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  • #14791

    As clean looking as a Titania aft deck is, it remains on Harrier at least, under used and rarely frequented once one has scrambled from the tender. Occasionally when fishing behind Plymouth breakwater in a greasy swell this smooth aft sun bed has shown it’s worth when the Mackerel won’t hit my rusty feathers. Usually the tender is pulled up over the aft quarter on longer trips and stowed on the aft deck but it has always seemed that with a continuation of the guarding this space could at least be home to the new lift raft and life bouy set-up. Such storage is not a novel idea I know but still rare on our small cruisers where living space is at a premium when sleeping the full compliment of four adults.

    Having found that the wonderful newly accessible drawing archive contains a Fairey pushpit design, and having confirmed in photos that such an addition is does not spoil the minimalist aftdeck to transom sweep I started mocking up a timber version. Of course with some adjustments! I want to continue to drag the tender up over the starboard quarter, as well as provide home for the safety gear. Perhaps somewhere to fix the small outboard to would be good as well. And whilst I am still only mocking up in softwood what about a hinged boarding ladder, 31 foot Atalanta style. The results are shown in the photos below. Design tweaks are now being considered but the next step is to start designing for manufacture. The outside edge of the 1×2 inch softwood represents the outside of the 1 inch stainless tube I will fabricate with, so more elegant than a first glance at the photo suggests.

    The top of the Port side hoop is 700mm above the deck so only 100mm more than the guard wire stanchions. The step in the transom horizontal is to relate to the penultimate step when the ladder is raised.

    More information and photos to follow.

    In the meantime how does everyone else get aboard from a tender, is it over the transom?

    And what about a man over board or summer swimmer? How do they climb back aboard?


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    • #14793
      Nick Phillips


      Putting aside my growing shed-envy, I love the prototyping going on!

      I am a great fan of the original Fairey boarding ladder – a whacking great construction in mahogany and brass with a tubular metal extension below the waterline for access from swimming.  The photo is poor quality as I can’t lay my hands on anything better.

      Helene Boarding Ladder

      This stows up under the cockpit seat and just feels right.  It is also very easy to use in climbing up / down from the dinghy.

      I am not sure whether it would fit a Titania – does the increased freeboard impact this part of the boat?

    • #14797
      Trevor Thompson


      Well at least I can show you how we get onto Calista from the Dinghy, and from the water when swimming.


      Calista's transom




    • #14798
      Trevor Thompson

      And another showing the ladder in detail:

      Calista's boarding ladder

    • #14799
      Trevor Thompson

      We also carry a life raft on the aft deck on a purpose made garage which covers the Aft cabin hatch and incorporates rails to secure the liferaft.  Two small solar panels also fit onto it.

    • #14871
      Richard James

      Here are some photos of A89’s boarding ladder, which fits either on the cockpit starboard side, or the transom.

    • #14873

      I like your ladder Richard, particularly the fact that you don’t need a dinghy to use it.
      Could catch on!

    • #15756

      Thanks for the pictures and comments from other owners.

      I am now in the final stages of fabricating a new pushpit to incorporate the following features:

      Space under it for the dinghy on the aft deck

      Liferaft cradle

      Life shoe holder

      Aft boarding ladder (Calista style)

      Key thing for me, since swimming off the boat is a frequent pastime, is that the ladder could be used comfortably, hence the mock-up in timber to work out the ergonomics. The final mock-up ended up being pretty detailed, including the hinged ladder part, but less of that and more of the steelwork!

      Pictures below midway through fabrication with the final ones to follow next week once the pushpit has been polished again and then fitted.

      I borrowed the tube bender, used 316 MP tube and laser cut feet, used my own TIG welding set and throughly hated cutting the scalloped tube ends with that hole saw, in the end I just used an angle grinder to avoid the terrible noise and slow cutting speed.

    • #18510

      hi chaps, definitely more than a touch of both workshop and transom envy…would love to see photos of the finished product and hear how it worked out? I am in the process of redesigning and existing pushpit/read platform for  a spell in the med.  I would like to combine a platform for mooring stern to and a swimming ladder and a frame for supporting solar panels…also looking for advice, photos etc regarding installation of a bimini.

      thanks for any updates/photos on your projects


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