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climbing back into the boat from the water


New Member
We are training four 12-year old boys on capri 14.2 sailboats. We discovered that the boys cannot climb back in the boat after capsizing and righting the boat again. Has anybody a suggestion for something like a mounting a step, for example on the transom?


New Member
I just use a line tied to the traveler. It's has a loop for your foot and it's about 4 feet long. Haven't had to use it yet but it should work fine for a step up to climb in over the transom. I think a lot of the guys are doing similar things.



I never dreamed it could be so difficult getting back into this boat until my first capsize. Just click on Search and type in "ladder" and you will have all the answers you need!


New Member
After trying a few Methods (nothing, Bowline knot sling, 1 step pvc sling) I have found a good inexpensive solution. I now use a 5 step Colapsible PVC rope ladder. It folds pretty compact and I attach it to the aft hicking straps and store it at the stern of the boat by the eye bolt for the CB bungee cord.

I am 6'4" tall and a biscuit away from 300 LB. Most of my sailing is done Solo so I need the assurance of being able to get back in the boat. Boy was I surprised the first time I went over and my Bowline Knot sling was not the right Length. I put my foot into it only ro realize that with my weight I was no closer to getting into the boat had I not put my foot into the sling. The 5 step PVC rope ladder gives me plenty of options. Since my first unprepared capsize several years ago, I now do regular drills , just jump off the boat for the heck of it and have no trouble getting back in.

I also purchased, years ago, a Baby Bob mast float. It is a great piece of insurance when I'm getting ny act together after a capsize.

Here is a link for the ladder


Good Luck

climbing into the boat

I have used a loop of line (carried in my pocket) draped over the rudder head as a stirrup.
Worked for me.
When you right the boat have your crew on the water side gunnel roll in as the boat comes up.
A 12 year old may not have enough weight/strength for this, but it helps to have the crew on board to help the skipper over the transom.

Gary Hannan

New Member
I fond it really difficult to use the "rope with a terminal loop" method to get back in- your foot just swings all the way under the hull, leaving your body at a 45 degree angle to the transom, and no closer to getting over the transom into the boat. I installed a collapsible stainless ladder (3-rung, which might be longer than needed). There are postings and photos of an installation. Works great.
climbing into boat

I make one large loop so that when the I hang the top on the rudder head the bottom is near the rudder tip. When I step into the loop. my foot/leg is braced by the rudder blade.


I capsized for real (not a drill) while soloing about a week ago and found I couldn't crawl over the transom, traveler, tiller tamer, and tiller combination. Even though I could easily grab the hiking strap, my PFD kept hanging me up on the above goodies.

I made a PVC/rope ladder which is now tied to my hiking strap bracket, have yet to use it. The ladder is simple: cut a 36" piece of 3/4" PVC into three equal pieces. Drill a 1/4" hole all the way through about 1" from each end and cement a 3/4" slip joint cap on each end.

Wrap blue tape (electricians tape will do) around end of a good length of 3/16" line to aid in threading the line through the holes. Tie a figure 8 knot on each side of the three PVC rungs. Cut the line to suit.

I fasten a plain old sports bag between the seats on the transom wall (use the ends of the traveler line) and stuff the ladder in the bag along with my sail ties, a bucket (don't ask!), and my lunch. The ladder is of course on top next to my water bottle.


Do tell. Is this the fancy head option for the Capri 14.2 that I can't seem to find on Catalina Direct? :D
...ummm, well since you asked, yes it is; however, my bucket (an empty pool chemical one, about 8 inches across the top) isn't what anyone would call fancy.:eek:

It does double duty to help wash the boat and wring my towel out when I'm sopping up water inside the hatch. I left the hatch open one weekend when it rained at the lake; boy, was I surprised how much rain water managed to sneak in there!

-- Edward