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Old 06-22-2009
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DIY Gangplank?

An idea from a newbie. That ought to frighten you right there! But... plz read on. Our 28 Ranger has some pretty wide hips, so when it comes to boarding time, a pretty large step is needed to go from dock to gunwhale in the cockpit area.

Many of you here probably are in a similar situation - elderly parents who, though it may not be prudent (or even possible) to take them out sailing, would enjoy boarding the boat on a nice day even to sit in the slip and have a little lunch and conversation. Such a wide step might be difficult and dangerous for them to perform.

I was thinking about the possibility of building a small gangplank so that my mother, who uses a walker, might be able to board. My wife's mother, who is 1/4 owner of our boat, can board but it's hard for her.

I would love to hear from others who have considered, attempted and/or even successfully built something like this as I contemplate design and overall safety of such a project.

Mike
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Old 06-22-2009
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Mike, welcome to the Net. I'm sure someone here has built such a device. I recently saw one on Ebay, designed for helping a dog board the boat. I think the seller calls it a doggie gangplank. The same concept would work for you, just make it longer and wider, perhaps in two pieces that could be pinned together to make it wide enough for your mother's walker. The plank could double as a fender board.
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Old 06-22-2009
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What is the arrangement of your float/wharf? Are you on tidal water? These considerations could be the difference whether what you need to do is truly workable. Such a 'gangplank' from a low floating dock (to the R28's relatively high deck) would be necessarily quite long and clumsy to deal with unless you never need to take it with you.

If you have a deck level dock, then it's probably much more practical as it could be relatively short.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
What is the arrangement of your float/wharf? Are you on tidal water? These considerations could be the difference whether what you need to do is truly workable. Such a 'gangplank' from a low floating dock (to the R28's relatively high deck) would be necessarily quite long and clumsy to deal with unless you never need to take it with you.

If you have a deck level dock, then it's probably much more practical as it could be relatively short.
Thanks for bringing up a good point. The boat is in a slip in a harbor on Lake Superior's south shore. The deck is roughly level with the dock or, if anything, a step down and it would be relatively short as it's more a matter of dealing with the R28's big hips in that when they're tight against the bumpers, there's still quite a step from dock to the cockpit -- not a problem for most people, but older folks could find it unmanageable.

We'd probably leave such a gangway at our dockbox or cable it to our cradle when not in use. I can't really envision stowing this aboard.
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Old 06-22-2009
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Once aboard how will she get around the boat? Even from the deck to the cockpit may prove to be difficult. Let alone going down the companionway. I amy be wrong, but getting her onto the boat is only the beginning of the problem. What if she has to pee, and you are undersail........i2f
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