Masthead30_June2014 - page 18

The Masthead
his standards article highlights the changes in the 2014
revision of H-41 Reboarding Means, Ladders, Handhold,
Rails and Lifelines. One of the big changes in the standard is
for reboarding means utiliz-
ing a ladder. The distance of
the lowest rung was ex-
tended from 12 inches be-
low the water surface to 22
inches below the water sur-
face. This change was based
on a project conducted by
ABYC with USCG support.
Boats were tested with vari-
ous ladder rung depths rang-
ing from 12” to 32” and
varying ladder angles from
12 to 32 degrees from the
transom. The project con-
cluded that by increasing
ladder length and angle, a
person maintains better er-
gonomics, leverage and con-
trol of their body. The end
result was increasing ladder
length by 10 inches de-
creased a person likelihood
of flailing limbs coming into
the vicinity of the propeller
by approximately 75%. As
common sense dictates,
one of the best ways to re-
duce propeller injuries is to
keep people away from the
One consideration for boat
builders: if the reboarding
ladder is contained in a
molded recess on the tran-
som or swim platform, you may want to check if a longer
ladder is needed to comply with the standard that it will fit
in the existing molds.
Another area of clarification is surrounding gates in liferails,
deckrails, and lifelines systems. The previous version stated
the system needs to pass the test with the gate in the open
position. The question was raised if the gate is in the open
position, does the gate itself need to pass the 400 lb load
test. After hours of discussion, the result was the system
needs to be able to pass the 400 lb load test with the gate
in the open and closed posi-
tion. And a requirement was
also added that the gate
assembly needs to pass the
400 lb load test in the
closed position.
Following the same logic as
the gates, a section was
added addressing cockpit
coaming openings. In this
case we are generally talk-
ing about transom doors
and appropriate strength
requirements to keep peo-
ple in the boat. The per-
formance criterion being
applied is also a 400 lb load
test, but in this instance the
load is being applied from
the inside of the cockpit in
an outward direction.
Those are the highlights
from the revised version of
H-41. These revisions fur-
ther the idea of keeping
people where they belong,
in the boat, and safely get-
ting them out of the water.
Considering all of this,
evaluate if your ladder is
long enough, and if your
gate and transom door is
strong enough.
41.7 – Cockpit Coaming Openings
41.7.1 – Gates, doors or other devices installed in cockpit
coaming openings shall be mounted in such a manner as to
withstand a 400 pound (182 kg) static load at any point,
applied from inside the cockpit, without failure such that
they no longer perform their intended purpose.
Is Your Ladder Long Enough?
Ladder Length: H-41
By Brian Goodwin, Technical Director, ABYC
June 2014 Page 18
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