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#415801 - 06/22/08 12:21 PM Portable gangplank
HotByte Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 8644
Loc: Barnesville, GA
This is kind of a boat improvement as it allows us to better enjoy camping at lake with the boat!

As some may know, I use an Anchor Buddy to anchor boat just off-shore when camping. I keep a shoreline tied to a stationary object on shore. When we need to load/unload the boat, I pull the boat closer to shore (the anchor buddy stretches to allow this). Problem is, our lake bottom has a lot of red Georgia clay which can make a mess of the boat. Plus, admiral doesn't like walking through this ilk so I usually end up toting her piggy back from shore to boat. Over last few trips, I've been experimenting with a portable gangplank to allow us to walk from shore to boat without stepping on lake bottom. I almost have one perfected!

I took 2 6' 2X6s and attached end-to-end with heavy duty strap hinges. I put an eye bolt on shore end and tied it off to same tree as boat's shoreline. At midpoint, I tied a short piece of 4" PVC pipe perpendicular to the boards. On boat end, I bolted a 6" PVC perpendicular to boards. With this setup, we could walk out to boat on the boards and the PVC pipes keep us off bottom plus stabilized the boards from side-to-side movement.

One problem I had was the end of the gangplank floating away from the shoreline. To remedy this, I used a small line and tied a bowline around the shoreline from boat and to the end of the plank. This allowed a little movement kept the end of gangplank with 1' of the shoreline.

As mambajack can attest, sugar ants love to climb out the shorelines and get all in your boat - especially if you've left snacks on-board. I tied some rocks into sacks made from old hand towels and tied this about 1/2 down shorelines to keep them slightly in the water. This contact with the water keeps the ants from reaching the boat.

My only problem was the strap hinges weren't heavy duty enough and they bent a little. For July 4th weekend, I plan to trying a different hinge or some type of eye bolts into end of boards with bolts or shackles holding the 2 boards together.

I may also add a 3rd and 4th board to get into deeper water. After loading 5 people into boat, it sat down on lake bottom a little and we had to shift our weight around boat to get it back into deeper water.

I have some pics in a Picasa Web Album Vacation 2008 about mid-way through the album. I've not yet figured out how to link to Picasa images with the img tags.
2009 Tidewater 1900 Bay Max pulled by
1998 Dodge Durango SLT and 2006 Gulfstream Yellowstone 32' class C Motorhome

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#415859 - 06/22/08 05:13 PM Re: Portable gangplank [Re: HotByte]
That English Guy Offline
One day I'll be King!

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 2789
Loc: Rochester, MN
Ever thought of hauling yourself back and forth via your shoreline in you tube?
Legal Alien livin' the American dream baby!

2005 Larson Senza 186, 5.0 V8

#415863 - 06/22/08 05:23 PM Re: Portable gangplank [Re: That English Guy]
HotByte Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 8644
Loc: Barnesville, GA
The tube idea worked great for kids and heavy cooler. For clumsy adults, getting from tube to boat was a little adventure - especially if trying to stay dry. With the gangplank, only up to shin gets wet so its great if dressed to go eat marina, etc.
2009 Tidewater 1900 Bay Max pulled by
1998 Dodge Durango SLT and 2006 Gulfstream Yellowstone 32' class C Motorhome

#416098 - 06/23/08 09:41 AM Re: Portable gangplank [Re: HotByte]
Waterdog Offline

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 1110
Loc: Bucks County, PA
Hey HB - take your idea one step further and make the gangway out of some light weight, open grate non-wood material, about 20-24" wide and 15' long, use something like a big corrugated open tube about 18" in diameter at the end for stabilization, and then...
sell to COE at Hartwell and Lanier! (None of the courtesty docks are anywhere near the water at any of the ramps we have used.)

Don't worry, my attorney says I'm only entitled to 50% of the proceeds/royalties. wink Of course, if it starts raining and the lake levels come up....
Always remember Rule #6.

#416101 - 06/23/08 09:48 AM Re: Portable gangplank [Re: Waterdog]
PhatboyC Offline
Always Need a Bigger Boat

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 2154
Loc: Ottawa/Ontario
Looks good.


06 Doral 245 Escape VP 5.7GXI DP
25'.6" Cuddy Cabin


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