In Jim Michalak's essay about capsizing, he stresses the need to have some way to reboard your boat when you end up in the water. He offers several suggestions, including a PVC ladder option, but notes that he does not trust the glued joints. This ladder solves that problem by being basically a rope ladder with pvc for the rungs.
It can be used in the same ways any boarding ladder would, but offers the additional convienence of folding into a small bundle.
These ladders are hand made for us by Big Thicket Elves and cannot be had anywhere else. They have three rungs and are 42 inches long.
‘Rope Boarding Ladder’ BT-LAD; I had one. Different maker but the same configuration. Five Steps and good quality.
I hung it from a cleat, reachable from the water, ready to go. While on the mooring, I fell in and swam to the ladder, un-folded it and started to climb. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t climb up. The ladder swung right and then left then under the boat. Four or five times I tried.
I got good and tired, rested, then swam to a nearby boat with a rigid metal ladder where I climbed out with ease.
I had a while to think about it till I got a ride back to my boat.
Had I been out at sea and not in the mooring field, you could call me chum.
I called the ladder a piece of junk and sold it on Ebay, with plenty of warning.
I would advise everyone to test themselves using this ladder before the needed it to save their life.
Just my two cents.
Excellent advise, Gerry. We recommend that boaters test all safety equiptment before it is actually needed. Rope ladders can be tricky but the trade off is that they take up little space and are way better than nothing at all. Much depends on the type of boat and the person doing the reboarding - this is where testing comes in. Many lives have been saved by such devices but you do have to know how to use them.
Asked what the weight limit was on the ladder. well--bought ladder ,got wet ,ladder held 272, sure glad I had the ladder. nice ladder.