Interesting use of a screen door piston on my swim ladder
Decided to do some repair on my worn out 30 yr old swim ladder. This boat has seen better days, so my main goal is to keep it running and not worry so much about how it looks.Swim ladder has broken brackets, worn out rubber at the hinged section, and completely missing any type of catch to hold it in the up position while under power. I had been using a piece of bailing wire to keep with the hillbilly boater theme, but it was a pain to keep doing this.I hacked up some aluminum bracketery and plate to fix the broken brackets, and it holds very well but looks,well..., hillbilly. Used some slightly used automotive shock bushings to replace the worn rubber at the hinge points. While rumaging around for the brackets, I spied a new screen door piston I have been carring around for many years, and decided it would be cool to mount it to the swimladder to automatically pull it up when not in use. Turns out it worked out great. I hooked up the main cylinder to my upper step by drilling out a rivet and replacing it with a bolt. The piston pin ended up being almost the perfect length to reach the rivet on the hinged section of the lower rung. So the geometry worked out great in that when the ladder is down, the piston holds it open, and a little flick of the wrist causes it to swing up and close! I'm hoping that the force of the water on the ladder while under power will be enough to close it if forget to flick it up.It's pretty coool to me to be able to scrounge up parts I have laying around to make a neat something work better, even if it looks a little hillbilly.
Re: Interesting use of a screen door piston on my swim ladder
Well Scotty, I was thinking about patenting the idea.. yeah right! After thinking about it, I'm not so sure how well the piston will survive in a marine environment. I'm not sure how the things work, but it seem like it has an internal spring and some valving for air to pass through. It may not work well after getting immersed in water. Since it was free to me, I'll risk it. Good Luck with your install.