Transom ladder conundrum

Hunky

Member
56
5
NW Alaska
Trying to figure out a boarding ladder in case someone falls in the water or otherwise goes for a swim. Living up by latitude 64.5 so probably not a lot of use of a ladder, but I need something. I've considered a rope ladder and am aware of its disadvantages. This transom is on a catamaran and is perhaps around 35 degrees off vertical. Kickup rudder. I suppose I could build a platform and hang a ladder off that.. it would give me more options. Just wondering if there is a store bought bolt on I'm not seeing. I assume the ladder should hang somewhat vertically or the bending forces would be pretty good.. but I see one like the Garelick 19684 Telescoping Transom Ladder, 4-Step have 30 degrees angle built right into them. Seems the force on the attachment would be pretty high, I don't know. (I would have to build a vertical surface or wedge for the brackets to attach for that particular type model.) I'm just not able to go look at any.. have to rely on web searches.. Thanks.

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PaulK

Super Anarchist
A telescoping ladder should work well mounted on the transom. Can you mount it on the flat (inside) side of the transom? It would allow you to position it better to bear against the edge of the transom when deployed. (Glue a teak or plastic protection piece there to keep it from getting damaged.) We got one more like this: https://www.e-rigging.com/10-Stainl...WTOzqLTMTi9ToKkYuEn4wsonXECBUwoEaAt5wEALw_wcB. which folds up as well as telescoping. Keeps it looking neater and can still be deployed by someone in the water if necessary.
 

Son of Hans

Member
163
85
San Diego
If the main concern is retrieving an MOB, likely under unfavorable conditions, you might want to consider a gunwale mount closer to amidships where the motion is much easier. I say this as a diver having ended many dives trying climb out on a stern-mounted ladder that is bouncing up and down. There are plenty of types available and usually require a pair of brackets on the deck. The disadvantage of course is that you wouldn't want to leave it in place all the time and would have to mount it when needed.
 

Hunky

Member
56
5
NW Alaska
A telescoping ladder should work well mounted on the transom. Can you mount it on the flat (inside) side of the transom? It would allow you to position it better to bear against the edge of the transom when deployed. (Glue a teak or plastic protection piece there to keep it from getting damaged.) We got one more like this: https://www.e-rigging.com/10-Stainl...WTOzqLTMTi9ToKkYuEn4wsonXECBUwoEaAt5wEALw_wcB. which folds up as well as telescoping. Keeps it looking neater and can still be deployed by someone in the water if necessary.
THanks for that suggestion. It has been a question in my mind if the ladders are built strong enough to support the bending stresses at the transom edge, since it would be splayed out at that transom angle. But if so, that would definitely work.
 

Hunky

Member
56
5
NW Alaska
If the main concern is retrieving an MOB, likely under unfavorable conditions, you might want to consider a gunwale mount closer to amidships where the motion is much easier. I say this as a diver having ended many dives trying climb out on a stern-mounted ladder that is bouncing up and down. There are plenty of types available and usually require a pair of brackets on the deck. The disadvantage of course is that you wouldn't want to leave it in place all the time and would have to mount it when needed.
Something I could look at, definitely. Thanks for the idea. Early on I had acquired the ladder in the image thinking I could get that to work, but turns out not without some troublesome epoxy and remodel work on the transom. I did find a use for it - I mounted brackets up on the aft beam by each outboard so if there was a problem with a motor I could at least access the cowling and take a look. But even with the unfolded 4 steps, it dangles quite high above the water. I've wondered if I could use a rope ladder rigged off the bottom of it to reach into the water.. might work as last resort.

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slug zitski

Super Anarchist
6,220
1,225
worldwide
Hard to visualize a boarding ladder

I first construct out of pvc pipe and scraps of plywood to prove the geometry and function

then have to final ladder welded up out of aluminum or stainless

i like alumimium because you can use one size larger diameter tubing , still keep the weight down and the metal shop doesn’t have to waste hours polishing stainless welds

whatever you design must really work…deployed by a mob from the water and rugged enough for a weak , hypothermic , Waterlogged 250 lb crew to use at sea when the boat is still underway
 

Hunky

Member
56
5
NW Alaska
Hard to visualize a boarding ladder

I first construct out of pvc pipe and scraps of plywood to prove the geometry and function

then have to final ladder welded up out of aluminum or stainless

i like alumimium because you can use one size larger diameter tubing , still keep the weight down and the metal shop doesn’t have to waste hours polishing stainless welds

whatever you design must really work…deployed by a mob from the water and rugged enough for a weak , hypothermic , Waterlogged 250 lb crew to use at sea when the boat is still underway
Yeah I'm only 160 but with warm clothes and sodden with water I could be 200 lbs or more. (Well, maybe after a big meal). But crew/guests come in all sizes. So I suppose building my own design is what I should do.. I have a welder buddy who seems to work for beer and I hesitate to take advantage of him, but he could do it. If no real off-the-shelf solution exists for this case.. it is what I'll do.
 

LionessRacing

Super Anarchist
4,351
592
Myrtle Beach,
There are boarding ladders that use "cars" such as your genoa blocks would use. That allows you to leave the cars in place and stow the folding ladder. You could mount a few Tracks or use existing ones to provide flexibility
 

Hunky

Member
56
5
NW Alaska
There are boarding ladders that use "cars" such as your genoa blocks would use. That allows you to leave the cars in place and stow the folding ladder. You could mount a few Tracks or use existing ones to provide flexibility
Thank you - I had not ever heard of these. Perhaps a bit rich for my blood, though.
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,699
5,653
Canada
Skinny ladder? Mount the base on a wedge so the ladder is pretty close to vertical. You can mount the ladder well off to one side to clear the kick up rudder.


Our cat had a forward Wharram style ladder. We figured we would be able to scoop up a MOB. Nothing to hit them with - except the ladder. We used it a bit to go swimming in big swells and it was easy to use without fear of injury.

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Hunky

Member
56
5
NW Alaska
Thanks for that Zonker! A sister ship to mine (same design) instead of having one big net up front, divided it in two with a center boarding ladder such as your pic. Sort of with I had done that now. And it would help sort out how I'm going to get an anchor onboard.

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Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,699
5,653
Canada
Ours had a trap door so you didn't fall through the rungs! When the trap door was closed it just looked like a wooden decking area.
 




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