19 May, 2017

Bow ladder and the other stainless tuning

Last year, we were cruising the whole season on our famous dam Orlík on the river Vltava. It's very deep with steep shores so the most common way of anchoring preferred by local freshwater rats is to drop anchor from the stern slowly approaching the shore with the bow. This way you don't have to retract the centerboard, rudder or the outboard motor, like when dropping the anchor from the bow and reversing to the shore.

Example of anchoring with the stern first

This maneuver with bow first can be done easily single handed, however you suppose to have some kind of ladder on the bow or bowsprit.

Example of anchoring on Orlík with bow first, near the castle Zvíkov

The boat on the left is using the kind of add-on foldable ladder to the bowsprit. This is good, but you have to store it in the anchor locker after every use.
The other advantage of this type of anchoring is, that you can reach the shore with dry feet.

A good friend of mine David, lent me his add-on ladder to test it and it was working perfectly.

Foldable add-on ladder test

So was decided to add some foldable ladder to the bowsprit permanently for an easier manipulation.
After many hours of checking the various ladders found on the internet, I've found these 210mm narrow, 3 step telescopic ladder from Osculati article #49.541.23.
At first I wanted to bolt it somehow from the top of the bowspirt, but found it bad with too many edges for bare feet and it would collide with the anchor.

Ladder on the top of the bowsprit

Final decision then was to weld it bellow the bowsprit tubing. I've cut the hinges to the shape of the existing tubing and added a small piece of 3mm thick stainless strip as a reinforcement near the bolts.

Modified flange

Then asked the local welder to weld it under the bowsprit and this is the final product.

Welding from bellow

When retracted, it's also usable for boarding from marina pier

Simon was the testing monkey

There is a little flex on the ladder itself, but there is no problem holding me (84 kg) with no flexing on the ladder flange or the bowsprit itself.
The last thing is to add some line to it for easy retraction when standing on the bow, but this has to be tested once on the water.

When I had the TIG welder on the place, I prepared him some more work.
The factory anchor roller is mounted on the plates under the bowsprit which has a pretty sharp edges. I've tried to file the edges a bit, but still chafing the anchor line. So I've fabricated the 4mm thick rods chafe guards and welded them to the front edge of the roller plates.

Anchor roller chafe guards

The last update was to replace the railing clamps for the addition lifelines ends and gennaker sheet blocks with the stainless steel rings. They were created from 5mm thick rod winded around 11mm tubing, then cut with the angle grinder and flattened.

Welded rings for the stern lifelines

Welded rings for the gennaker sheets block

Finally polished everything and one more job finished.

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