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 Post subject: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2424
Location: Escondido
My friend Gill likes to go fishing with his Oasis while his wife enjoys a good mystery.
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Inspired by a recent capsize off shore with a friend (who could not re-board the Oasis), he decided that his wife should find no such mystery in how to successfully re-mount the boat. Accordingly, he made a custom boarding ladder. Here you can see how it snaps on two SS eyelets ( through-bolted). The attached gray pad is made from a cut-up Boogie Board enclosed in duct tape and zip-tied on the frame to let the ladder rest easily against the hull:
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Gill demonstrates a successful boarding from the water.
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Notice how effective the paddle float is in stabilizing the kayak. Without the float (or assist from someone else) the ladder fails. The boat would capsize long before anyone could climb aboard.
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Gill stows his ladder and float in the cargo area, easily accessible from the water. BTW, he keeps this on a long leash attached near the stern so the ladder cannot be lost and will not tangle the legs when deployed.
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The ladder is easy to make inexpensively out of 1" PVC and is adaptable to any kayak. Thanks Gill for sharing and demonstrating this terrific application! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:50 am 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 3:55 am
Posts: 103
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
Thanks, Gill and Roadrunner. It's always good to know alternative methods of getting back into a kayak from the water. I've seen people recommend a rope stirrup, but the stiff ladder is obviously going to be easier to control.

Mary


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:41 am
Posts: 72
Location: Stamford, CT
Thanks a lot for this! I don't think I will construct a ladder, but it gave me the idea of using some sort of foothold using a strap or something. Also, I just purchased a paddle float and now carry it with me whenever I go out. Good to see how useful it will be during a re-boarding.


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 4:49 am 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 3:55 am
Posts: 103
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
Skadar, I've practised re-entry with a paddle float in my conventional sea kayak. It's very helpful, but you have to keep the boat tipped towards the float. If you let your weight rock the boat to the other side, the float will lift, and you can tipped off on the far side. I've got it worked out now in calm water, but I don't know if I could do it in conditions that might capsize me in the first place. That's why, if I ever get to buy my "dream" sea kayak, it's likely to be a Hobie Adventure with the Sidekick amas.

Roadrunner, you said the ladder was 'easy to make inexpensively out of 1" PVC,' but what I can't work out from the photos is how the bits are held together. Is glue strong enough, or do the parts have to be screwed or riveted together?

Thanks,

Mary


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2424
Location: Escondido
Mary Skater wrote:
...what I can't work out from the photos is how the bits are held together. Is glue strong enough, or do the parts have to be screwed or riveted together?
PVC connects by either threaded fittings or "slip" fittings, depending on your application or preference. Here, Gill elected to use a threaded end cap at the top (where the rope comes out):
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He may have done this so he could later unscrew it and adjust the length of rope. Also, there is less chance of having visible glue on the rope.

All the rest of the joints are slip fitted here. It's very simple -- like assembling tinker toys. There is a PVC primer and glue that is specifically formulated to bond PVC permanently. The (purple) primer cleans the joint and the glue (get medium bodied blue or clear) does the gluing. Once dry and cured, it is permanent and very strong -- absolutely dependable!
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I should add, anyone considering such a project should use "schedule 40" PVC. It is very common, thicker than some of the lighter classes and quite rugged. PVC is easy to cut with a hack saw (no special cutters required). All of this is commonly available at most hardware stores, building supplies, lumber yards, etc.

If someone were to replicate his, it looks like the material list would include
1 -- 10' section 1" sked. 40 pvc
2 -- 1" slip/slip 90 degrees
2 -- 1" slip/male thread 90 degrees
2 -- 1" threaded end cap (you drill the hole in the end)
4 -- 1" slip "T" fittings
1 -- small purple primer
1 -- small PVC med. bodied glue
4 -- feet rope (goes in, down, across top rung, up and out other side). This would be routed prior to final assembly.
2 -- snap fittings
2 -- Stainless padeyes with 3/4" machine screws, flat washers and locnuts
Foam, tape and zip ties to suit

Tentatively I would make the ladder a little longer -- easier to get your foot in the bottom rung when fully in the water -- am hoping to try his first and see how it works in deeper water. That can still be accomplished with the material list above unless you want to add another rung. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:04 pm
Posts: 181
Awesome idea....I wonder though. The young lady is with ya reading a book when you're topside...but what happened to her after you fell off :)


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:35 am 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 3:55 am
Posts: 103
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
Roadrunner, thank you very much for those details. As I live in Britain, some of the pipe specs may be different, but now I have a good idea of what to look for. Let us know how you get on with Gill's ladder when you've had a chance to try it.

Mary


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9226
Location: Oceanside, California
This arrangement looks to work well. I do caution though...

The stress on the top plastic fittings, line and eyes bolted to the hull will be considerable. Lots of lever arm there if you can push the ladder under the boat... if someone were counterbalancing the attempted boarding.

Minimum use large backing washers. May damage the hulll (dent) or pull plastic at the eyes.

_________________
Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Boarding Ladder
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:49 pm
Posts: 3
This is a topic on which I've been spending time. Four(?) years ago, a barrel-chested friend of mine (250+lbs.) and I got dumped. I reentered the yak with him stabilizing the boat. His age, weight, and mass prevented him from doing the same. So, he hung on to the front as I pedaled to shore--small lake, late summer, Arkansas. Lots of subsequent jokes, but he's not been back in the yak since.

I have the 'cross bar' for attaching outriggers/Sidekicks. Yes, I have the outriggers but, don't always want to or can't use it. Been thinking a rigid ladder is the ultimate, but how to attach? The ladder would be only big enough upon which to place a foot, maybe two steps I agree with concerns regarding the above described method possibly pulling out attaching screws. My buddy and another are large(!) specimens of menly types. Yep, should be manly...

Mentally, I thinking of a 3'(?) rod to insert into the cross bar with a piece of foam at the far end--outrigger on one side. Gotta counter the rolling tendency. A small aluminum two-step(?) ladder is attached to the rod against the yak. Rolling the yak is a serious issue for my friends, hence a float of 'requisite' size is key. Storing the extra mass of this re-entry aid is critical as all boats use buoyancy to float. The additional yak clutter is a concern.

In a worst case scenario, I would have to re-enter the yak while... fishing in a bay by my lonesome with 3' waves. Yes, I know I shouldn't be in this scenario. But... most times I can't get others to accompany me. Not right, but I'm being honest.

As a retired military aircrew member, I'm trying to plan for the worst likely scenario I'll risk. The bay or large lake with 3' waves is my max. Trying to right and re-enter the yak with waves will be challenging, especially if fear and panic aren't thrown into the mix. Whatever I design, it must be simple. Such are my thoughts.

Any evolutionary input to my proposal? Hobie, are you guys thinking about this?


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