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zboss
May 4th, 2004, 11:37 PM
Hi Folks,

I seem to continually go through stainless steal / teak boat ladders at least once a year. The bolts come loose, the wood gets shredded, the ladder is left down and bangs around, etc...

Indeed - I think my fat ass is probably just too big for the thing with all my gear and such... sure it's rated for 250 but what is that when I have all my gear on it. So - I am looking for a dive ladder that is built with the same ruggedness of those on dive boats but it has to be telescoping, be only about 18 to 20 inches wide, be able to be flipped up, and have hinges that would allow it so sit on our tiny transom. It would also be helpful if it had more than just two or three stairs that descended into the water... it always seems too short.

Any help you guys could give me in finding out the manufacturers or those dive ladders would be helpful, even if you just have a collegue who knows where to buy them.

Chuck Tribolet
May 5th, 2004, 09:53 AM
I have had a Windline on TDL-3X on my Boston Whaler for about 700 dives. Still going
strong. There's a picture at http://www.garlic.com/~triblet/whaler/

Ironman RA
May 5th, 2004, 10:52 PM
A dive buddy of mine had one custom build. Due to the fact that he dives doubles and we are looking to do some deep diving this year, it does not telescope. In fact, I am not sure how we are going to store it. He manufactured a Reese type hitch on the bottom of the dive platform and it will be placed there with a pin. It has open rungs so we can climb back on the boat with fins and gear on.

Send me an e-mail if you would like me to send pictures. Like I said, it is not compact but a very good ladder!

Roland: rashby2003 @ hotmail.com (no spaces)

captain
May 6th, 2004, 12:05 AM
The correct answer is that you can't buy a decent ladder only build it or have it built. 3/4 inch or 1 inch aluminum conduit is a good material to use. Cheap and strong. If at all possible mount it permanent to the boat.

Captain

Chuck Tribolet
May 6th, 2004, 01:00 AM
Conduit isn't aluminum, it's galvanized steel.

captain
May 6th, 2004, 08:36 AM
Ridge conduit is available in both steel and aluminum. I bought it from an electrical supply house to make my ladder. You won't find it at Home Depot. In fact the guy at the supply house said he sells a lot of it to boaters.

2Dive4fun
May 6th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Zboss,

Do a search on my name and view my boat dive ladder. I had it custom made. It should hold about 800 lbs. It is made of 1/4" aluminum 3x5 tubing. All said and done it would run about $300 to build.

Lawman
May 6th, 2004, 02:59 PM
Broken ladders. The problem has been solved. I drew a picture
of a 5' ladder arched at the top like a swimming pool ladder. A boat standoff like a "U". Took it to the MaxiMuffler shop. They made me the ladder for $100 out of 1 1/4" exaust pipe. It weighs about 20 lbs. The open ends of the arched top slip over 3" x 1 1/4" pipe nipples screwed into floor flanges. When I'm through diving I just unscrew them. It's big, strong and absolutely won't break. It's even got extensions so I can make it as long as I want. I sprayed it with Rusoleum non slip spray in bright yellow.

zboss
May 6th, 2004, 08:46 PM
I have had a Windline on TDL-3X on my Boston Whaler for about 700 dives. Still going
strong. There's a picture at http://www.garlic.com/~triblet/whaler/

HEY! I have got to say... that is probably the most well thought-out small private dive boat I have seen. I used to have the same boat, although MUCH older and I thought it was the best boat ever.

I especially like what you did by taking out the forward seating and replacing it with a tank rail... very cool.

That ladder is just about the right size also...

zboss
May 6th, 2004, 08:58 PM
Zboss,

Do a search on my name and view my boat dive ladder. I had it custom made. It should hold about 800 lbs. It is made of 1/4" aluminum 3x5 tubing. All said and done it would run about $300 to build.

I did see that, but unfortunately, it doesn't fit my needs for the following reasons: I have a smaller boat and stowage space is a minimum, I have a small platform to which I need to mount the ladder, I am unwilling to sacrifice the structural integrity of the hull by adding another hole. Holes (intentional ones that is!) tend to grow larger and develop spider cracks. This is what happened to our old boat, then water, salt, dirt get under the gelcoat over the years and just makes things worse.

