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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have been racking my brain for over a year now on the best way to add a ladder to my South Coast 23. The Admiral has now made this feature a requirement for this coming sailing season.

I am sure that an amidship ladder will be much easier to use from the water. If I can line it up with the boarding gate in the lifelines then we will be able to get back in without stepping over the stern rails.

So far my favorite solution is actually a dock ladder:

<a href=http://www.dockedge.com/support/2213_4_5-F.pdf>Dock Edge Ladder</a>

I think I can hang the hinge out over the toe rail. That way I can tie the ladder to the lifelines or stanchions when it is flipped up and underway.

I would greatly appreciate it if sailnet would take a look at this idea and tell me if it looks like a bad idea.

If it IS a bad idea -- What is a good idea for an amidship ladder that can swing or fold or telescope out of the water when underway?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Scott.
 

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Old soul
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Hi Scott, I don't know your boat, but take a look at this option: Up-N-Out Marine Ladders - Boat Ladder Models

I have no affiliation with this company, other than being a very satisfied customer. What I really like about this ladder is that it stores out of the way, is very solid, and can also be released from the water. This makes it both a general purpose ladder as well as one that is good for emergencies.

They are pricey, but well worth it.

P.S. I see you're in Michigan. These ladders are made by a small company in MN, so likely not that far away from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the quick feedback.

I have looked at the Up-N-Out. I am sure it is a very nice ladder. I am not so sure that I can afford a very nice ladder. Maybe I will bite the bullet and buy the best tool for the job.

Scott.
 

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Not sure I like the dock edge design. It looks like it will be sticking up in the air about 4 feet when not deployed. It also sticks out almost 4 inches past your rails which could be a problem when docking. Those handrails may inhibit access to your side deck.

I think you're going to need 4 steps on your ladder in order to get one well below the water's surface. The telescoping ladders that west marine and others sell can be had for less than $150.00. Probably less than $100.00 on ebay. When they are folded up they are only about 12 inches tall.

I don't have one, but I see them on a lot of boats in my marina.

I sure don't know it all. Hope this helps. A picture of your boat might help others help you.
 

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I could see the advantage to the Dock Edge, in that it only puts stress on the deck where it is bolted down. And the downside, that it would create a lot of clutter or need stowage someplace.

But the Up-n-Out doesn't seem all that expensive for the amount of stainless they have in it. I'd like to meet one at a boat show and see just how rickety it is or isn't, and consider that without some grab rails at the top, it probably will stress the two adjacent stanchions unless their bases are reinforced. Seems like it might be a very nice idea all in all.
 

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Old soul
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I have looked at the Up-N-Out. I am sure it is a very nice ladder. I am not so sure that I can afford a very nice ladder. Maybe I will bite the bullet and buy the best tool for the job.
Yes, they aren't as cheap as most of the other options. But having looked long and hard at all the others out there, I came to the conclusion it was well worth the price. We've used it for a few years now, and it has exceeded expectations. For our boat (a double-ender) it seems to be the perfect solution.

But the Up-n-Out doesn't seem all that expensive for the amount of stainless they have in it. I'd like to meet one at a boat show and see just how rickety it is or isn't, and consider that without some grab rails at the top, it probably will stress the two adjacent stanchions unless their bases are reinforced. Seems like it might be a very nice idea all in all.
Not rickety at all HS, and very solid. It does flex, but the way it is engineered makes it very stable when in use. The guy makes it with various mounts. Ours is attached to the jib T-track, but it can be affixed directly on the deck as well. The stanchions only hold it in place when folded up.

Again, not affiliated, but I do love it when I find a smart piece of equipment,
 

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Master Mariner
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Ladders with bars instead of steps are a lot harder on one's feet, and perhaps, for the less nimble, a bit harder to climb.
Every boating consignment shop I've visited has at least a few used proper boarding ladders at a reduced price.
 

