Installing Transom Ladder

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jsa
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Installing Transom Ladder

Postby jsa » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:11 am

Hello,

I was able to salvage a very nice transom ladder off of a junked boat at my club and I am planning on installing it on my 22. Have any of you done this? It's the standard three bolt per hinge, flip up/down type ladder. Should I glass in a backing plate of marine plywood, or is the glass thick enough with oversized washers to spread the load? Can you think of anything I should take into consideration? I know it will require a solid application of quality sealant. I plan to install in on the starboard side of the outboard motor, since the throttle is on the port side.

James

brigadoon
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Re: Installing Transom Ladder

Postby brigadoon » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:49 am

Hi James,
It's best if you install some reinforcement behind the supports to spread the load. You can likely get away without it in the short term but eventually the fiberglass will start with spiderweb cracks around the bolts. A good example is to look at improperly mounted staunchness. Don't forget to drill oversize bolt holes , fill with epoxy to seal any core and then re drill with proper size for the bolts . This will protect the core material if the transom is not solid fiberglass where you mount the ladder. Good luck.
Rick

jsa
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Installing Transom Ladder

Postby jsa » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:55 am

Thanks for the reply! I didn't know the trick about drilling over-sized holes and filling with epoxy. I'll be sure to do that. That certainly makes sense. I do know that water intrusion at the transom is bad news.

Khaverhals
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Re: Installing Transom Ladder

Postby Khaverhals » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:25 pm

First time poster/ long time lurker.
When I installed a mine on a C22 I had to remove the foam flotation on the inside of the starboard transom. I used G10 board for backing plate , with oversized washers. The bottom step of the ladder is flush with the pushpit rail when flipped up. The outside stand off on the ladder is as far outboard as I could get it. Works great. Tech challenged so not sure on how to attach photos.
"If your friend is a good sailor and the craft is sea worthy, I will go sailing! Ya, Lets go Sailing!" -Bob

jsa
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Installing Transom Ladder

Postby jsa » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:15 am

Well... I think I'm about to actually undertake this project. The ladder I have has a permanent support near the last rung and will just fit the transom. However, to make it fit the mounting brackets are going to have to be just under the top rail of the stern. It doesn't feel like it is cored in that area, just a lip of glass with an inch or two of space. So, I think I am going to have to cut out a panel from the cockpit to do the thru-bolting and then re-glass it back in place. Sound about right? I'll try to take pictures as I complete it.

It sure will be nice to not have to fight that cumbersome, plastic emergency ladder anymore.

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CaptainScott
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Re: Installing Transom Ladder

Postby CaptainScott » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:09 am

Take many photos and share here for all to learn!

Thanks
Scott

jsa
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Installing Transom Ladder

Postby jsa » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:24 pm

I got the ladder installed, but forgot to take a camera to document the process. I'll be going back to the boat in a few days to install my new spreaders and I'll get some pics of the finished work.

I camped at the lake to take care of a couple of projects. I needed to replace the ropes for my rudder, re-seal/weatherproof the toerail/deck gap (which I unfortunately think may be the source of some delam :( ), clean and wax the hull topside, and install a salvaged transom ladder.

I used 3M marine sealant for the toerail/deck seam after removing the old stuff, sweeping out dirt, and cleaning everything with Acetone.

The rudder was pretty straightforward, although I've had a hard time getting it to move up and down freely. It wants to bind near the post in the housing/plate? in the down position. I've thought about sanding down the rudder a bit to get it to swing more freely. Thoughts? Perhaps it can be another post.

For the ladder, I marked the locations for the bolts with a grease pencil. The ladder I have required three bolts for two mounting brackets. The fit was tight between the backing plate for the outboard and the location of my already installed anchor lights. The brackets were placed just below the stern rail to allow the support post at the bottom of the ladder to make contact with the bottom of the transom. I learned how tight the fit was when I cut out a panel from the cockpit to install backing plates for the mounting brackets.

The transom is solid glass in this area, aprox. 1/4 inch thick. I guess having the thru-hull rudder eliminates the need to core this area of the transom.

I went ahead and drilled slightly over-sized holes for the bolts before glassing in the backing plate. I mixed up some 3:1 epoxy and added cabosil until it reached peanut butter consistency. I used 1 x 4 pressure treated lumber for the backing plate. I scuffed up the the areas that would be joined with gritty sandpaper and cleaned up everything with Acetone. I smeared the epoxy over one side of the plate and smushed it into place. This forced epoxy through the bolt holes on the transom. I then used wood screws to hold the backing plate to the transom while the epoxy kicked.

A few hours later I mixed a thinner batch of epoxy/cabosil and painted the exposed portions of the backing plate.

The next day I re-drilled holes for the bolts and cleaned everything with Acetone again. I used 3m 4200 sealant/adhesive on the back/outside of the ladder mounting bracket and squeezed it through the bolt holes on the transom/backing plate. I inserted the bolts when everything was lined up and they were tightened down with nylon lock nuts. Of course, everything was stainless. I admittedly miscalculated the length needed for the bolts with the epoxy and adhesives added and didn't have enough room for washers. However, everything seems to be really solid. I would have preferred to have had some washers in place and should have gone a 1/2 inch longer with the bolts, but everything was all gunked up at this point. Given that most of the load is vertical and there is so much horizontal support with the glued in backing plates I think it will be OK.

Now I just have to re-glass the panel I cut to do the work.

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Re: Installing Transom Ladder

Postby CaptainScott » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:46 am

Great update!
Scott


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