However, maybe we could come up with a custom solution? If I drew up some specs for one that WOULD work for me...?

zboss
May 6th, 2004, 09:00 PM
Broken ladders. The problem has been solved. I drew a picture
of a 5' ladder arched at the top like a swimming pool ladder. A boat standoff like a "U". Took it to the MaxiMuffler shop. They made me the ladder for $100 out of 1 1/4" exaust pipe. It weighs about 20 lbs. The open ends of the arched top slip over 3" x 1 1/4" pipe nipples screwed into floor flanges. When I'm through diving I just unscrew them. It's big, strong and absolutely won't break. It's even got extensions so I can make it as long as I want. I sprayed it with Rusoleum non slip spray in bright yellow.

That's a great idea, although telescoping is more of what I am looking for. Yes yes yes... I know what all you guys are saying... he wants his cake and eat it too! Well YES!

Lawman
May 7th, 2004, 02:37 PM
That's a great idea, although telescoping is more of what I am looking for. Yes yes yes... I know what all you guys are saying... he wants his cake and eat it too! Well YES!

You can telescope this kind of ladder, but not completely. I have a 1" section of ladder that slips inside the 1 1/4 section.
You can also take it out as you could any other smaller sections. They go back in and lock in place by two 1 3/4" stainless steel 1/4" bolts.
Maybe you could use a hinge system so that the ladder folds up and then flolds down for use? This is a good problem to occupy my time here at what we call "work."

Chuck Tribolet
May 7th, 2004, 04:01 PM
Zboss, if you are looking for telescoping, the Windline
telescopes. Three sections, then folds on top of the
swim step. Looks like West Marine now sells this ladder
under their own name: p/n 7497045, page 754 in the
2004 catalog, $110.

KeyLargoBrent
May 17th, 2004, 07:57 AM
I have had a Windline on TDL-3X on my Boston Whaler for about 700 dives. Still going
strong. There's a picture at http://www.garlic.com/~triblet/whaler/

I have the same ladder on my 17' Shamrock... nice ladder, but not (imo) for climbing in full scuba. I doff my scuba unit in the water and clip it off to a line prior to climbing out.

I've done exits both ways (with and without scuba) and the ladder is plenty strong... but on the small side for scuba exits.

I'm a relative lightweight, but I am concerned about stress to the outer edge of of my teak swim platform (where the ladder hinges are attached) and the possibility of injury when a 300 pound diver with 60 pounds of gear on his back starts up the tiny thing.

NOVIZWHIZ
May 17th, 2004, 08:40 AM
EXACTLY! there are NO good "small boat" dive ladders - custom built or other wise. I also use a "tag-line" . I hook it to the bow eye and let it trail back to about 10 ft behind the stern. It's also hooked to the stern cleat so that it hangs just above the water line. I have a large brass "suicide clip" looped into the line about two feet back from the stern. I also have one of those plastic milk crates with a couple of dive weights zip-tied to the bottom to keep it from floating hanging off the stern. I come up from a dive, hit the 100' safety line (bouy on end) pull myself up to the stern, drop my weight belt in the basket (yeah -I still wear a belt....) hook the clip to my vest, come out of my whole rig, climb up onto my little swim / dive platform...and I'm in the boat. The line to the bow also doubles as a line that I use to pull myself forward to follow the anchor line down when I begin my dive....

TCDiver1
May 17th, 2004, 08:47 AM
If your really serious ....

http://www.techdivetools.com/

these guys make serious ladders. Scroll down the ladder page and it looks like they make ladders for smaller boats.

jerseybones
May 17th, 2004, 03:46 PM
If you want to climb in the boat with full gear, telescoping or fold up ladders are just not going to hold up. If you are handy at all you can get a really heavy weight stainless steel ladder from the scrap yard, look for old motorhomes they usually have some that that are very well made. Just cut it down and re-fit the mounts to your needs. I have made several this way and the scrap yard gave me the ladders for free or just a few bucks.

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