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We bought a folding boarding ladder for Mandolin last year from West Marine. It is removable (we store it in a bunk when sailing). We have installed 2 slotted attachment fixtures at both gates so we could put the ladder on either side of the boat. The best thing is that it doesn't block the gates when we are rafted up or at a marina. They come in different lengths so you can get the one that fits, making sure you have 2 rungs under water. The treads are flat so they don't hurt your feet. We are very pleased with this product.

Tod
 

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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the quick feedback.

I have looked at the Up-N-Out. I am sure it is a very nice ladder. I am not so sure that I can afford a very nice ladder. Maybe I will bite the bullet and buy the best tool for the job.

Scott.
In this case, the best tool is the one that SWMBO finds satisfactory.

Price is no object in cases like that. ;)
 

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We have a folding stainless steel swim ladder from West Marine on the stern. Amidships we have a Taylor ladder that we've had for years. The Taylor clips on stainless steel locking clips on the deck, and we have clips on both the port and starboard sides so we can use the ladder on either side. It unlocks out of the clips and then folds flat for storage in a locker in the cockpit.

Not a real good picture of it, but it's the only one I got and I wasn't really taking a photo of the ladder at the time. Not sure if they make those Taylor ladders anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks CruisingCouple, and everyone.

I was not able to find a ladder like your Taylor amidship ladder. If you can find a link to one I will certainly consider it. It looks like a robust setup.

I am planning system similar to yours with two ladders.

1. A 'Garelick 10049 Latch Type Boarding Ladder' that I will need to stored in a locker and then deploy amidships when swimming. I hope this will be easy for everyone to use.

2. A second small emergency-only ladder that can deployed from the water. I think a very simple 'rope' ladder made from webbing with loops will work OK. I do not have much freeboard.

I will post some photos and let you all know how it worked out.

Thanks again,

Scott.
 

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Scott,
The problem with rope/webbing ladders is that they bend under your weight. This makes them surprisingly hard to climb if you aren't used to them. If you're under duress (i.e., in an emergency situation), I think the rope/webbing ladder would be a bad choice. Perhaps if you have something to help keep it spread apart, but otherwise...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank for the input, Jim.

I have a small boat and a small budget, so something has to give!

I thought it would be better to put more of the safety budget into a rock-solid tether and jackline system so that it will be nearly impossible to fall off the boat. I see myself crawling, not walking, on deck with a very short tether when I go out this year.

But I do understand your concern. I will look into a second permanent ladder for the transom.

Scott.
 

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For what it's worth...I located mine just aft of the shrouds. The shrouds provide and place to grab hold of when climbing aboard. Plus...people aren't dripping all over the cockpit. I would recommend getting this ladder. It is very strong, stores easily in the cockpit locker and the deck mounts don't get in the way of anything. It's a 30 second setup or takedown. Not cheap but damn good quality. AS SOMEONE ELSE SAID-GET THE LENGTH THAT WILL ALLOW TWO STEPS UNDERWATER. WEST MARINE Gunwale-Mount Ladders | West Marine
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The 'WEST MARINE Gunwale-Mount Ladders' do look good. Thank you for the suggestion. It is on the short list now.

Scott.
 

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Looks like a nice ladder. Hope you measured to insure you got the best length. You want at least 1 step totally in the water when extended. 2 is preferable. Otherwise it is hard to get out from swimming or a kayak.

Tod


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I have very little freeboard especially at that point on the hull. I did measure before ordering and I think it should be OK. But there is only one way to find out for sure!

Scott.
 

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With that transom shape and high counter it will be difficult to make that ladder work there, I think. You're essentially asking someone to climb a back-wards sloping ladder, and with the high counter I wonder about getting the bottom step deep enough for a swimmer, esp if they lack upper body strength.

Good looking skookum ladder, though!

I'd consider adapting the mount to a clip-in/clip-on style and use it amidships when you need it, stow it when you don't. Doesn't look like the geometry will allow a 180 degree 'flip up' against the hull, and the toe rail or bulwark may interfere with a deck mount...

Good luck!
 
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