Why is this a bad idea? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

I mounted a small teak swim platform on each side of the center mounted boarding ladder on my '81 Hunter 30. I had to do some adjusting (cutting and bending) on the stainless steel supports to level the platforms on the angled transom, but it worked great. I just used stainless steel fender washers for backup plates. One Gulf Stream crossing I was buffeted by 35 knot winds and 15 ft seas for 12 hours with no damage to the swim platforms. I even had a 1 gallon can of gas for a generator strapped to on one of the platforms.
An earlier post suggested galvanized conduit straps to attach treads for the ladder steps. This will work fine in fresh water, but the galvanized metal would only last a few months in salt water.


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post #12 of 25 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

ease of access is not a bad idea until someone enters your boat because of this ease of access and beans you and robs you. i have nice high freeboard and no access. not a big deal.


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post #13 of 25 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

Other than structural support and watertight issues the only thing you want to pay attention to is to make sure that the bottom step/platform is out of the water by 12-18 inches, that will keep it from dragging along when you are at speed and have a stern wave.
You'll need to have a ladder that hooks to the bottom so you can climb up out of the water of course.

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post #14 of 25 Old 01-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

Thanks everyone! If you look at the timing of my thread, the swim platform idea came to me late last night. I've been able to do some research since then, and have come across some really great threads here and on CruisersForum. Here are a few links, for those interested:

Teak Swim Platform - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/attach...orm-66d6_1.jpg
This is the quote from SailNet user Guidera48 on the above platform:
Quote:
I recently inspected a Hunter 30 in Havre de Grace, MD. The owner is an avid carpenter and had many wood upgrades made. One of them was this swim platform. It looked good and was very fuctional. The chains are necesary but look a little home made. A solid tube would double as a handle, however it would not allow the platform to be folded. A divers ladder attached under the platform. Sort of a trailer hitch 2" square pipe receiver for the ladder. It suported a fully equipped diver.
This thread had some interesting side-boarding ladder ideas:
Swim Platform - Pro & Con - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Here's another with some interesting pictures:
Swim Platform Design - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

- Jim
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15


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post #15 of 25 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
I'm on a water budget (on the beer to champaigne budget scale), but I like to dream, and I like to figure out what changes I might make to make my "next" boat better for my family and me. One of the things that we REALLY want in our next boat is a good swim ladder. It was a real challenge to climb aboard our 1984 Catalina 25 via the ladder. The round rungs hurt my kids' feet (and mine), and the stern rail was VERY awkward to get over/under. I'd really like a sugar-scoop transom, or even a swim platform (like the O'Day 272's), but I'm not overly picky.

One idea that struck me was to just put a small, powerboat-style swim platform on the back. Sure, with the way the transom slopes on many sailboats boats, I'd probably have to find a way of offsetting the mouting brackets, I'd want to reinforce the transom in that area, etc., but that all is "do-able". And it strikes me that a lot of people want to, and actually do, swim off their boats or use a dinghy, and both scenarios seem to benefit from such a swim platform. So, why don't I see a lot of them on sailboats? Or, put another way, why is something like the picture below (which is from a sailboat, if you couldn't tell) a bad idea?

It's done on many boats around here.
There are even kits available
Ankarspel Badplattform Badstege LED Peke | Btsystem

Direct link to swim platform catalog
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post #16 of 25 Old 01-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

Knuterikt,
Thanks! I especially like the one with the rudder cut-out! Very cool!


Zeehag, I can appreciate your concern, but I expect my boat to spend most of her time at the dock, where everyone will be easy able to climb aboard anyway.

- Jim
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1975 Albacore 15


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post #17 of 25 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

I needed a better swim ladder but in that we sail in Maine mostly, our swim ladder gets infrequent use. The best ones were high cost for our use, so I decided to build a simple something I could knock down and leave in the lockers for a few days a year.

I sort of ended up with this as a mock up, I thought, but I think it's permanent now. I used a set of old boarding ladder hitches mounted on the hull to affix the new one. I got a lot of laughs on it in the design stage from my family as put it together at home. "Ha ha...dad,...you can't be serious,..."

But I put this on the side of the boat after arriving in Cuttyhunk from Maine a few years ago, and everybody stopped laughing.

For the first time, they had a nice wide foot sized step, well below the water, for an easy use climb. The hand holds take all the work out of easily stepping up. The dinghy fender material attached to the rails just below the carriage bolt head that slide into the old mounts, stabilizes the ladder against the hull.

Your weight pins it plumb and tight to the hull. The problem now, people like to linger and hang out on it so there can be a line to board....

Now the first thing I have to do when the water is warm, is pop the rails into the gains cut in the treads, and tighten the wing nuts(it stows to a small package). Just pine, some hardware, paint.

They don't laugh at my ladder anymore,...
Attached Thumbnails
Ladder  assembled.jpg  
Faster, jimgo and justflie like this.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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post #18 of 25 Old 01-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

Thanks Tom! In researching what you meant by "old boarding ladder hitches" I came across this thread, and at the bottom is another great example of a side boarding ladder:

Swim ladder- anybody have a great one?

The problem with ladders is that they don't give a wide platform, and I would love to snorkel/scuba off of my boat at some point. Though, as a practical matter, that won't probably happen until my kids are about 7 years older than they are now, and I may be on another boat at that point!

- Jim
Home: Western Philly 'burbs
1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15


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post #19 of 25 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

The only issue, if the platform is made very large, is the effects of following seas crashing down on it. Keep it fairly small, allow the water to flow through, and it's no problem. The one in the picture looks perfect.

Just don't get carried away. I've seen boats with what looked like a back patio attached to their transoms. Not only abominable looking, but dangerous in a following sea.
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post #20 of 25 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Why is this a bad idea?

The C-25 ladder is bad, but most sailboats have a transom mounted ladder that solve your main two concerns. This is what the ladder looks like on my Pearson 28-2:


That isn't my boat, but it's the same model. I've seen the same design on dozens of other boats.

The latter has real treads (an optional upgrade on the Catalina 25, Catalina Direct sells the treads) which makes it easier to walk up. When the ladder is swung down it opens up the stern pulpit so that you don't need to go over or under it. It's not as easy as a sugar scoop, but it's a lot easier than the C-25.

One downside of the addition that you are suggesting is that it increases LOA and thus moorage fees. That addition would cost me $80/mo since it would push me from a 30' slip (my boat is 29'6" long from the front edge of the bow pulpit to the tail edge of the transom) into a 34' slip.

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