Originally Posted by casey1999
When single handing, I always teather, but still a concern is you go over the side, then how would you alone get back on board? On a small boat (narrow beam), even with the jack line tight and in the middle, you could still find your self over the lifelines. I have been looking at a boarding ladder I could rig off the side of the boat towards the stern in the hopes of being able to get to it, pull it down, and climb aboard. Most ladders have rungs and I could imagine having my fingers and feet pinched and maybe skin removed as I am trying to climb aboard this wild bucking horse (the boat). Recently I found these "Sea Steps" which might work. I plan to buy two, rig on either side of the boat with bungee cord normally holding them up and with a release line maybe just draging in the water. It could also be used in a man over board situation when crew is aboard.
Boarding steps & ladders - great prices!
Last year I mounted a small telescoping ladder on the transom. It folds up nicely against the angled transom and interferes with nothing. Being on the transom, it is not a problem when heeled, unlike the standard side-mounted ladder which, of course, cannot be left in place. I have a ring and a snap shackle on it that can be pulled from the water to release it. It works well enough to get up on boat if I've gone in or have just forgotten to drag out the regular ladder before jumping in for a swim... oops. It's a little hard to climb up the freely hanging steps and over the stern rail but it does work. Before mounting the ladder, I kept a line with three foot loops withing reach from the water.