The Greg Coats boarding ladder installation

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by WILD BILL, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. WILD BILL

    WILD BILL Member

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    I recently installed the Garelick 19615 boarding ladder to the starboard side of the transom of my boat, and used the Beckson 4 inch storeaway deckplate in the aft end of the starboard bench area. The deckplate allows you access to the internal area of the boat transom.

    First let me say a big thank you to Greg Coats. His idea was posted some time ago and I copied all the information and pictures he posted for reference for installation to my boat later. This was an excellent and well thought out post and was very helpful. Greg also posted his phone number and I called him a couple times for questions and information on some details of the ladder installation. This forum is very useful and thanks to people like Greg who are willing to help out when needed. When you are drilling holes in your boat, the last thing in the world, is you don't want to make any major mistakes. Greg's idea is right on, but I also wanted to add a couple of comments and pictures.
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    My sailboat was not sitting on the trailer level and was slightly low on the port side. So I put a level across the aft end of the boat and a friend of mine and I lifted the boat and repositioned it on the trailer.
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    This enabled me to use level pencil lines for drilling holes and positioning the ladder. Also it made it easier to put vertical reference lines for the brackets that hold the ladder.

    Using Greg's measurements, I I established a vertical reference line for the left side ladder bracket 4 1/2 inches from the center line of the lower rudder Gudgeon. Also looking at Greg's pictures, I made a level line even with the bolt holes that attach the Gudgeon bracket.
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    I then position the ladder against the transom, and marked and drilled the four 1/4 inch holes.

    Now to the inside for positioning and attaching the additional teak wood blocks for reinforcing the area of the transom where the ladder brackets will be installed.
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    This is a 4 1/2 hole and I used a sabre saw that had a scrolling feature. I first wanted to use a hole saw, but after checking prices, the 4 1/2 hole saw and mandrel would cost around 45.00. So opted to use the sabre saw and worked the scroll knob to cut the hole. The space in this area is limited, so maneuvering the saw is a bit tricky.
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    I strongly recommend taping the edges of the hole to protect you from scratches and getting fiberglass on your skin. Otherwise you will itch for days. This allows you access to the transom area but also is limited for movement of your arm in this area. A word of caution, do not drop hardware or tools down inside the boat when working in this area. Because of the curvature of the hull, it is almost impossible to retrieve anything your should drop. I dropped a small flashlight and it rolled to the center of the boat, after 30 minutes of fishing, I retrieved the light.

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    The top picture is the 3/4 inch teak block for extra backing for the right side of the ladder bracket. The lower picture is the teak block for the left side ladder bracket. The left side piece is wedged in horizontally and is a tight fit, but this is necessary to fill the space between the two transom walls. Also I used Gorilla glue to attach wood blocks. Greg used an epoxy which is probably better. I already had this expensive glue that bonds to anything, and it appears to have worked well.
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    I elected to remove the brackets from the ladder for easier installation. Also I backed up the brackets with Polypropylene pieces for extra strength to the transom. In the first picture with the level, you will notice the Polypropylene cutting board I purchased at Wal Mart. This stuff is tough and will not require further maintenance. I additionally used clear silicone for all the holes drilled in the transom.
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    Final installation. The ladder is rated for 275 lbs. The yellow strap can be purchased at West Marine.
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    The storeaway deckplate is installed with 1 1/4 inch 10-32 panhead screws with nylon lock nuts. Silicone was again used for the screw holes and around the bottom between the deckplate and bench seating area.
     
  2. gregwcoats

    gregwcoats Member

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    Congratulations Bill, I know you were somewhat apprehensive about doing this ladder install, but it sure did turn out well. Glad I was able to help, but I learned how to do this from another post about 5 years ago, so can't really take credit for it. In the last picture, the one of the deck plate, it looks like you cut the end off the two bolts on the inside of the transom, those may be very sharp now, consider filing them down so there are no sharp edges. Also, how long did the job take, start to finish? BTW, it is a good idea to raise the hiking straps off the deck by a few inches, that way you can get your feet under them without looking down. Now it's time for the Baby Bob.
     
  3. WILD BILL

    WILD BILL Member

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    Thanks Greg,
    I think it may have taken me around five hours working time over a three day period. But I tend to stop and study things longer, and I was somewhat baffled by the area behind the left ladder bracket. I spent some time cutting down the left side bracket teak block. Taking just a little off at a time until I could just wedge it in the limited space between the transom. I'll certainly file down those bolts inside the transom and re-tension the hiking straps. All the hardware is stainless steel and purchased from ACE Hardware. As you say, now I need to get the Baby Bob project started. Hope I never need the use of the ladder or the BB, but at least if I do capsize, I'll be glad I have this stuff done.
     
