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post #21 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

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Originally Posted by Scotty C-M View Post
I like the folding ladder on the stern of TQA's boat. Here's how I did a similar mount on a swim step on my boat. I believe a safe ladder, accessable from the water, is a crucial safety gear.
Scotty - Your folding swim-step ladder looks quite well-suited both for emergency and casual uses. Where did you get it, and roughly what are its dimensions? My boat is smaller, but I'm looking for something similar. Thanks!

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post #22 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

You know, I bought it at a marine consignment store -The Blue Pelican in Alameda. It folds up to about a foot square, and when opened, has four steps. There's a 3 step ladder on the West Marine site.

https://www.westmarine.com/search?No...30&Ntt=ladders

You might also call some of the manufacturers. I've seen those ladders on Jenneau and other yachts.
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post #23 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

I'm curious as to what scenarios folks think they might need an emergency ladder. To me, it would be for intentionally diving off the boat and forgetting to put the proper boarding ladder down. Folks have died this way (I did this once, didn't die, swam to a neighboring boat and had a beer, waiting for wife to return in dighy). Maybe for falling off the boat, while alone in the marina or while moored/anchored.

I'm thinking, if underway and you fall overboard, you either have crew who can assist, or you're alone and the boat is going to leave without you, making an emergency ladder useless.


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post #24 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

In cold waters you want to get out ASAP, you only have a few minutes where you can propel yourself. If you go over and have to wait even 3 minutes for the wife to rig the ladder you by then may be incapacitated and unable to assist in the rescue.

Last year a fellow lost his wife off the South coast of Newfoundland. She went in the drink, he actually had her alive by the life vest. But she slipped into unconsciousness and could not assist. By the time he had the year rigged to get her aboard she was deceased.

Lifesling has an old list of stories about folks going overboard. Itís not uncommon for someone to slip out of a PFD while being hoisted aboard. We have sewn crotch straps into our inflatable PDFs. A handy ladder would also greatly assist in self retrieval.
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post #25 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

A ladder is critical for some recoveries, but why does it need to be an emergency self deployable ladder, if there is crew aboard. Wouldn't they just use whatever ladder they had?


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post #26 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

In the panic of the moment it may not be obvious to the deck crew.

Last year a piece of dock edge gave way beneath me and dumped me in the water behind our boat, with an water deployable ladder. Did I go to the boat and use the ladder? NO! In the moment I bellowed for my Wife and then fought my way back into the dock before she could come to my aid.

Stupid but typical.

In those moments you want all advantages posssible.
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post #27 of 30 Old 05-23-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Emergency board ladder

Most of my sailing is singlehanded - and even if the wife is aboard - if I fell off - she might see the opportunity to collect double the insurance if its an accident - " no I said throw me a life jacket - not the anchor"

Luckily the Cal 29 has a flat stern so not as difficult to board , just get high enough to get my hand on the top of cockpit and then stern rail - the more substanial boarding ladder is kept below and attaches to port side - it is fine when deployed - but if anchored overnight or just for day sailing may not deploy it - so just need something simple & always ready in case I took an unexpected dip - all of my sailing is done in Florida or hopefully further south - no freezing temps for me.
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post #28 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

Some one mentioned climbing back onboard by grabbing a shroud or stanchion and pulling themselves up. There is no way the average person on the average cruising boat can do this. We tried an experiment with a knotted rope dangling down to the water level. Only one person made it and we were all in swim suits.

NB If looking for a 4 step telescopic ladder they cost 200 to 250 US$ from a marine store and 50 $ on EBAY.

I am on my second the first one developed holes at the water level when I left it in the water for a year.
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post #29 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

There was a day that I could scale the anchor chain and get back aboard. Was kid then, relatively anyway. Not anymore.

However, if you have a step that just gets you high enough to grab something, anything, it can take a lot of pressure off having the perfect set of emergency steps.


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post #30 of 30 Old 05-23-2018
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Re: Emergency board ladder

i defy anyone to be able to waterjump high enough to grab a rail or stanchion on a formosa 41 transom, which is approx 5-6 ft above water. enjoy practicing.
reality: overboard underway you die. gone. vanished. bye bye. face it. accept it. deal with it.
and when boat is autopiloting itself away from your splashed butt, and you are still trying to figger out wtf, anyway., how are you going to swim fast enough to catch your sailing away boat. ladder, warps, wtf--are not going to do any good.
so answer?? JUST STAY ON BOARD. prevent your fall.

in a marina or in a mooring field or anchorage, keep your boarding ladder available and down. hurricane patricia ate mine or i would have had that option open for me.
if that is not an option, create some device or aid affixed to dock via cleat readily available and not overgrown with sealife. or monkey your self nicely up a bobstay or wind vane system.
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