Tip of the Week
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Tip of the Week


Improved Swim Ladder



I don't know that all Cape Dories have stern mounted swim ladders but mine does. The problem before my retrofit is that you had to swing your leg over the stern pulpit and balance on the outside edge before descending. If you had to hand down equipment to someone in the inflatable, you had to haul it over the pulpit and reach down. I noticed that my friend's Island Packet had a "doorway" in it's stern pulpit which made entry to the ladder much easier. I wanted one too!

The project was not difficult. I cut the opening to match the width of the ladder so that the ladder fills in the gap when it's in the up position. I used West Marine 1" - tubing fittings, 2 - 90 degree, 2 - Tees, 2 bases, and a 4 ft of SST tubing. The hardest part was getting to the bolts under the deck through the cockpit locker, but been there before. The aft stay is still in the middle of the walkway but it is a big improvement from before.

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