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#201105 - 04/28/10 05:05 AM Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft.
aztecb Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas, USA
I just bought a 1975 15 Ft. Skeeter. This is my first boat. My family is concerned I may fall overboard. Probably because I am 70 years of age and disabled.

But I don't want to just fade away at home. My health has been poorly since I retired. But now I feel better and it's go now or never. I promised my family to wear a PFD and buy a boarding ladder for the boat to use in an emergency.

I will try to have someone go fishing with me. But it will not always be possible. Truth is, I will be alone most of the time. I am not fool hardy however. I am just a guy that wants to go fishing on Lake Fork Texas. It's only five mile from home (Quitman) and it should be great fun.

I said all of that to ask you this: What ladder can I buy that will enable me to self rescue in the event I do fall over board? I have looked online and there are so many ladders saying "buy me" I am confused and don't know enough to exercise good judgement in my selection.
I would be grateful for your input.
Thank you ,
aztecb

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#201107 - 04/28/10 09:10 AM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: aztecb]
ljh Offline
Stranger

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 7
Loc: Florida
A boarding ladder that is permatantly mounted on the stern of the boat, this may also may depend on the length of your vessel. It folds up until needed, but is always there. You may want to pratice boarding the boat from the water, it is somewhat difficult ( do this with someone else onboard )
I would also look into an inflatible PFD. They inflate when the PFD gets wet automatically. Taking a boating course,approved by the Coast Guard or the state game commission also helps to make your fishing trip enjoyable.
Good luck.

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#201108 - 04/28/10 09:31 AM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: ljh]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Using a "dead man" button (a spiral cord tied to you and the engine kill switch) greatly improves your chances. At the same time, moving about in the boat is somewhat limited when you're tied to the steering position with a 6' cord. In my opinion, most of the stuff you want to do in a 15' boat is done close to the steering position anyway. The exception is tying and untying the bow line, but then you're close to land anyway.


As with most things, using the kill switch line is a trade-off between convenience and safety. The most fail safe is to have the kill switch line permanently tied to your PDF. Whenever you stop the engine you remove the kill switch from the engine and bring it with you. That could be too cumbersome when you're alone and has to go all the way to the front to deal with the bow line. But there are ways around that, depending on how your particular marina is laid out. You could release the bow line, start your engine and then do the aft line.


The second best thing is to force yourself into the habit of using it whenever the engine is running and you're further than 50' from land. Making such routines stick takes dedication. Chances are you'll skip it the day you really need it.

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#201110 - 04/28/10 10:47 AM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: aztecb]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: aztecb
I just bought a 1975 15 Ft. Skeeter. This is my first boat. My family is concerned I may fall overboard. Probably because I am 70 years of age and disabled.

But I don't want to just fade away at home. My health has been poorly since I retired. But now I feel better and it's go now or never. I promised my family to wear a PFD and buy a boarding ladder for the boat to use in an emergency.

I will try to have someone go fishing with me. But it will not always be possible. Truth is, I will be alone most of the time. I am not fool hardy however. I am just a guy that wants to go fishing on Lake Fork Texas. It's only five mile from home (Quitman) and it should be great fun.

I said all of that to ask you this: What ladder can I buy that will enable me to self rescue in the event I do fall over board? I have looked online and there are so many ladders saying "buy me" I am confused and don't know enough to exercise good judgement in my selection.
I would be grateful for your input.
Thank you ,
aztecb


I have spent a lot of time on the water and even though I am no expert, I have a little advice. Be sure you have been trained in boat and water safety by your state DNR, and that you know how to operate every system on the boat to include loading and unloading at the ramp. You should have a few basic tools with you, and bring a cell phone in a waterproof pouch in case your motor dies on the other side of the lake. If you fall in, it is very difficult to drag yourself up on a ladder even in shallow water, and you could end up just hanging on it, that is assuming you can even get to it. Without fail, use a tether and kill switch as mentioned above by MostlyHarmless, and spend some money on a high quality life vest which you NEVER take off. This could save your life if you fall in. You should have someone with you, but it's sometimes difficult to do. Is there a rod and gun club you could join? You will have to be extraordinarily cautious of you choose to go out alone. And a reminder that you will fry on the water in minutes if you don't cover your head, arms, and legs.
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#201111 - 04/28/10 11:11 AM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7346
Loc: southern Cal
A competent companion is your best safety device. And, of course, i have soloed plenty myself, including in a kayak. Equip your PFD with signal mirror, flares, and smoke if case you get away from the boat.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#201274 - 05/02/10 02:36 AM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: hikermor]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
A paddle or two is handy if the motor dies in an inconvenient location, which is just about anywhere away from the dock.
_________________________
Gary








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#201288 - 05/02/10 09:00 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: GarlyDog]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Killswitch hooked to your PID in use at all times the big motor runs is critical.

Water entry into bass boats is usually possible by "climbing" the dead big motor. If your engine has hydraulic tilt witha an activator button or switch near the big motor you can use this to get you up once you have gotten your feet on the motor skeg.

An after market fin on the skeg is highly recommended for stability, hole shot and turning stability, etcetera, and makes a great foot rest to aid getting bubba back in the boat.

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#201572 - 05/10/10 03:44 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15 [Re: aztecb]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2471
A rope with a stirrup or two may help as well... see c level here

Some serious, practical research here lots on boat rescue ladders

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#201579 - 05/10/10 05:59 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: aztecb]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Hi, aztecb,

I'm from Denison and went to college in Commerce.

I have a couple of suggestions other than a ladder. Please buy a top notch life preserver, and get a strobe light attached to it. Get a strobe that is water-activated. If you fall in, your life vest will keep you afloat, and your strobe will be set off automatically.

Also get a waterproof airhorn. AquaBlast makes one, and I'll guess there are others. Attach that to your life vest, too.

Getting in and out of a boat in the water is a tough haul no matter what your age, especially when no one's at the helm. With a good PFD, strobe, and airhorn, if you find yourself in the water you can signal for help and be seen more easily. A good life preserver with SOLAS reflectors and colors will keep you high and visible (relativelyl) during the day and night, and three blasts on the airhorn in series will tell people someone needs help.

I'm not suggesting giving up on a ladder, but be prepared with alternatives so you don't have to haul yourself out if you can get someone over to give you a hand.

Good luck with those bass, my friend. I used to fish for crappie in the pond on our farm and fry 'em up on the spot. Spoiled me for fish in a restaurant which were way older.

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#201600 - 05/10/10 10:26 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: philip]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
I thought both Philip and M.H. made good points, especially about having a MOB kill switch.

After looking on the map I see that this lake is pretty narrow so even if you went overboard you stand a good chance of swimming to shore, especially in your life vest.

I am not sure how large your boat really is. Some 15 footers are heavy enough that you could climb in over the gunwale without tipping, but if it is a light boat you might be dragging the gunwale down to the water and almost swimming into the boat.

I would consider a rope or slat ladder on a light boat.
I would also consider making sure it could be reached from the water at all times, possibly lashed with light line over the gunwale or stern.

Another idea might be a small step on the stern to pull yourself up on.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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