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Old 03-02-2017, 11:28 AM   #1
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Getting on and off boat from finger pier dock whatever...

Old marina, had a metal grab handle screwed to piling.
I used that all the time and was very convenient.

New marina I have the 8 foot walk out 'finger pier' with a big pilling at the end.
I have been wondering about something to easily hold onto. At low tide it is a good step down onto the boat and I manage ok. Getting off boat at low tide, I have to step up and grab the piling and its pretty wide. I could imagine actually someone falling into the water someday, If not careful.

Has anyone made a wooden handle to screw on a piling? Rope or whatever?
Curious if this is even an issue to anyone. I am not getting any younger.

And if my 80 year old parents visit, they like going on the boat.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. 717. How about putting a large cleat in the appropriate spot? Might do double duty for grabbing and hanging lines on AND look nautical as well. Perhaps the marina would do it for you OR provide the cleat...
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:41 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. 717. How about putting a large cleat in the appropriate spot? Might do double duty for grabbing and hanging lines on AND look nautical as well. Perhaps the marina would do it for you OR provide the cleat...
I think a large cleat would be ok, but is a pricey fix?

I was thinking take a wood 1.5 by 1.5 about 2 foot long. Use standoff blocks and screw into piling?

I should have taken that metal handle with me, a pror slip user had screwed it on. It looked like a big square and was 3/8 metal rod.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:44 AM   #4
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Curious if this is even an issue to anyone. I am not getting any younger.
.
I feel your pain. Same problem here, with the added twist that as the finger pier goes from the main dock down to the piling, it narrows, so it is only about 6" wide at the piling. The piling itself is metal, so not easy to screw anything into it. I have thought about a rope, with a Blake Knot to keep it from sliding down, but have not actually done that. We do not have the tidal swing here that you probably do up there, but it can still be a problem at either a very low tide or a very high tide.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:48 AM   #5
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How about: ($12 for 2 handles at Home Depot )

Swing-N-Slide Playsets Green Safety Handles (2-Pack)-NE 4410 - The Home Depot
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:54 AM   #6
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I am surprised that the marina would allow you to screw anything into the piling. Around there that is a huge no-no.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:13 PM   #7
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Defender and West Marine sell SS handles for this purpose. I've seen wooden ones made with PT, though they do tend to generate splinters over time.

When we were in a Fixed dock, I used to tie an breast-line from a stern cleat to the piling and used the line like a 'handrail' of sorts. This also helped to pull the boat closer to the finger pier, which was useful at low tide.

Are there carrying beams under the joists of the fixed finger pier? We had lateral carrying beams that the joists sat on. They stuck out and folks used to screw a 2 x 10/2 x 12 and span the carrying beams and make a small step to step onto, then up onto the finger pier.

Just a few thoughts.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:21 PM   #8
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Tie a rope to the piling with some good wraps and end it with a loop to use as a grab handle.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:07 PM   #9
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I took picture of the new slip before I got the boat there. You can see here is low tide.
The piling at the end of the finger pier I have to grab onto.
Our tide range is about 3 feet, but that day seemed like down 4 feet. Marina people said it was very low that day. Location is Thomas Marina on Chisman Creek off the Poquoson River.
Have not thought to even ask if I could screw into the piling.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:19 PM   #10
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IMO if you cand back the boat in further you need a new slip. That looks dangerous to me.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:33 PM   #11
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IMO if you cand back the boat in further you need a new slip. That looks dangerous to me.
Fish Duck is not my boat, he has his own finger pier, yet a foot higher up than mine! I suppose he could pull his boat further back for boarding from my finger pier.
The empty slip is mine.
You would have to see in person to judge that, I don't think it is dangerous. The slips are angled to the main pier, which helps getting boat in and out. And they are real long. So I have a lot of water behind the boat especially on one side.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:43 PM   #12
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I took picture of the new slip before I got the boat there. You can see here is low tide.
The piling at the end of the finger pier I have to grab onto.
Our tide range is about 3 feet, but that day seemed like down 4 feet. Marina people said it was very low that day. Location is Thomas Marina on Chisman Creek off the Poquoson River.
Have not thought to even ask if I could screw into the piling.
Why don't you back in further so the boat is next to the finger pier?

How do other people dock and how do they get on and off their boats??

Maybe the marina manager has some suggestions?
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:15 AM   #13
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Why don't you back in further so the boat is next to the finger pier?

How do other people dock and how do they get on and off their boats??

Maybe the marina manager has some suggestions?
I am backed in sufficient that I have a good 5 feet of boat parallel to the finger pier. Issue is when tide runs out, I want to make it easier for everyone to board. Some slips have a metal ladder bolted to the finger pier. I will experiment with rope idea first.

How other people manage, they just do I suppose, this marina is very slow, not a lot of people traffic. I have yet to see anyone visit their boat. Been there a week now, but I am not a liveaboard. Marina management says in spring and summer gets busier.
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:51 AM   #14
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On our boat there are two side boarding doors. One is ideally suited for floating docks and the other is about 7 feet higher up. It's not unusual at times in areas with big tide swings for either to be unusable for part of the day. That's where our boarding line some call it our Tarzan vine comes in handy. If we are staying more than a few days I'll tie it around the dock piling next to the lowest door. The line itself is nothing more than a piece of braided 1/2" nylon with grab knots and loops strategically tied in place. It usually is tied to a rail on our dink deck. We use it for mob procedures and picking up mooring ball pennants. Your biggest problem looks to be the width of the dock near the piling. Tough to swing bags and coolers standing on 16" planks. Without knowing anything about your boat I'd say the rope is your best option. If your boat is something like that luhrs on the right you might be able to rig a passerelle.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:56 AM   #15
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I am backed in sufficient that I have a good 5 feet of boat parallel to the finger pier. Issue is when tide runs out, I want to make it easier for everyone to board. Some slips have a metal ladder bolted to the finger pier. I will experiment with rope idea first.

How other people manage, they just do I suppose, this marina is very slow, not a lot of people traffic. I have yet to see anyone visit their boat. Been there a week now, but I am not a liveaboard. Marina management says in spring and summer gets busier.
If you cruise and stay at transient marinas, you will have to find ways to get on and off your boat with many different docking arrangements. At home, we have a floating dock so the swim platform is the convenient way.

Traveling, we are often given a fixed dock and it may be high or low and of course in tidal areas, that changes constantly.

There are steps on the sides of out cockpit that lead to the side decks and sometimes getting on or off from the side deck is the best choice. You just have to look at each situation and figure it out.

A ladder needs someplace to grab onto with your hands and if part of it is underwater at high tide, it will quickly become a home to barnacles and slime.
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