Rather than keeping a bulky fold-up ladder aboard, I fashioned a space-saving man-overboard ladder out of 1/2″ line. The 5′ looped-rope ladder takes up very little space and has hand- and footholds that help swimmers climb aboard quickly and easily. To make this ladder, start with about 20′ of 1/2″ dockline. Double a 3′ section, treat the double line as though it were a single strand and tie a hitch in it, pulling it tight, then repeat the process until the entire line is a series of loops – each about a foot in diameter and spaced about one foot apart. To use the ladder, throw one of the end loops over a cleat and drop the other end over the side. Using the loops as steps, almost anyone can climb back aboard.
Jack Innis, San Diego, California