how to achieve world peace or the meaning of life.........
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