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How to Build a Passarelle from a Ladder

In the Med there is a lot of bow-to or stern-to med mooring. That means there is a gap over which you have to jump in order to get ashore.

The alternative is to have a gang-plank, otherwise known as a passarelle, across which you can nicely walk. Now, you could buy one for several hundred dollars. Or you can easily make one from a cheap aluminum ladder available from any hardware store.

This is how we made ours:

how to make a passarelle for a yachtHere are the steps:

1) You will need to buy:

  1. a simple extending ladder. Ours was 2m because we couldn’t find one for 230m which would probably have been better.
  2. A couple of wheels,
  3. Some threaded stainless steel rod for an axle, along with nyloc nuts that fit.
  4. Some planks of wood, and stainless steel bolts with nuts that will go through the wood and the rungs on the ladder.

2) Separate the two halves of the ladder, and remove the extra ironwork as it will just go rusty.

3) Lay the wood across the rungs, drill holes through, and attach the wood.

To use it, the wheels go on the dock, and the other end is made fast to your boat. Ideally you can also suspend the dock end just above the dock using a halyard or topping lift or similar. This will stop it dragging along the dock all the time but, when you step on it, it will stretch a bit and land firmly on the dock so you can walk across. You can use it either way up, smooth surface up or rungs up depending on how much grip you need, and how steep the angle is.


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