SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm not a short woman. I'm a very average 5'4". But I guess the boat is either made for men, or very tall women as I have the hardest time getting on it!

When I stand on the floor of the dinghy the back platform is over my head and it doesn't help much to stand on the seat as that only brings the platform to eye level. I have a swinging transom ladder with 4 steps and with one bad knee (thanks to a drunk driver) that results in one foot on the dinghy, trying to hold it still while the other foot reaches out to the swinging ladder and once I've got my footing the other foot is on the ladder and I climb the four or five steps up and then onto my knees on the platform and finally am on the boat. What should take all of about 10 seconds to accomplish takes me a full minute (maybe more if the water is rough).

Since we needed storage space we bought a lock box for the dinghy which is tall enough that when we pull up to the side of the boat, I can, albeit on my tip-toes, hike one leg up over the side of the boat and then pull myself up. It's a win-win! Right?

No. The box is too tall and a bit too wide for the dinghy and so is probably going back to the store.

But I'm not quite ready to give up this really easy way for me to get on the boat, and my knees (especially the one that is currently messed up) just can't handle going up the transom ladder (which forces me onto my knees because the solar panel is also back there) and really it's just too much trouble going up the back platform.

I've looked at some ladders and it seems most that go over the side are not built for sailboats, or aren't tall enough.

I can't be the only person dealing with this issue, can I?
So I come to you, and ask ... What's a girl to do? :confused:
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,489 Posts
Let us know what boat you're on... sounds like relatively high freeboard, which is always a challenge, esp on an older boat without a stern platform of some sort.

So model and year would let us get a mental picture of what you're describing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
A couple of suggestions. First, try tying the dinghy to the boat by it's middle seat. The line should be just long enough so the boat will neither roll down nor swing away. Second, a rope ladder with wide wooden rungs that will lie against the hull should be pretty stable. The lowest rung should be at the height of the dinghy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,475 Posts
I need to see a picture to get some sort of frame of reference, but this sounds pretty bizarre. If the ladder is so short that one can't comfortably climb the ladder from a dinghy, how the heck are you suppose to get back on the boat from in the water?
 

·
One of None
Joined
·
8,045 Posts
Most swim ladders have 1" round rungs, hard with shoes, painful if barefoot! You may notice your companion way ladder is more like stairs? Treads! (Why stairs are easier) Also making it difficult, from your description, the ladder is just too short. It should be in the water or lower. A fold down swim platform next to the ladder could be helpful so your not going from one moving object to another. A fabricator and or welder could extend your ladder, weld supports for treads, and also extend the little feet that rest against the transom, because the reverse angle ladders hang at also makes them hard to climb.

Another thing making it difficult is the dingy itself, most people will never ever trust a dingy from "tipping" Because you are somewhat disabled; At the very least a safety line and or harness should be used and you should not be trying to climb up alone.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
No better than a ladder, but, they look cool.
The FenderStep is a winner. We have one and it made all the difference for Janet getting on and off the boat. If necessary you could get two and hang them one above the other.

Darn good fenders also.
 

·
Senior Slacker
Joined
·
4,223 Posts
I can't be the only person dealing with this issue, can I?
So I come to you, and ask ... What's a girl to do? :confused:
Three words: Big, Strong, Boyfriend (or Girlfriend, we don't judge around here)
 
  • Like
Reactions: deniseO30

·
bell ringer
Joined
·
4,815 Posts
sometime you just have to make your own ladder, like I had to for the side of my boat for shorter people to even get onto the boat for the launch due to the high freeboard
 

·
Super Fuzzy Moderator
Joined
·
17,137 Posts
Let us know what boat you're on... sounds like relatively high freeboard, which is always a challenge, esp on an older boat without a stern platform of some sort.

So model and year would let us get a mental picture of what you're describing...
Looking at older posts CChelle was looking at a Pan Oceanic 43. Don't know if thats what they bought but the PO43 has some pretty serious freeboard.



I reckon those fender steps are the go or a boarding ladder with solid steps not a rope steup.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CChelle

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
12,204 Posts
Most swim ladders have 1" round rungs, hard with shoes, painful if barefoot Denise O30

We attached teak steps to our ss ladder to make the footing safer. We also have a fenderstep and love it. You can attach that to the bottom rung of your transome ss ladder so your first step out of the dinghy is not so dramatic. That is the most import step anyway as you move from one fairly wobbly dinghy to one moving large mass of boat.

Dave
 
  • Like
Reactions: CChelle

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,489 Posts
That is a tall step... they may have to consider something like the 'side stairs' linked below.. These are a bit heavy duty (probably costly) but something might be fabbed up that would do a similar job and fold alongside the rails midships...

Side stairs by Hydromar
 

·
Courtney the Dancer
Joined
·
3,971 Posts
I second the Fender Step (or two), I think this would solve your problem. If you can get one foot on deck without a step the FS will make it a snap (our dog even uses it). The only drawback I have found with the FS is that they can trap sand between the fender and the boat so you need to rinse it down often or hang a towel over the side to protect the hull. Hope your knee gets better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,669 Posts
Having tried a rope ladder on my Catalina 27 I can assure you that they are for very young, strong kids--not older adults, and especially one with a bum knee. FORGET THE ROPE LADDER!

Now, In my case, I have a folding SS ladder that has stand-offs that keep the ladder about 6 inches from the hull. It goes about 18 inches beneath the water and makes it fairly easy for this 71-year-old to climb aboard. (Yes, I'm an old fart.) My wife, on the other hand, could never handle the ladder because she is in horrible, physical condition, has some really bad knees that will soon be replaced, and even after the replacement I sincerely don't believe she could climb safely from the inflatable. I'm seriously thinking about making a modified ladder that has handrails, will attach firmly to the gunwale, and the steps will be similar to those I have going into my attic. I think this is also a solution for us older folks climbing aboard from a floating dock that is just six inches higher than the water, which can also present a problem when you confront a higher free-board boat. I think I can design it in such a way that everything would fold fairly flat and the stairs could be stored much in the manner of any other boarding ladder.

Just another project to think about,

Gary :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The Boat

Here's a picture of a boat that's similar: http://www.theyachtmarket.com/boatImages/2011/5/19/11205692.jpg

And here's a picture I just put up on facebook of the boat: Sovereign Adventures | Facebook (since it's public, I don't think you have to have an account just to view it)

And to give you some scope, when pulled up to the side of the boat and I stand on the floor of the dinghy, the side rail is at the top of my head. Because I'm flexible, when I stand on my tip-toes, on the new tall seat (which is too tall so has to go back) I can get one leg up over the rail & then pull myself up.

Thanks for all the replies, you guys are great & have some great advice! :)
 

·
One of None
Joined
·
8,045 Posts
would it be that hard to tell us what make boat it is? Although I think it's a Morgan?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I support the Fender Step brigade....I am a solo female and my boat was on a fore and aft mooring in a river with quite a strong tidal current...getting my gear from the dinghy to the boat was always fraught with problems...until I got a Fender Step. Problems, no more.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top