Boat Ladder for Kids - Opinions on this one? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Boat Ladder for Kids - Opinions on this one?

I'm trying to set up a paddle raft that will provide the most enjoyment and the least amount of trauma for my younger kids- including when it comes to getting in and out of the boat- until they can do it on their own. It's all a part of my master plan to see how many of them I can convert to the sport, of course...

I've been looking at rescue ladders and reading the threads here. I can't seem to settle on either the little Nettie's ladder or the pricey GCPBA ladder- at least not yet. Searching the web, I came across this ladder. It appears to have some sturdiness without the cost. Anyone used this ladder before? Any thoughts about potential drawbacks or hazards as compared to the others?

Here's a link that has all the specs:NEW 3-Step Inflatable Boat, Dock, Swim Raft, Dingy, Rope Ladder | eBay
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 2012
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Looks pretty solid to me, just run a strap around it to stow when not in use. I stand on my ladder all the time and just hang out half in the water, they're great.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
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The idea of a re-entry ladder on a paddle raft is completely counter intuitive.

Accessories like ladders that allow for 'easy' re-entry to the boat were developed for older folks in calm water. I can see a ladder for the old fart-types so they can get out of the water after a voluntary swim or pee, but they aren't practical in a whitewater swim situation. What happens when the kid falls out on the left side when the ladder is on the right?

If kids are old enough to run a paddle boat, they are old enough to learn self rescue and also pulling their fellow paddlers back on board. Just spend more time teaching them team work, safety, and rescue techniques.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hi,

Well I have to somewhat disagree with the assertion that ladders are for flatwater. My "GCPBA" ladder (Dave Yeamans' invention - actual name Rescue Rung) got me back in my boat immediately after being dumped out in Lava a couple of years ago. Big guy, 30" cat tubes, big waves -- quick, safe re-entry.

But the day to day benefit on my GC trips seemed to be for facilitating casual swims, and for female passengers, who used it to step off and re-board the boat easily to conduct their business.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
 
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2016
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I made a ladder following the ideas in this thread:
home made rescue ladder
The kids love it!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1996
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Thanks for the comments. I can appreciate what you're saying DoStep. Teaching my children safety and rescue fundamentals is a priority for me. It is a paddle boat, and we have 4 strong paddlers in our family. However, I also have three young girls who will be along for the ride and I would like them to feel some confidence about getting in and out of the boat on their own while they build their strength.

I am getting the ladder primarily for swimming in calm stretches of water. My oldest daughter refused to try swimming in the past because she was panicked about not being able to get back in the boat in time- even with her dad there to pull her in. That made the whole experience rather "dry" for her. I also see the ladder being very handy for uses described by richp. Especially with 5 girls in our family. No sense making that kind of relief more difficult than it needs to be...

I can see how the ladder may or may not be useful in a rescue situation, but the slight chance that it may- as richp experienced- is important to me in my current family dynamic.

Again, thanks for your insights.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1996
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ben94122- That ladder looks great! Maybe I can get my son working on one like that... summer project.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
LSB
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Huson, Montana
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I just hang a 4' loop of strap from a D ring when the kids are swimming.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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LSB- what a novel idea! And the reason I love forums like this.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
 
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Nampa, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richp View Post
Hi,

Well I have to somewhat disagree with the assertion that ladders are for flatwater. My "GCPBA" ladder (Dave Yeamans' invention - actual name Rescue Rung) got me back in my boat immediately after being dumped out in Lava a couple of years ago. Big guy, 30" cat tubes, big waves -- quick, safe re-entry.

But the day to day benefit on my GC trips seemed to be for facilitating casual swims, and for female passengers, who used it to step off and re-board the boat easily to conduct their business.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips

I have the same ladder and it's pretty awesome. I have the three rung version. I bought it for my wife and kids initially, but I might end up using it a lot myself too. I have a green jacket rescue PFD. I use the throw rope that goes in the clamshell on the front of the jacket. That big bump catches on the tube when I'm trying to pull myself up and won't let me get in the boat. I could've really used it three weeks ago paddling in R2 in Hells Canyon. I flipped in granite rapid and tried to pull myself up only to get that stupid clamshell caught four or five times. I finally made it onto the boat was really tired.

The beauty of the rescue rung is that it can be rigged so that it can be used both in a flip or right side up.

However, rope ladders are not easy to use and are not intuitive. All of my kids failed initially. It will take a little bit of training to successfully use one. The problem for the untrained user is your feet want to go forward under the boat until they are at waist level. In this position, your upper body still has to do all of the lifting without any help from your feet. The trick is to use your abdominal muscles to keep your feet underneath and behind you. It feels like you are arching your back if you do it correctly. It is definitely something that you want to practice before you get in a flip. In the OP's case, with a girl who is so nervous and hesitant to get in the water, this will not be an immediate solution to his problem. In fact, it could make it worse. As long as you have someone modeling the correct technique to her, things should go a lot smoother.



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