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Modifications to the swim ladder

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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 April 2007 at 12:19
On the second day of sailing in our new boat two years ago we had a friend visiting us while we were sailing 2 knots. He embarked from a small motor boat via the bath platform, but he made the mistake to use the swim ladder to grab on to. Since it's not fastened in any way he almost fell into the water with ladder in his hand.

I consider this an important security issue and I have therefore had modifications made to the ladder so that it will not come loose, see pictures.

The white plastic tips that would wear quickly have also been replaced with a bit of stainless steel.

The pictures were taken before I had cleaned the sealant away.

Johan





Edited by Johan Hackman - 11 May 2011 at 19:02
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Druid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Druid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2007 at 12:52
Johan - looks a neat job, however I presume this modifcation means that you can not remove the ladder whithout taking out the screws now?
 
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Dan.
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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2007 at 12:53
That's correct, but I don't see a reason ever to remove the ladder.

Johan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Druid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2007 at 13:09
Does the ladder not touch the pontoon when mooring 'stern to'? or do you not berth this way in Sweden?
 
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Dan.
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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2007 at 14:58
Dan, we are berthed "stern to" to a pontoon at the moment and it's no problem. I think the fact that you can remove the ladder makes people think that it means that you should at some point. In a way I think they fool themselves, since the ladder is the only way you can get back on the boat if you fall in the water and you don't have somebody still aboard to help you. It should be called Safety Ladder instead, and then people would really worry about it not being fastened.

You are right that it's uncommon to berth stern to in Sweden. My explanation to that is that we have so many islands we can visit where you can't berth stern to because it's not deep enough for the rudder close to the shore.

Johan

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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2009 at 20:42
If I may say so myself, this thread is one of the most important ones at this site and it therefore deserves to be re-read. I am still surprised that so few others have responded to it.

If anyone falls overboard, a lifejacket is useless if you don't have any means to get that person aboard again.

On my boat, where safety is very important, the "swim" ladder can NOT be removed by an inflatable dinghy - or any person that have fallen into the water trying to get back onto the boat.

I think every Hanse owner should make sure that the swim ladder cannot be removed.

Johan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 April 2009 at 17:49
Johan
Whilst the swim ladder may be a good idea in calm weather the RYA in this country advise would be rescuers NOT to try to bring victims back on board via the swim ladder in the stern
 I confess that having been over 3 times  I have never had the pleasure of a swim ladder to get back so only speak from what I read
I am told that the RYA say that the risk of a victim going under the stern & being bashed downwards is a real possibility.
In fact from reading most magazine tests I am not aware of any system that brings the " victim" over the stern. (I can just imagine the response to this comment)
On my boat I have rigged a flourescent halliard through the spinnaker pole uphaul halliard route It has a stopper to prevent it going up the mast & the other end is fed to the winch. It is long enough to lower with a loop to any part of the boats waterline & it should ( i have not tried it in anger) be possible to winch the victim back on . Further more any helper will be at the shrouds where they have a good hand hold.
I think that if crew are trying to get a person over the stern they will be in the way of the helmsman & he may start steering off course. Then one would have the boom doing its best to decapitate all & sundry. However if short handed the helm can assist so it could be good.
What I can tell you is that the stress of hitting the water & sudden rush to rescue yourself puts a big strain on you so by the time the boat comes back the victim is totally Knackered & could have difficulty getting up the ladder unaided. It is a long way for helpers to reach down. I was in my early 20's & got back on my own. I would not have a snowballs chance of getting out of the water unaided at my current 62 years.
Your boat is bigger than my 315 ( shame) so room at the stern may not be a problem.
My swim ladder is in the garage loft & the mice love it !!
Mind you if the point you were making was that it should not be able to be pulled off then I agree that seems wrong.
Are you sure that Mr Hanse did not just unscrew yours to give all the hassle along with all the other agro that you have had
Daydream Believer- Hanse 311- No GBR9917T- Bradwell Essex
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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 April 2009 at 19:09
My point is indeed that the ladder should not be able to be pulled off.

I agree that there will be situations, like you say, when the ladder won't help and rescuing someone over the stern will even be dangerous, but it wasn't that kind of situations I had in mind when I modified my ladder to be permanently fitted.

Regarding Mr Hanse, maybe he only wanted to accomodate the different needs of his customers. Maybe he made the ladder removable for those who wanted to use it to entertain their mice in their garage.

Johan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Javelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 April 2009 at 01:00
I thought that the following report might be of interest. Extensive on-the-water crew overboard tests were conducted on San Francisco Bay in 2005. The results confirm some standard COB practices, question some others and raise some interesting points.

uploads/20090428_005308_COB_FINAL_REPOR.pdf

Also, this product is referenced in the report and, from my personal experience, seems to address some of the challenges of recovering a COB from cold(er) waters where heavy clothing and hypothermia make it difficult to climb back on board via swim ladder or other means.

http://www.markuslifenet.com/23MS02.htm

-Steve
s/v Javelin
Sonoma, CA USA
Hanse 341 #67
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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 April 2009 at 07:32
Originally posted by Johan Hackman Johan Hackman wrote:

On the second day of sailing in our new boat two years ago we had a friend visiting us while we were sailing 2 knots. He embarked from a small motor boat via the bath platform, but he made the mistake to use the swim ladder to grab on to. Since it's not fastened in any way he almost fell into the water with ladder in his hand.



I don't want to contradict anyone but I want to defend why I modified my ladder.

In the situation described above no-one fell in the water. With a little bad luck, however, my friend could have fallen backwards into the water witht he ladder in his hand. The weather was calm, the boat was not making greater speed than he could swim, he would not be cold, not traumatised - only wet. In that situation it would be a bit over the top to use the resque equipment (not to mention difficult) just because the ladder was missing.

I appreciate the added information to this thread which I read with great interest.

The picture below was taken a few minutes after the incident, on the second day after the boat was commissioned in July 2005. The fact that the boat is brand new can be seen from the smile on the owner's face and the colour of the teak.

Johan




Edited by Johan Hackman - 28 April 2009 at 07:34
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