Welcome to Club Bennington

An official club forum for Bennington boats

Login Register

Ladder Down Alarm

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself Projects' started by Kahlua0517, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Kahlua0517

    Kahlua0517 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Northeastern NJ
    I've been designing an alarm for the swim ladder so that there will be both audible and visual notifications when it's down and the engine is running.  Since the ladder tucks under the rear deck you cannot see it unless you remember to look before you start moving.  My wife left it down the other day and we dragged it around for almost 1/2 a mile, fortunately at low speed in a no wake zone.

    My plan involves a water proof N/C switch that will be engaged when the ladder is up and locked into position.  If the ladder is not stowed when the key is turned to the engine run position an audible alarm will sound and there will be a blinking LED on the console.  I'll post more info as I begin to build and install this system.  I'm doing this because my brother dragged his ladder from one end of the lake to the other and lost two of the plastic step inserts.

    Anyone ever hear of anything like this?
     
    basshawk84, kaydano and Parzival like this.
  2. bcpnick

    bcpnick Nick

    Messages:
    1,092
    Likes Received:
    682
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Brilliant! I can't believe this isn't a feature from the factory.
     
  3. TomS

    TomS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,951
    Likes Received:
    887
    Location:
    Sanibel FL
    Oooohhh nice, but I think an automatic power ladder retractor is in order too ;-)

    I too, have done it many times...
     
  4. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,414
    Likes Received:
    1,737
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Taking investors?!?
     
  5. SEMPERFI8387

    SEMPERFI8387 Moderator

    Messages:
    8,934
    Likes Received:
    3,212
    Location:
    York, Pa
    Nice !!

    (I already have an audible alarm ... The wife screaming at me that I left it down again).
     
    Jim Rampello, Parzival, KC24 and 3 others like this.
  6. dano

    dano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Austin MN
    great idea!!  I have the same alarm system as SEMPERFI.
     
    Jim Rampello likes this.
  7. lakeliving

    lakeliving Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,252
    Likes Received:
    4,209
    Location:
    Michigander living In Palm City FL
    But if you smack that alarm to turn it off during a malfunction it only gets louder....
     
    kaydano likes this.
  8. Remediation

    Remediation Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,513
    Likes Received:
    520
    Location:
    Lake Cumberland KY - White Oak Community Dock
    Or the alarm is people in other boats pointing at the back of your boat. 
     
  9. Kahlua0517

    Kahlua0517 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Northeastern NJ
    That would be a nice option. B)

    I figure that the parts will cost less than $100 with the N/C waterproof switch being the most expensive part at around $50.  Bennington provides a spare plug under the console that has a switched output from the motor key switch which I will use for the switched power. I plan on using a programmable audible beeper ($20) where you can load a 30 second audio file from you computer as an alarm, something like my wife's voice yelling "you left the ladder down dummy, you left the ladder down dummy". :D
     
    kaydano and bcpnick like this.
  10. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    1,522
    Great idea. I'll take one!

    Or, you could wire it so the motor won't start...

    The ladder is always down when we're swimming in a cove. That would add a layer of safety. You couldn't accidentally start the motor when someone was in the water. Would be cheaper (no alarm). Just wire the switch into the ignition circuit between the key and starter.

    Can you post a link to the switch you are thinking about? I'm going to look into this too, if you don't mind me copying your idea... Nice job!
     
  11. Kahlua0517

    Kahlua0517 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Northeastern NJ
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2014
    kaydano likes this.
  12. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    1,522
    Wow. That's an interesting looking switch. Looks like it's perfect for your application.
     
  13. Kahlua0517

    Kahlua0517 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Northeastern NJ
    It should be perfect given it's design and mounting bracket.  I did spend over an hour searching the Internet to find something that met all of my needs.
     
  14. Rockie69

    Rockie69 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    929
    Location:
    Iowa
    I'd spend three days searching for the challenge if I tied that to my engine switch. Lol
     
    JohnL likes this.
  15. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    1,522
    Where does it say that's an NC switch?

    Is the back of the ignition switch accessible under the helm? My guess would be not. To easy to hotwire the boat if it was.
     
  16. Kahlua0517

    Kahlua0517 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Northeastern NJ
    I don't think that it does it just states that it's an SPST, single pole double throw, one N/C position and one N/O position both of which reverse when the switch is depressed.  The key switch wiring is easily accessible from under the console.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. jgraves

    jgraves New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you still using this switch or re-designed it?
     
  18. Nautical

    Nautical Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    198
    Location:
    Lake Norman
    Sounds like a fun DIY project. I doubt the factory will buy in. If they do then I want FENDERS LEFT OUT alarms.

    But seriously fiberglass boats don't have PLUG OUT alarms and the penalty for forgetting that is MUCH higher!!
     
  19. Paradise bound

    Paradise bound Active Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Lake Elsinore ,California
    you may look at what motorhomes are using , I know our Newmar had a Antenna up indicator on the dash
     
  20. Jim Rampello

    Jim Rampello Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Ohio
    I may have drug the anchor back to the dock once!!! I was anchored in fairly shallow water maybe 6' and the dock is in a deeper section. Still have the anchor!!!!:):oops::oops:o_O
     
    Vikingstaff and sjhorner9475 like this.

Share This Page