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Front boarding ladder for triple pontoon ?

Discussion in 'Technical Stuff' started by Radioactive, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Radioactive

    Radioactive Member

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    We have a 2006 Bennington triple pontoon boat on a large lake. This model has a front center gate in addition to the port and stern gates. I think the model number is 2075GSi, but that is from memory.

    It would be very useful to us to be able to use the front center gate when beaching the front of the boat on the small islands in the lake. However, at that point, the foreward deck is a considerable distance above the beach. This makes an exit ungainly, and reboarding very difficult. We've suffered some scratches and bruises when doing this.

    Is there a Bennington or third-party product that can provide a simple boarding ladder that can be permanently affixed to the front of the boat? (There is a substantial lug unused on the center pontoon that could be a good anchor point for a ladder).

    I have seen 'fold under' ladders, but those are only useful on dual pontoon boats. The central pontoon on our craft blocks use of those.

    Thanks!
     
  2. SEMPERFI8387

    SEMPERFI8387 Moderator

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2013
  3. lakebum

    lakebum Well-Known Member

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    The slide in ladders are made by Crone Manufacturing in Heber Springs, AR. You can buy them from several different on-line dealers. I have paid as little as $150. Crone would not sell me one that cheap even if I picked it up locally. You could add a solid ramp over the ladder rungs to use in your application and it will fit a tri-toon with 25" tubes. Steve
     
  4. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to stow the stern ladder a couple times before I figured out not to forget about it. Surprised the water didn't pull it off the boat.

    I don't think you'd want to forget to stow this bow ladder even once though. Good news is if it broke off, your prop would probably catch it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2013
  5. Radioactive

    Radioactive Member

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    Thanks for the responses. However, the problem that I see from these for the triple pontoon is that you have to have some deck space forward of the safety rail to stand since these ladders are mounted off-center. My model Bennington vessel has absolutely no deck forward of the safety rail to stand to get to the ladder. The safety rail base is even with the edge of the deck. The safety rail goes all the way to the sides, too, so no step room their, either.

    The only accessible area is where the front gate opens (inward), which is dead center atop the center pontoon. The ladder must be mounted directly in front of the gate to make it usable. I'm thinking at this time that there is no solution other than to bolt a short custom fabricated ladder / steps to the front of the boat / middle pontoon. I've not seen any other solutions that are workable (so far).

    So, I'm still searching.
     
  6. Radioactive

    Radioactive Member

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    [​IMG]

    Just for reference, my Bennington looks sort of like this, but has a third pontoon in the middle. So, no deck to stand on to get to the ladder unless the ladder is right in front of the front gate.

    RadioActive
     
  7. SEMPERFI8387

    SEMPERFI8387 Moderator

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    Does the middle toon stick out beyond the deck? They do make a swing away that might work. When you flip it up, you, then swing it to the side. It might work if your tube does not stick out, but the tip may still "stick out" through the ladder ?

    http://www.garelick.com/Swinger-Pontoon-Boarding-Ladder
     
  8. Rockie69

    Rockie69 Well-Known Member

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    Swinger and pontoon in the same sentence...you have my attention!
     
  9. SEMPERFI8387

    SEMPERFI8387 Moderator

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    Lol !!!!!
     
  10. Jim_R

    Jim_R Well-Known Member

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    Hate to get all retro, but how about stowing a plank aboard? :ph34r: (Closest I could find to a Pirate smiley)
     
  11. Rockie69

    Rockie69 Well-Known Member

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    That emotion gave me another idea. If you are a ninja and practice parkour you should be able to flip onto the boat, no ladder needed.
     
  12. Jim_R

    Jim_R Well-Known Member

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    Ok, just remembered the side gate ladder on my old Ercoa pontoon. It had a long tube mounted to the to the outside of the toon at deck level. This tube had a slit at the top, with appropriate cutouts. The ladder attached with bolts to 'plugs' that ran inside the tube. The way it worked was when stowed it would be off to the side raised vertically, and snapped into holders. One would pull it out of the holders, slide it in front of the gate, then swing it down. Worked very well, but not certain how it would look on the front of a pontoon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2013
  13. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    How about a milk crate and a rope??? At least until you find something better?
     
  14. lakebum

    lakebum Well-Known Member

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    The flush front does make it more difficult. What about the front slide in ladder,made where it will come out completely but with a secure way to stow it when not in use, and a bracket system to attach it to the front deck. If this is a direction you want to try, everyone can submit bracket designs. Steve
     
  15. Padre

    Padre Well-Known Member

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    :lol:
     
  16. Jim_R

    Jim_R Well-Known Member

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    My dock ladder has 'J' brackets on the ladder, and standoffs mounted to the dock that the J brackets hook into. The ladder is held horizontally to allow the J brackets to get under the standoffs, then the ladder is swung down. It is very secure, and neither the J Brackets or standoffs protrude much. If a removable ladder arrangement is desired, this type of configuration would work well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2013
  17. Jim_R

    Jim_R Well-Known Member

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    I was thumbing through the new Overton's catalogue yesterday and saw a pic of the arrangement I described above. I'm thinking that this could be adapted to a straight ladder for use in your front gate area.

    [​IMG]

    The footman loops would be mounted as close to the edge of the deck as possible. Again, a straight ladder should work opposed to one with the rails as pictured. Maybe even fabricate a ladder out of wood with wider angled steps appropriate to 'beached' height.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2013
  18. Rockie69

    Rockie69 Well-Known Member

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  19. WGWtrolley

    WGWtrolley New Member

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    I have recently purchased a 2013 GCW (after having a 24' bow rider) here on Siesta Key, Florida. On two pontoons I had before in Ohio and in Michigan, I had an 'under deck ladder' installed. They are terrific for boarding on/off. The ladder is mounted/stored under the deck and then pulls out when you need it so it is out of sight/out of the way when you don't. What is also great it can be on an angle from the deck when you want it to be so you don't even have to get your feet wet when you pull into a beach. I found and ordered this from Overton's part # 39289 $249.00. My local Bennington dealer never heard of this and said they would consider using it as a standard front ladder. I do not have triple 'toons' so I would suggest measuring the distance between, but I would be surprised if it doesn't fit. Hope this helps.
     
  20. CC_PA

    CC_PA Well-Known Member

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    This might be a dumb question, but what do you grab onto to pull yourself up?
     

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