A Boarding Ladder

Here's a design for a boarding ladder that hangs on the rail.   Things we were looking for in this design are:

  • Rigid design so it won't flex/stretch and rub the side of the hull.
  • Foldable for storage
  • Floats

The construction is stainless tubing that I cut and formed in my workshop.  After confirming the fit I had a friend weld the parts together for me.   The rest is plywood with many coats of spar varnish.   The top plywood piece is designed to hook onto the rail of the boat and is bolted through the plywood from below, to tapped holes in the tubing.   The other steps clamp onto the tubing and rotate around the tubing to fold for storage (used a router and a big round nose bit).  Webbing material holds the steps in their horizontal position when unfolded.   Rubber stops rest against the side of the hull.   I also added the boat name to one of the steps prior to varnishing, and included some non-skid in the varnish on the top surfaces.  I plugged the tubing ends to help with flotation.

Owen Thistle