Boarding a RIB

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by CDK, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Because of maintenance problems we've sold our 35 years old Draco 2500 Twincab this week. One burden less!

    To avoid feeling handicapped living near the shore without a boat we immediately bought an 18 ft. RIB with Suzuki 115 HP 4-stroke.

    And immediately we face the next problem: How do you get on and off when you are over 70 and suffer from arthritis?
  2. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Is there a hand-hold to brace yourself as you step on? What is the landing like?
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Are you speaking of boarding from; the beach, another vessel, a dock, the water? And where on the RIB do you plan to use as your primary boarding point(s)? Also, what areas does the arthritis affect? IE; how's your upper body strength & mobility, ditto on your lower half. Plus agility level, balance, grip strength?

    PS: You've got a few years on me, but I can appreciate the FEELING of getting/being older. As they say, it bites!
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Davit or cockpit mounted boom with remote?
  5. baeckmo
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    baeckmo Hydrodynamics you bought this vehicle from a distance, never getting onboard before handing over the dough??
  6. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Poida Senior Member

    Now this reminds me of the rib I had.
    Powered up to the beach, myself and the two kids.

    In order to execute a macho disembark I stepped over the side without holding on to anything.
    Got my foot hooked into the rope that went around the side and ended up face down in the sand.

    There wasn't a sad face on the beach.

    CDK may I recommend for getting in the boat a diver's reverse roll back entry. Maybe wear a motor bike helmet or even better one of those blow up Sumo Wrestlers outfits to reduce the impact. And of course a standard roll back to get out.

    Anyway I would say it would be easier to get in and out of than a standard boat.

  7. philSweet
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    1. <deleted>

    2. Buy one of those purpose made modular floating docks that fit it like a glove. You just blast right up onto the thing. Solves half of the problem.

    3. The other half of the problem is at the bar at the other end of the bay. You have to train the waitstaff - the attractive waitstaff - to help you out of the boat. This is a not much of a problem in south Florida. Don't know about your locale. One of my neighbors and I decided on a retirement plan. We would arrive at one of the bars. His trained beagle would tie the boat up. My trained parrot would take on all comers at ring game (aka Cuban horseshoes) for beer. You can do okay at this in Key Largo.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  8. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The transom end seems the obvious choice, a fold-down ladder and use the outboard cowl as a hand grab.
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    My apologies for earlier, I was a touch cranky.

    Anyway, the best semi-answer, barring knowing more details, is something akin to a "stile". In other words a short step ladder designed for climbing fences in the fields, where half of the ladder is on either side of the fence.
    In this case, meaning a RIB, assuming that you're climbing down into/up & out of it - a set of "stairs" which can easily attach to the mother vessel, or dock, which protrude over the RIB's tube, & down into it.

    That, & or a semi-fixed step/platform (meaning affixed to the RIB) which is half of the height from the floor to the top of the tube. Thus, your "climb" is broken into two steps instead of one.

    I've got a few ideas on how to build both/most of these kind of things. But again, need more specifics, as requested earlier.
  10. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer


    No Baeckmo, of course not.
    In fact I didn't hand over anything yet, things work differently in this former socialist state. But I will cough up the money as soon as the paperwork is done.

    I surely didn't express myself clearly. Getting in from the water is no problem at all, there is a retractable ladder, lots of things to grab and a big engine to lean against.
    Stepping on the boat from the jetty is what worries me. The bow has a molded ABS platform of 1 sq. ft to put a foot on. At low tide it is almost level with the jetty, at high tide it is approx 3 ft above the jetty, very difficult for me, impossible for my wife. If I tie the boat very tight, so it can't move sideways, I guess I can step on it without loosing my balance, but then the next step is almost 2 ft. down, so I probably keep stumbling forward until I bang against the console.

    I need a hand rail, a post or something else near the bow for a controlled ascend and descend, but how do you attach that to an inflatable? The area behind the bow has several storage lockers; if I fix something there I will not be able to lift the hinged lid.

    Attached Files:

    Joined: Jun 2014
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    Location: Land O' the Great Lakes

    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Might it be possible to create & mount a vertical stainless steel post or sailboat type mast base "Granny Bar" a little ways in front of the helm station? Something between 2' & 1m tall. And then run a heavy line (like 1"), with knots spaced every 1' or so between said post & the bow of the boat.
    Setup said line with a QR shackle or carabiner on each end, so that it's easy to move out of the way when you need to. But otherwise, it's always there to grab onto, whether; you're getting into/out of the boat from the bow. Or just need an extra hand hold for when the boat takes an unintended bounce, or one loses their footing.

    When I say Granny Bar, I'm referring to the pulpits which you sometimes see at the mast base of cruising sailboats, on the port & starboard sides. They're about 1m high, have 3 deck attachment points. Giving you something to lean against when working at the mast's base when Neptune's riled up.
    Their upper end is often enough somewhat concave (crescent shaped) on the side where they face the mast. To assist you with staying in place, hands free, on a bucking vessel.

    Also, as to your step idea. There are foams out there (closed cell type) that are a bit firmer than gymnasts use, say, like wrestling mats. Only much thicker (10cm - 30cm). If you were to find some of this stuff, you can have cushioned steps made for "strategic" areas of the boat.
    Meaning that the cushions would primarily be used as steps, & of course set up to be moveable + semi-modular. Perhaps even stackable, with suitable tie downs.
    But this would give you various options as to where to position your "soft steps", at your discression. That, & they'd have the obvious benefit that if someone lost their balance, they'd not leave quite the mark that landing on solid fiberglass would.

    If the above descriptions aren't clear enough, LMK, & I'll try again. My apologies, but I don't have any pics of said ideas. Although anyone who does custom stainless work on boats, should know of the granny bars idea.
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