SailNet Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I realize this isn't the most amazing craftsmanship there is, but I'm pretty proud of it.

I've never done any woodworking before, just some carpentry. This was surprisingly difficult to do, especially since each side of the ladder had to be shaped separately to fit the hull. It took a lot of self educating and research.

Marine hardwood plywood, sealed with 4 coats of epoxy, then two coats of varnish for UV resistance. It weighs 15 pounds, which is light enough to pick up one handed.

No fasteners, the rungs are set into routed slots on each ladder side.

This only fits on the starboard side, which I'm fine with. It stows on the cabin roof butted up against the mast.

Now that I know a little more of what I'm doing, I'll build my next one out of a nice hardwood. But that will be for the next boat.

136030
136031

136032
136033
136034
136035
136036
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Very nice! That is some great craftsmanship. You Sir, have skills!

I would offer that you should keep a close eye on the notch for the toerail. That will wear with load and will eventually rub through the epoxy coat. A small sacrifical liner, like the cover from an old halyard placed over the toerail might help a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. It does have a few flaws in person, and I wish I'd done it in hardwood, but I had more confidence playing with plywood for my first time. And as it was I had to scrap my first attempt.

Very nice! That is some great craftsmanship. You Sir, have skills!

I would offer that you should keep a close eye on the notch for the toerail. That will wear with load and will eventually rub through the epoxy coat. A small sacrifical liner, like the cover from an old halyard placed over the toerail might help a lot.
Thanks, that's a good point and good idea. I may glue some silicone hose to the inside of the notch, or use a halyard sheath.
I did put some felt where the sides of the ladder touch the hull, but I'm not sure how long that will last. I'll just have to wait and see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,732 Posts
Very nice. Do you think it will float off the toe rail once the boat is in the water? I use indoor/outdoor carpet stuck down with the proper adhesive at wear points.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Very nice. Do you think it will float off the toe rail once the boat is in the water? I use indoor/outdoor carpet stuck down with the proper adhesive at wear points.
I am a little concerned about that. I'm going to try it out in a barrel before we use it.

If I have to I can attach a weight to the bottom. I intend to tie it off to the aft cleat before I use it too, I have way too much time and money to lose that thing.
 

·
Registered
S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
Joined
·
2,316 Posts
I am building my own house, have a full cabinet shop in my garage and do woodworking and carpentry full time. I would be proud of that. Really nice job. I often make something out of ply before building the final version in hardwood. If nothing more you could add hardwood as reinforcement for wear areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I am building my own house, have a full cabinet shop in my garage and do woodworking and carpentry full time. I would be proud of that. Really nice job. I often make something out of ply before building the final version in hardwood. If nothing more you could add hardwood as reinforcement for wear areas.
Thanks! That's high praise. Next I want to make some removable cabinets to surprise my fiancee with. We'll see how those go.
 

·
Aspiring Boat Bum
Joined
·
292 Posts
I did put some felt where the sides of the ladder touch the hull, but I'm not sure how long that will last. I'll just have to wait and see.
I was going to ask if you had put something on the ladder where it lays against the hull. Good plan.

All looks very nice. Good project to start practicing boat carpentry where there are generally NO straight lines and in fact, most projects involve compound curves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,380 Posts
I was going to ask if you had put something on the ladder where it lays against the hull. Good plan.

All looks very nice. Good project to start practicing boat carpentry where there are generally NO straight lines and in fact, most projects involve compound curves.
1st build...cardboard
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,633 Posts
Pretty work, congrats. I suppose everything on a boat will wear, but given your deserved pride, that may be heartbreaking, once in the water. I’m curious what holds the treads to the stringers. I didn’t see any fasteners on the outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
1st build...cardboard
:)
I used up quite a lot of cardboard actually. Fortunately I have a lot of it around from my work in sheet metal.

Pretty work, congrats. I suppose everything on a boat will wear, but given your deserved pride, that may be heartbreaking, once in the water. I’m curious what holds the treads to the stringers. I didn’t see any fasteners on the outside.
Thanks! My worst nightmare is the thing falling overboard. My next worse is the thing coming apart because I didn't seal it correctly. But I learned a lot, the next one would be faster.

No fasteners. It's 1/2" hardwood marine plywood. I routed 1/4" inset on each side for each rung. You can see the slots in the first picture. Then I put West System Epoxy in the slots, and clamped the whole thing together. After that I gave everything 3 coats of West System Epoxy to seal it all against the water. I focused especially on the rung to side joint. Then I sanded it again, and gave it one more coat of epoxy, followed by two of varnish.

They claim the epoxy is stronger than wood, so it should hold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
This is something else I made at the same time I was building the ladder. I work with copper for a living, and my fiancee needed a coat hanger for the entryway, so I made this. I'll probably put it in my Etsy store soon. I'm proud of it too, but I'm used to working with copper. The ladder was a whole new set of skills for me to learn.

136057
136058
136059
136060
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,633 Posts
Thanks! My worst nightmare is the thing falling overboard.
It might actually float. Plywood typically does.

No fasteners. ...........

They claim the epoxy is stronger than wood, so it should hold.
My fingers are crossed. Epoxy strength is different by formula and all differ in bonding, tensile, compression, flexibility and shear. The routed slot would take the downward pressure of standing on the tread. The epoxy will need to hold against twisting. Epoxies are not generally UV resistant, some have a temporary additive to help. You might want a top coat of something that is. I’d consider pre-drilling holes, from the sides into the treads, for 316 stainless wood screws.

Hoping to be helpful, not critical. Pretty work. All the best with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
It might actually float. Plywood typically does.



My fingers are crossed. Epoxy strength is different by formula and all differ in bonding, tensile, compression, flexibility and shear. The routed slot would take the downward pressure of standing on the tread. The epoxy will need to hold against twisting. Epoxies are not generally UV resistant, some have a temporary additive to help. You might want a top coat of something that is. I’d consider pre-drilling holes, from the sides into the treads, for 316 stainless wood screws.

Hoping to be helpful, not critical. Pretty work. All the best with it.
No criticism taken, thanks for the thoughts.

I actually talked to West System before I started this, and asked for the recommendations on what to use. They thought it should hold together. I know that people build wooden boats with West System epoxy, so they should know what they're talking about. They gave me the advice on how many coats to use, and to use varnish over the top for UV resistance.

We'll just have to see how well it holds up over a season or two.

I did throw it in a barrel to see how buoyant it is. It's just a little above neutral. It may be hard to find in the water though, and I'd actually prefer it sank so that it would be more solid against the hull rather than trying to float off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,648 Posts
I would consider something more to secure the ladder to the toenail. It's not just concern about floating, but waves can knock it off. Could just be a couple of short lines. And I would feel better with a few SS screws holding the steps to the sides. I might have considered using hinges to attach the steps to the sides to permit it to fold up and save space.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top