First, a big thank-you to everyone who participated in our auction last week – it was a great success! The Mount Gay Rum bag was sold for a total of $221.49, which means we’ll be donating a total of $442.98 to the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team! Thank you to all the bidders – and congratulations to the successful bidder, David Hellmuth who won this beautiful, and very special, bag.
Today I wanted to talk about an important safety issue for many sailors: marina ladders. Let’s face it - with the number of times we get in and out of our boats, we’re all bound to fall into the water once or twice at the slip. Many marinas do have ladders ready and waiting at the end of the dock; however at those marinas without ladders it takes considerable upper body strength to get back onto the dock and, sometimes, it can take a few people helping from the dock, too. If you’re without that upper body strength, and without other people to help, a marina ladder may be the only way to get yourself out of the water.
Sailors are very safety conscious people – we all carry equipment to help save us if we’re caught out in a bad storm or something tragic happens to our boat or us. Most of us wear our PFDs every time we’re out of the marina and sailing – but what about the injuries, often fatal, that can occur before we’ve even set sail? Many of us are unaware of the danger we face as we step onto our boat. It’s hard to recognize how important marina ladders are until you’re in the water without one.
Only in a few parts of the country are marinas required to have ladders to help people get out of the water easily when they fall in, though many have them anyway for customer safety. If your marina doesn’t have ladders, I strongly advise you talk to the management – and using bright-colored or fluorescent paint so they’re easy to find in the dark is an added plus. You might even suggest ladder types like the Up-N-Out or one of TMP’s many ladders. There are multiple kinds of ladders, so you can choose the one best for your marina. Most ladders will require only a little upkeep (cleaning barnacles off the bottom step) and are a huge benefit to the marina customers.
Do you think it should be a law for every marina to have this safety feature that can, quite literally, save lives? Tell us what you think here in our comments or at our Facebook page!