Folding Stern Ladder

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Amoore's picture
Joined: 7/8/20
Posts: 13
Folding Stern Ladder


I just read an old forum regarding a hinged swim ladder by VermontSailor back in 2014.   I just installed a davit amd thought I could add the hingers as well.  I was wondering if any one else had installed hinges also.  I was wondering why the ladder was hinged inboard verses outboard? 

If Vermont Sailor is still out there I'd like to hear your opinion.  I brought my first Catalina 27 1984 out of Lake Champain. 

Thanks and fair winds

Louie P

Ray Taylor's picture
Ray Taylor
Joined: 9/11/19
Posts: 81

We have a hinged swim ladder that was installed by the previous owner.   In practice it allows us to deploy and use the swim ladder with a dingy in the davits.     Ours is hinged inboard and I don’t know the reasoning behind the decision.    In use, its weight helps keep it laying behind the helm seat.   Since the hinges can be set in either position you could do some testing prior to the final attachment.   

We also have short tethers that attach the retaining pins to the ladder so they don’t get misplaced.

Ray & Janice Taylor
Hood River, Ore.
#2113 2002 TM

Joined: 12/21/20
Posts: 12

I would hazard a guess that the ladder is folded to the "inside" so when you drop the ladder down into the water what is now the bottom half will swing away from the boat. Allowing it to open.

KevinLenard's picture
Joined: 1/28/15
Posts: 201

Just a heads up to anyone who is considering creating their own hinged ladder, it is essential that it be hinged to open out and down from the stern along with a hard stop once it is open since otherwise when you step on the bottom step it will swing up towards the bow and will make the latter completely useless. (Note that I have attempted to do it the other way and have learned the hard way in the past...)

Kevin Lenard
'91 C-36 Mk. "1.5" Tall Rig, Fin Keel, Hull #1120, Universal M-35 original (not "A" or "B")
CBYC, Scarborough, Lake Ontario, Canada

VermontSailor's picture
Joined: 11/15/08
Posts: 100

The last two comments answered the hinge position question. Also, I did not want to have to deal with the clevis pin to lock it in place. I epoxied the holes for the clevis pins so water would not get inside the ladder when down and I would not have to deal with the water draining back out, when up. Once I was satisfied I had the hinges welded. I often leave the ladder folded when up, on our saltwater trips, when at anchor, and step over onto the rear platform. My altitude challenged wife does not care for the "high" hurdle to get into the dinghy.

Nile Schneider
Mañana C36 #1798
Lake Champlain, VT

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