  4. Amory Klein

    Amory Klein New Member

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    Our South Florida retirement community recently acquired a Catalina 14.2 to complement our fleet of Sunfish, and after jumping into the water and trying to climb back into it, I confirmed the need for a boarding ladder. I did some searching, found this thread, and arranged for the management to order one of these Garelick 19615 boarding ladders.

    However, now that we have the ladder, I can see that it was never intended to be mounted in the manner shown above, and, in fact, was never intended for a boat like the Catalina. The two hinged mounting brackets at the top are intended to be bolted to a horizontal surface, and the brackets are designed with lips that are meant to hold the ladder out at an angle somewhere between 10 and 20 degrees from the vertical so that the angled steps are horizontal and room is allowed for your feet to extend beyond the ladder.

    Judging by the pictures above, I see two potential problems with this installation. One is that apparently the only thing stopping the ladder from swinging under the boat when you climb it is the bottom of the transom, with the left side taking most or all of the force. I would be worried that this would damage the hull when the ladder was used.

    The other problem is that it's a long way from the top step of the ladder to the top of the transom. I realize that you never really know how difficult it is to climb out of the water into a boat until you actually try, but this ladder looks too low to me. It may be usable as it is, but I suspect it would be better if it was at least 12 inches higher.

    I'm in the process of designing an alternate method of mounting this ladder on our Catalina. I've removed the hinged mounting brackets and don't intend to use them. Since our boat came with an outboard engine mount on the port side of the transom, which we won't be using, the method I have in mind will use the existing engine mount bolt holes and will permanently position the ladder about a foot higher than the above installation and at the intended angle so that the steps are horizontal and the ladder is angled away from the transom to allow room for your feet. The bottom of the ladder will be out of the water when it's collapsed, and will extend underwater when the Velcro is released and the bottom step is pulled down.

    If things go as planned it should be ready in a few days and I'll report back then with photos. Meanwhile, any comments or advice will be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  5. WILD BILL

    WILD BILL Member

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    Amory,
    Thank you for your comments regarding the method I used for mounting the Garelick boarding ladder. You are correct that the intended use of this ladder was probably directed to power boats with a swim platform horizontally mounted to the transom. Unfortunately, Catalina Yachts or Catalina Direct do not offer a product for this purpose. Many of the aftermarket marine product providers such as West Marine or Overton's also do not offer boarding ladders specific to the Catalina Capri sailboat. So, maybe this ladder was not intended for our boats, but certainly is not limited to it's modified use. My whole idea of using this ladder and mounting it this way, was that it had been tried and tested by several others on this forum. It is also my hope that I never have to use it, but in the event of capsizing, it's there if needed. Also, I did not want to have a busy complicated arrangement of stuff mounted to the transom of the boat. I had also consider using one of those portable boarding ladders or ropes that just hook over the side of the boat. Same problem as you mentioned. This would be unstable and difficult to use. While not perfect, the ladder is there if you need it, but otherwise out of the way and not to interfere or foul other rigging while sailing. My sailboat is stored in the garage for the winter and I have used the ladder several times without difficulty getting in and out of the boat. I weigh 245 and I am 80 years old. One other consideration you might think about, is mounting the Hobie Baby Bob float at the top of the mast. Again not made for the Capri, but several members of this forum have offered good ideas for mounting the BB.
    boardingladder (1).jpg

    I had consider this ladder, but not much information on installing it. The other method as describe by Forum member Greg Coats seemed to be a better way to go. Also using the addition of wood blocks to the inside of the transom would be sufficient for additional strength.

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    This three step Garelick ladder was mounted higher to the transom, but the owner did report some fouling issues.

    Good luck with your ladder installation and hope that you and your members enjoy the Capri.
    Regards,
    WB
     
  6. Amory Klein

    Amory Klein New Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree! I went ahead with my plan to install the Garelick 19615 ladder as I described above, and the installation went faster than I expected. All I have left to do now is test it, and when I do then hopefully I'll be able to post a video of the ladder in action.

    I started with a piece of 3/4-inch StarBoard, 14 inches wide by 12 inches tall.

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    I trimmed the top edge to follow the curve of the molding at the top of the transom with the sides of the board parallel to the edges of the rudder mounts, and I drilled 5/16-inch holes to line up with the holes formerly used for the outboard engine mount. Then I drilled four 1/2-inch holes for four countersunk stainless steel 3/8-inch blind nuts, installed on the back of the board, and fastened four 3/8-inch eye-bolts with inside diameters of about one inch, just right for the ladder's side tubing to fit through.

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    The bottom eye-bolts extend farther than the top ones in order to achieve the manufacturer's intended outward angle so that the steps are horizontal. I chose the location of the lower eye-bolts so that it wasn't necessary to cut them. It was necessary to cut the two upper eye-bolts though, and that wasn't easy! It took a while even with a power jigsaw and a metal-cutting blade.

