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These wooden pilot ladders are deliverable in different sizes. Both the embarkation and pilot ladders are MCA Approved and made from real or synthetic rope.
The ladders are made by threading and fixing a series of hardwood, machined steps, each approximately 500mm x 110mm, onto two pairs of 28-30mm diameter manila ropes, and binding each step to the ropes at 350mm intervals.
At a maximum interval of 8 steps, the standard step is replaced by a spreader, which is an elongated version of the standard machined step, with a minimum length of 1.8 m. The spreader's function is to prevent the ladder from twisting in the prevailing weather conditions when in use.
The lowest four steps of the ladder are normally made from a synthetic or composite resin, which is more resistant than hardwood, to the interaction between the host vessel and the pilot boat coming alongside.
Because the decks of most commercial ships are far above the waterline, pilots and others who need to come aboard at sea can usually only do so if a pilot ladder is put out. When not being used, the ladder is stowed away (usually rolled up) rather than left hanging.
Pilot Ladder Regulations As from the 21st July 2011 all ladders sold to or purchased by European Registered Vessels are required to be manufactured to BS ISO 799: 2004 MED Annex A.1/4.49.
Previous IMO Instruments did not include specific requirements for prototype and component testing. This is deemed necessary to ensure conformity and performance.
Ladders to these requirements must bear the MED Ship’s Wheel Mark and come with a declaration of conformity.