If your crew likes to go in the water for wake sports, diving or just for a swim, a boarding ladder is a must-have item. There’s also the safety factor: Take a spill overboard, and a boarding ladder can be a godsend that fulfills the ABYC standard for a “means of solo reboarding.” One of the most popular boarding ladders today is the Garelick Model 19803 three-step, quick-release sport/diver ladder. Its steps and angled design make it easy for divers with fins to get in and out. Here’s how to install one on a sterndrive-powered runabout.
Skill Level: 4/5
Time to Complete: 6 Hours
Tools and Supplies
*Garelick Sport/Diver Model 19803 three-step boarding ladder ($199.65; marinesupplydirect.com)
*Drill motor and bits
*Jigsaw with fine blade for cutting metal
*Socket wrench set
*3M 5200 marine or equivalent sealant
*5/16-inch stainless-steel bolts (at least 1¼ inches longer than transom width), washers and Nyloc nuts
*No. 10 stainless-steel self-tapping screws (four needed to install mounting brackets)
*1/4-inch-thick 5052-H32 aluminum plate to make backing plate ($20.16 for 1-foot-square piece; metaldepot.com)
*Clean rags and rubber gloves (for cleaning up sealant)
Quick Tip: Cover the work area on the transom with masking tape. This will give you a better surface for drawing lines and help prevent scratching the transom finish.