Ladder Pads


Nifty rubber protectors on the boarding ladder at their point of contact against the hull.


Ariose has a typical fold-up boarding ladder mounted at the stern. When down, two stainless legs press against the transom. When we bought the boat, the point of contact was an open stainless tube. There was only minor damage to the hull finish – so far – but we use the ladder a lot and could see that this would quickly get worse.


-We started the season with a rather inelegant solution: stump bandages. We used an array of rags, and cuttings from rubber placemats intended to keep dishware in place, and tied/taped these on to the end of the pipes. This was effective when the ladder was down and pressure against the boat held the protection in place, but they were prone to slip off when we were underway and the ladder raised. They also held moisture and we suspected they would soon be growing stuff. Aeasthetically, definitely not up to our standards, and durability not so good either.

-A search of marine chandlery products didn’t find anything suitable.


What else requires a durable, non-slip surface, ideally suited for the outdoors? Cane tips! And, as a bonus, they are already manufactured to fit onto a cylindrical “pipe”.

That occupational therapist expertise comes in handy in the unlikeliest of situations! 😉


Quick trip to the local medical supply retailer with measurement of the diameter of the ladder tube in hand.


~$1.50 each (Can’t think of anything else on a boat that you can purchase for that price!)


-Think outside the box, i.e. outside the marine retail world. Re-purposing works!

-They held securely with no signs of deterioration, and good protection to the hull over the course of the season. Over the winter, though, they have begun to crack. Not sure if this is due to cold or just aging.

Update: 2021

Even with the cane tips, the hull was beginning to mark. In the spring of 2021, we painted Ariose’s topsides, so wanted to prevent marring. We had some scrap teak, scavenged from a boat wrecker yard. We cut a couple blocks, finished the wood, and bolted them on the transom aligned with the ladder leg.   They seem to be doing the job,

I’m a solo sailing Autistic adult who is exploring this fantastic world on a beautiful 1969 Alberg 30. Come and share it with me for musings about sailing solo and what it’s like to do it on the Spectrum.