    Here's the StarBoard assembly mounted on the transom:

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    And here's the completed project:

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    The rudder is installed because I wanted to make sure there would be no interference, but it looks like that won't be an issue. You have to turn it to an extreme angle before it comes into contact with the ladder, which was pretty much how it was with the outboard engine mount.

    Next project: Mounting a Baby Bob to the top of the mast. It's already ordered, and I've been reading though the posts here to be ready when it comes.
     
  7. WILD BILL

    WILD BILL Member

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    Looks very good, nice installation.
    WB
     
  8. Bdh333

    Bdh333 New Member

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    I have mounted a ladder with three bolts and backing and without the need to drill a large porthole for access. It has worked fine for two years. The less holes in a boat the better.
    Barry havens
     
  9. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Thanks For The Excellent Tutorial!
    This looks like the easiest installation method, and real professional. So there are only 3 holes to be drilled in the transom then the plate gets secured by them and that's strong enough to hold the whole shebang. And the ladder appears to be easier to use with the angle projecting out like that. And there's no need to shore up the space between cockpit/hull because the through holes are real close to the top, correct? The strength of the cutting board spreads out the point loads from the ladder bolts so the hull is not bothered.
    Now what kind of hardware secured the through hull mounting bolts on the inside?
    And I want the ladder not only to reduce the stress after dumping boat, but also would be nice to jump in on a hot light air day. Drop the sails, set up a sunshade, and just chill out. I might just pick up a small anchor just for grins.
    I assume I can order the Garelick ladder on line?
    Now when I go to install my motor mount on the other side could I use the same idea?
    And I am working with a guy who will make me a custom bracket to attach the Baby Bob for about $60. I can forward his contact info if anybody is interested..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2017
  10. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Good Day to All!
    I'm going to run with that excellent design. So the backer board is connected through the hull/cockpit at 3 points and then the ladder is tied into the board at four different points. Loading of the climber's weight distributed over the board which pulls down on the aforementioned 3 points on top and presses against the hull throughout the bottom. The only concern I will address is the flimsy hollow transom design of the version 1 Capri. I will do an access opening and then insert a backer board to add strength there. Will trim this board to be exactly the width of the void between the hull and cockpit so when the 3 bolts are tightened they will be compressing against strength. Wonder if there is a good adhesive that could also bond the backer board to the hull down there? The current design provides for only those 3 connection points at the top, in theory the bottom could be pulled away. Using a through bolt down there would create another hole below the water line.
    Just bought my Minkota 30 trolling motor which will be mounted on the other side. I will do the same reinforcement scheme there.
    When all is completed I will post the pics............
     
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  11. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    I'
    With some great weekend weather ahead I will take the liberty to cut those two 4 1/2" diameter access holes in my seats in preparation for reinforcing my transom. I failed to catch the source for purchasing the inspection ports. Does anybody have that info handy? I' really taking a leap of faith by cutting the holes without having the kits in hand. It would be comforting to order the hardware also..........
     
  12. helioscribe

    helioscribe New Member

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    I used the deck plate located here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00120JYDQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I had previously thought that I used a 6" plate, but upon checking, this 4-7/16" plate is what fitted best.
     
  13. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    So I go to the Beckson website to check out the hardware and discover that they sell versions with 12' deep bags attached for stowage. That is golden! I ordered one for each side and as a bonus the opening to be cut is a larger 5.5". My original purpose for this exercise was to provide for transom reinforcement installation, this gives a much better access scenario.
    OD of the plate flange is 7" so that still fits within the seat area. And even if the space between the bottom of the seat is less than the 12" bag depth, it should still be a great feature. Any comments?
     
  14. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Now here's another thing I ponder as I set up my trolling motor layout....
    I may elect to go with a battery that could weigh as much as 15 - 20 lbs. to get more range. The smallest and much lighter one is the Odyssey PC 680 but it only gives about 30 minutes of running time. I will mount the box on a board that will be secured just inside the cuddy opening and running 10 gauge cable back to a motor connector by the transom. Now that's all well and good under normal conditions but what happens when I go over? I'm doing the Bob so the boat will never go farther than the picture above shows, but I will need a sealed battery and have to come up with a way to secure it in the event of a dumping or there will be chaos!
     
  15. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    So now that I have my Garelick ladder I ponder the 2 mounting options:
    1. With full backer board and mounting unit through the eye bolts... Good because of stronger mounting design, easier to grab on because it's angled out from the boat. But huge question is that the bottom rung is probably about 15" higher than the other method allows for. How the h...... do you get your foot on it when it's that high up? Maybe would have to tie a loop around it to get a foot hold.
    2. Going lower and bolting directly into the transom would greatly improve the climbing out process. But it's a weaker mount and the tube looks like it could rub against the transom when opened. But my main concern is being able to use the darn thing to climb out!

    Anybody have the #1 method and use it with no problem?
     

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