Sandro Picchio makes his own telescopic boarding ladder for his Drascombe Drabber to help him get back onboard
As I usually sail single-handed, I needed a safe way to get back on board my Drascombe Dabber if I ever fell over the side.
Rope ladders are cheap, but difficult to climb, while rigid ladders can be tricky if they are not securely anchored.
I solved the problem by buying a telescopic rigid ladder and making a pivoting and sliding guide with brackets that fit onto the gunwale. By leaving a string trailing overboard, I can pull it to capsize the ladder around the gunwale. It then extends into the water under its own weight. I’ve tested it afloat and it works well.
For me, the design has the advantages of both rigid and rope ladders, being deployable by a man in the water, easy to climb and compact to stow.