Swim ladders on transom - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-16-2007
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Swim ladders on transom

I'm debating on installing a swim ladder on the transom of my Merit 25. Preferably one of the telescoping 3 step SS models that you can swing up out of the way. Anyone have one of these? How did you affix it to the transom and how is it working out for you? My out board is dead center in the back so the ladder would be off to one side. I guess most have a swim platform they attach their's to.

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http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...&cartId=657958

here's the ladder.
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Old 11-16-2007
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zz,
I think the one you've selected has mounting brackets designed to mount on a horizontal surface, such as a swim platform. It then folds up and over, 180 degrees to lay flat on the platform.

For vertical mount applications, such as your boat's transom, you might be better served with a unit similar to this one:



Or, even this, if space allows:



The advantage of the above unit is, stainless keyed clips are secured to the transom, allowing for easy removal of the folding ladder. It is then stowed out of the way in your lazzerette, when not in use.
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 11-16-2007 at 12:20 PM.
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Oh. Where can I find that one?
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Unless everyone using the ladder is extremely fit, or light weight, I'd stress getting the maximum number of rungs underwater as possible. This could mean installing a ladder that folds up to the point that the bottom of the ladder is in line with your pushpit top rail when retracted..

Also, given the smallish size of your boat I'd mount it permanently - for two reasons: It's instantly deployable in case of an MOB; and it avoids having to find a place to store it when not in use.
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We have a permanent, folding stern ladder, but our aft deck/cockpit is very high off the water - making boarding the dinghy a challenge when hauling stuff up and down.

I found a 5-rung ladder at West Marine which can be clipped to toerail mounts on either side of our boat, adjacent to each pilothouse door.


Clips allow for easy removal - removed ladder fits nicely in a pilothouse storage locker.


Defender for some reason didn't carry anything as nicely made as the WM model - so bit the bullet. It's been great, and we never use the stern ladder anymore, except when taking a quick swim.

This shot gives a sense for how high the stern ladder is:


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Here's something I'd like to do.
http://www.quietboating.com/ladder.jpg
http://www.quietboating.com/ladder_2.jpg
I'd like to mount mine lower (as low as possible) and use 3 to 4 steps to get it lower in the water. I've used those "one step" ladders before and the first step is chest high when you're in the water. (easy for me being young and in shape, but others might have issues).

And I totally agree with Faster. I'm very limited on the storage space of the boat, so it will be permanent on the transom. I guess my question is rather about the installation. I don't see why I couldn't mount the first ladder I posted in a vertical position even though it was designed for a horizontal installation. Seems to me that the ladder would just swing down ~180* instead of ~270* into the water.
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WOW TB. You're not kidding.
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Yeah . . . eight rungs needed at the stern ladder.

I'd be very concerned with fasteners subjected to excessive shear in a horizontal installation . . . but I'm a big guy. Make certain you use through-bolts with large stainless washers as backing plates.
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I would highly recommend using a metal backing plate, preferably stainless steel, to spread the load of the ladder over a fairly large area of the transom. The forces on a swim ladder are pretty high. BTW, I'd second mounting it permanently as well as getting the most rungs you can. If the ladder doesn't extend far enough into the water, getting aboard using it is going to be very difficult.

Also, one that has standoffs, that keep the ladder rungs a few inches from the hull are better than ones that don't have standoffs. If the ladder is flush against the hull, it is very difficult to use.

BTW, most boats don't have quite as much freeboard as TB's..
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Last edited by sailingdog; 11-16-2007 at 12:52 PM.
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