Walking The Plank

A little while back I wrote that I though one could make a simple gangplank (called a passarelle over in France) by using an extenson ladder as the base and cover it with plywood.

I was right. It’s a great idea, but, for me, it fell apart in execution. The ladder that was lying around here was old and there had been an attempt to beef it up a bit with a wooden splint, But it worked. It would be better if one used a fiberglass ladder, but have you seen whqt those suckers cost?

I bought a couple of pre-cut 2X4-foot 1/2-inch plywooc and linked them together. I did this for a couple of reasons instead of picking out a 4×8 sheet and having t cut down; First, the 2X4 foot pieces would be easier for me to handle with my COPD and easier to load into the Montero.There was only a minimal difference in with a cut-down sheet. Not enough to bother me. 

It worked fine even though it was a bit “spongy” and “springy” which I didn’t like a whole lot. Not dangerous, but just not what I’d really hoped for.

So, today, with my SS topped off I hied my way out to Home Depot. I bought two 2X4X10 foot pressure-treated 2X4s. I’d originally though I should use 2X6X12. Picking one up dissuaded me of that idea. And looking at them it seemed 10 foot would be plenty.

One thing I liked about the ladder idea was that the space between the last two rungs fit nicely over the sheet winch in the cockpit so movement of the boat wouldn’t be able to make the whole thing fall in the water. Gators there, ya know!

So, I bought a 4-foot 2X4 that I could cut down and create a space similarly.

Back in the swamp what should have taken a normal person an hour, hour and a half, TOPS, took this 79-year old COPD victim nearly three and a half. But I got it done. All together it’s sturdy and solid. I think I done good. If it’s dry tomorrow, or over the weekend I’ll throw some paint on it.

Got two coats of primer on the ply today (Saturday). Will be going to the store tomorrow and getting some deck paint to top it all off. Also thinking about putting some caster wheels on the land end of the 2X4s. Something along this line. Just need to put a metal bushing in the hole in the 2X4, though.

Get the wood up off the ground and make it so I can roll it off and onto the boat if I should ever want to go for a ride on the boat, don’t ya know?

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