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#203518 - 06/16/10 02:01 AM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: scafool]
sotto Offline

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
Gosh, I'm 62 years old, and have been boating since before I could walk, and I have never accidentally fallen out of a boat. Ever. I even used to stand up in my Grumman lightweight canoe and flyfish. If there seems to be a danger of falling out of your boat, I'd get a safer boat.

Have a great time! Don't forget the cooler and snacks!

#203524 - 06/16/10 12:19 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: sotto]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: sotto
Gosh, I'm 62 years old, and have been boating since before I could walk, and I have never accidentally fallen out of a boat. Ever.

Good for you.

I have never been in a traffic accident where wearing a seat belt made any difference what so ever to the outcome. Ever. I still wear seat belts when I'm driving.

I probably can't match your level of boating experience, but personally, I've never fell out of a boat. Ever. I still urge people to use PFD's and kill-switches, in particular when alone. An entry ladder seems like a good idea, too.

#203557 - 06/17/10 02:05 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: MostlyHarmless]
Compugeek Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
Okay, I'm obviously ignorant, why is climbing a ladder to get back into a boat from water harder than climbing a ladder on dry land?

Is it the extra weight of the water in your clothing once you fall in?

Or is it because a boarding ladder usually only has one or two rungs below the surface, so you start out basically crouched on the bottom of the ladder?

Or is it the water temperature, since most "natural" water is rather cool, even cold?

Or all of the above?

I've climbed ladders out of swimming pools many times with no noticeable difficulty, but I recognize that:

A. I was not wearing full clothing,
B. The ladder extended well below the surface, and
C. The water was heated.

Edited by Compugeek (06/17/10 02:05 PM)
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

#203565 - 06/17/10 05:13 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: Compugeek]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
There are many factors, and we have unknown unknowns. For example, the original post says:

> Probably because I am 70 years of age and disabled.

So what are your conclusions and recommendations based on that comment, please?

Boarding ladders vary. I tried to climb into a boat from a boarding ladder, and when I stepped on the bottom rung, the ladder jammed my fingers into the side of the boat firmly enough I couldn't pull them out while on the ladder. I had to step off so that the ladder floated free again. Putting my hands in different positions solved the problem, but there's a limit to how many times someone can make an effort and that limit varies with the constraints suffered by the someone who's making the effort. I'll note that the ladder was on the side of a moving boat; the ladder was hanging over the railing and not otherwise fixed to the boat; it did not hang far below the surface and required me to have my legs bent up at such an angle that I couldn't easily stand up on the ladder - I had to haul myself up with my upper body more than I could use my stronger legs and hips; the lower ladder went out away from me when I put weight on it, making it harder to stand and putting more of my weight on my torso; and etc.

The original poster is 70 and disabled in some way. So yes, the weight of wet clothes may be an issue but we don't know his upper body strength or what his disability is. Either he may be unable to pull himself up or he may not have the flexibility to get his feet on the bottom rung of the ladder. So having only a couple of rungs below the water may be a problem. We don't know.

The big issue is whether our original poster is conscious when he falls overboard. People faint for any number of reasons: heat, dehydration, meds, lack of meds, dizziness. He's not going to climb back in if he's lost consciousness.

> I've climbed ladders out of swimming pools many times with no
> noticeable difficulty

I'm very happy for you. As you say, the ladder extended well below the surface. Additionally, the ladder was bolted to the side of the pool and didn't move; it was extended away from the wall of the pool so you could stand on the treads and get a grip on the rails; the ladder was vertical and didn't slant away from you at the bottom. Etc.

This means a boarding ladder may not be the best answer if he falls in, although we can't know from the information at hand. So compromises are in order. Get a boarding ladder is my suggestion (since that seems to make his family happy), but don't rely on that device alone. People made suggestions of alternatives so that he didn't sink and drown if he couldn't haul himself out of the water.

Generally (not specifically this thread) there are two things about requests for help. The first is to read the original post and see what issues the poster raises so that answers address his/her stated issues, but also suggest other problems the poster may not see. Second, we all assume the other person is just like us and that whatever we think is right for us will be right for the original poster. This second part is almost never the case. I've climbed out of swimming pools on ladders innumerable times; the question is whether that applies to the situation at hand. You've asked, and this post is my answer.

I've never fallen off a boat. Thousands of people do, however. When I learned to sail, every course I took included how to get back to and pick up a man overboard, including conscious and unconscious 'victims.' Given the statement that the original poster is 70 and to some extent disabled, it seems prudent to offer suggestions on surviving falling overboard and not being able to get back in.

Sorry this is so long.

#203566 - 06/17/10 05:18 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: Compugeek]
chickenlittle Offline

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 102
Loc: Canada
Most of the reason boarding ladders are physically harder to climb is the angle is wrong.
Boarding ladders are vertical at best, Usually they are at a negative angle. Also you often find they lack toe relief so it is harder to get your foot on the rung.

If they are rope it is even worse.
They will tend to pull out at the top while letting your feet go toward them and pushing with your legs just shoves your feet farther away from you while you end up hanging from your arms, almost like you were lying on your back and trying to pull yourself vertical.
This also shoves the ladder against the side of the boat at your foot level and makes it hard to get your feet into it.

Some people who work on rope ladders tend to put the rope between their legs so they can put their feet on the rungs from both sides, they find them easier to climb like that.

Another problem is that most boarding ladders do not have any projection above the gunwale. On land you usually set a ladder with at least 3 feet of ladder sticking up above what you are climbing.
This makes it much easier to step on and off the ladder.

Philip got his answer posted up between the time I started to answer and got mine posted.
It is a good answer and obviously I agree with him.

#203605 - 06/18/10 01:39 PM Re: Self Rescue boarding ladd 1975 Skeeter boat 15Ft. [Re: chickenlittle]
Compugeek Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks for the answers, that was the kind of info I was looking for. I noted where the OP said he was disabled, but the tone of responses indicated boarding ladders were difficult to climb in general, and I was curious.

If I came off at all "Well, I don't see why it's so hard," I apologize. That was not my intent.
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

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