We Test: Intelliboat Ladder Sensor

Most boaters have fired off the engines and took off from the sandbar, anchorage or dive spot and forgot to bring in the boarding ladder at least once. I know I have done it a time or two myself. (I've forgotten to haul in the chum bag on rare occasion, too.) When this happens, the ladder can break free and get lost and fasteners can pull out leading to fiberglass--or at least, gelcoat--repairs.

Intelliboat Ladder Sensor Helm Display
Intelliboat installed at helm.Courtesy Intelliboat

Along comes Intelliboat Ladder Sensor. This small, smart, device provides a visual and audible warning if the ladder is down when the ignition key is switched on. Installation proved easy. First, find a spot at the helm for the compact, weather-resistant 2-1/2” x 1-3/4” display. Next, drill a ¼-inch hole for the wires and connect so that the device is energized when your ignition key is turned on. Next, peel the backer off the special 3M tape and press in place.

The sensor is even smaller—about the size of my thumb—and attaches to your swim ladder with a tie-wrap and the same super-sticky tape. It’s powered by a coin-shape battery, two of which are supplied in the package. It’s important that the sensor not get submerged. We mounted it on our test boat’s ladder on the rail above the highest rung.

Finally, the unit is programmed with the ladder in the “stowed” position. We left the ladder down on purpose and could not ignore the sound of the alarm or the bright light of the display.

Now , if only they’d make one that would work for my chum bag.

Intelliboat Sensor and Battery
Here is the Intelliboat sensor that attaches to the ladder. You can see the 3M tape as well as the loops for the tie wrap. Also shown is the battery that powers the unit.Kevin Falvey
Intelliboat Ladder Sensor
Intelliboat Ladder Sensor installed.Courtesy Intelliboat