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Superior Sailor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stupid ladder.....What do you guys use thats safe and secure and doesn't weigh a ton to access the boat when it's on the hard....

I only need 9'... an 8' folding ladder is too short, a 12' is too bulky and heavy,,,

I cut an old wooden ladder down to size nice fit, nice and light but it has the "round rungs" which are hard on the feet and like yesterday has a tendency to "slip out" from under me...

I had my arms full of gear and only one hand on the rail (which helped control my fall) but worry about the Mrs (and myself) when were loading and down loading "stuff"...

I could probably tie the top off the toe rail for security but is there something light weight and flat stepped (with out building a stairway to Heaven) that you can use or suggest...?
 

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I only use the ladder for me. I lower or raise everything to myself using bags tied to a single line (or a convenient handle on the item). I've had friends break their arms falling down ladders.

Also, I tie the ladder to the toe rail (like you suggested).

To rig the line, just cleat off the bitter end, and run the working end through the bag handle (or item handle). Then, you can control the speed at which you lower the item by letting out the working end (the item stays at the dip in the line).
 
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I just use whatever ladder they have on loan at the yard. I always tie it off so that it extra secure if I'm carrying gear up with me.
 

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I use one similar to this...

Ladder Product Tool Aluminium Metal


It can be used as a step ladder or as a linear ladder and can be adjusted in height in approximately eight inch steps in a secure manner. Most rungs are double width when extended to the nine or so foot length needed to access my cockpit...making for stable footing.

Available at Home Depot in a variety of lengths up to at least 16 feet (extended).
 
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Unpaid Intern
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We only need about 9 feet too, to board at the boarding gate on the sides of the boat. We have a winter cover and naturally this is where the "door" is too. We had been boarding via the stern ladder and step ladder, but it always required unlacing the whole cover back there. Plus wiggling around the backstay, etc.

I searched high and low for an old wood ladder and couldn't even find one. I didn't want an extension ladder really because it was unnecessary and I thought it might ding up the side of the boat. Also, the rungs on extensions ladders don't always line up where they are doubled, and that can make it harder to use too. Straight ladders where hard to come by. I finally broke down and bought this one:

Ladder, 10 ft.H, 18-1/8 In W, Aluminum - Extension Ladders - [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@21GmXok5WwL

It wasn't cheap but it's the perfect height, has comfortable rungs, and has big feet to prevent slippage. Works great.

Hope that helps.
J
 

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I use one similar to this...

View attachment 29666

It can be used as a step ladder or as a linear ladder and can be adjusted in height in approximately eight inch steps in a secure manner. Most rungs are double width when extended to the nine or so foot length needed to access my cockpit...making for stable footing.

Available at Home Depot in a variety of lengths up to at least 16 feet (extended).
I have one of these, a Little Giant Ladder, up against my boat right now. Like Fry said, you can adjust it to just the right height, and at least on my little boat the right height ends up with most of the rungs doubled.
 

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Barquito
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I consider working on the boat while on the hard to be the most dangerous time of the year. According to my Googling, The American College of Surgeons reports that one in five falls from ladders results in a hospital admission. I tie the top of my ladder to a cleat. However, this is mostly to keep it from being blown over.
 

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I didn't want an extension ladder really because it was unnecessary and I thought it might ding up the side of the boat...
Near the top of the laddder, I wind a rope around each vertical part of the it, where it would otherwise touch the gel coat. It provides a soft surface to the boat.

Also, I tie the top with several lines. The ladder can't twist, slide down, fall backwards, or slide left to right.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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I bought this one 17 years ago, so I could paint the stairwell in my townhouse.


It is PERFECT for maintaining the boat when she is on the hard. It is light. It folds small enough to fit in the trunk of my wife's car. It can be used as a free standing ladder so I can compound and wax all around the boat, or I can extend it all the way and climb up to the deck.
 

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As was already written...hoist items with a line, never climb with too much in your arms.

On a lighter note...I hope that you laid there and yelled "MAN OVERBOARD PORT SIDE" for comedic value:laugher
 

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I hope you are OK. That sucks. I really like my ladders (no matter where I am using them) to be longer than necessary, so I can hold on to it when getting on and off. Nothing makes me more nervous than trying to get onto one of the top rungs of a ladder. I got stuck in a tree house once when I was a child, so perhaps I am a bit more of a scardy cat than most. Ladders are quite dangerous, and agree don't carry much in your hands, use a bucket or something to lift it with a rope.
 

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Squidd-
Ladders are damned expensive, especially if you look at the weight ratings and want one that can hold a big guy fully loaded and someone smaller stepping on at the same time. (Which is a bad idea but happens.)
You're also never supposed to step on the top step, so the ladder is a foot or so shorter than whatever the nominal length is.
And you want to place it back at an angle--nowhere near vertical. So now it needs to be even longer and more expensive, again.

Bottom line? Good ladders are expensive, but medical bills are way MORE expensive. We invested and use a (expensive too!) motorcycle cable lock to make sure the ladder stays where it was left.

One upon a time people would DIY with some 2x4x10' and just build a big ugly heavy ladder, and that's still an option too, if you're good at building things that won't fall apart under you.

If it helps, Lowes and Home Depot usually have one-shot 10% off deals if you get a credit card from them, or use a coupon from a USPS address change kit, or other deals they can clue you in to. Craigslist probably still will be cheaper, but any kind of good ladder costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's what I'm looking for...suggestions for a decent sailers ladder with a wide base and flat steps. I'm thinking maybe a 10' step ladder with the back legs cut off...wide base,flattened steps good length and relatively light weight. Medical bills Are expensive ...no time to go cheap on the ladder
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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I bought this one 17 years ago, so I could paint the stairwell in my townhouse.


It is PERFECT for maintaining the boat when she is on the hard. It is light. It folds small enough to fit in the trunk of my wife's car. It can be used as a free standing ladder so I can compound and wax all around the boat, or I can extend it all the way and climb up to the deck.
The thing about this ladder is that it folds up small enough that I never leave it in the boat yard. I always take it with me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
"maybe a 10' step ladder with the back legs cut off..."
Why butcher the step ladder, when you can just buy a 10' ladder?
I want the wide "steps" of a step ladder....

With it's wide base, set up sideways to the boat, the top is too far out from the gunnel for safe access...and they are tippy setup that way....

If I lean the ladder against the side of the boat (like you do with most ladders) I don't need the back legs for support...nor do I need the extra weight to put up and down...

It's a dedicated boat ladder (I have plenty of other ladders for at home and work), so why not customize it...?
 

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Tippy? Dunno, a regular ladder properly set up has never seemed tippy to me. The ones that have seemed tippy, always have been set up wrong. Unstable ground, not enough tilt, always something that could be corrected.

If I was going to invest the extra bucks in a stepladder, I'd just set it up sideways to the hull, like a Jacob's Ladder, so I could also just step off sideways onto the deck. The only drawback being that you need to get FOUR feet leveled off for that instead of just two.
 
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