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Boarding Ladder

I am finishing up a boarding ladder for my 20' Hunter sailboat. I simply notched some 2x4 treads and attached them with thickened epoxy to a single 2x4 post which attaches to the two rudder pins. I now have four sturdy steps to get me on board.

The thing was rather rough but completely functional as was my intension. I found some old exterior latex paint I had in light gray and gave it a coat. It seemed to exaggerate the imperfections.

I thought if I mixed a bit of wood flower into the paint it would thicken it and fill in some of the end grain and sanding marks which it did well. It also filled in the fiberglass weave which was applied with TB III to reinforce where it hung off the pins. It worked great and provided another unexpected benefit.

When I took it outside this morning to add additional coats I noticed a very nice non skid texture on the surface. Now after four coats, it has a good grippy feel to it. Not rough but more like a fine sand paper. The paint lays down flat and thin but does provide some non skit texture.

The idea is to have a strong ladder to get my 60 year old, 200 pound self back in the boat.

The two tabs on the top right drop on to the rudder pins on the boat.  Hole in the top tab is covered with glass and has not been re drilled in this shot.

The thing is just under 5’ tall and the rungs are 12” apart.

This is the unexpected but welcome texture.

The ladder also serves another purpose. When installed upside down it will give me a place to lash my mast when trailering. Obviously I have a few different heights to secure the mast.


Lofting Videos

Mike John

DIY Clamps

I have a very old set of this type of clamp and they work well and tend not to damage your job.

Other clamp ideas on Instructables.

Mike John

Sketching Boats

Mike John

Sugar - Non Slip

I've read a number of different approaches to using sugar to make non-skid. We decided to combine them all.

I'm quite pleased with my sugar so far. It has provided texture without being at all sharp. And with the masking it does look cool.


Hannu 12' Skiff

I'm glassing the bottom edge of my 12 foot skiff to add strength and abrasion protection. I took this idea in part from WoodeBoat, Vol 243, p. 52, a kayak build. Blue painter's tape is applied to define the edge 2" along the whole length of the bottom. The resin will not stick to wood under the tape so you get a nice straight line of fiberglass equal distance from the edge. Place the cloth over the edge of the bottom as well as the masking tape. Then take more masking tape and tape down the fiberglass following the same line as the first application of masking tape. The second layer of masking tape holds all those loose fiberglass threads down. Apply the resin as usual with a chipping brush or plastic spreader. Let it set and when the glass is leathery but not fully set use a utility knife with a sharp blade to cut the fiberglass cloth following along the masking tape line. Carefully, pull up the tape and you end up with a clean edge to the fiberglass.

This is how it looks above after the masking tape is removed. I used duct tape so I have tape glue to clean up.


Beach Cart

Here is a little project I just completed this weekend that might spark some ideas for your readers too - I made this beach cart from a discarded Power Wheels kid's ride on toy. I just salvaged the wheels and axle for the cart. It cost me nothing but some time, and I can now launch the new dory at my local Lake Erie beach fairly easily. Here's a couple pics of it.

Tim Abbott

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