How To Get Back On A Boat Without Ladder?

Last Updated on October 1, 2022

Trying to get on a boat when you’ve fallen out is tough. If you are on your own, it makes it even harder.  Do you need some quick tips to get back on your boat? Then you should read till the end of this post by our Boating Buddy editor!

You could have simply played on the boat and fallen off or forgotten to pull down the ladder. Either way, you need to discover the most appropriate ways to get on the boat without a ladder.

The most convenient style to get on a boat without a ladder is by using a small rope ladder on either side of the boat. If you don’t have a rope ladder, you can tie a rope in a U-shape on your boat. Put your leg on the rope to gain the support needed. This method is more appropriate for situations where there is no excessive wind or other currents.

How To Tie A Rope Ladder To The Side Of The Boat

A rope ladder is an essential material that every boat owner should have. It is exceedingly useful especially in cases where you need to get on the boat without a ladder. Here are the steps to take:

  • Attach a rope ladder to any side of the boat while ensuring that the other end of the rope is not left in water.
  • If you fall into the water, the rope ladder should be within your reach. Place it in a way that you can pull the ladder out from the boat and still climb.
  • A rope ladder allows you to get into the boat quickly. When purchasing a rope ladder, go for the one with a bit of length so tall people can easily get on it and climb.

How To Tie A Rope In U-shape On Your Boat

Tying a rope in a way you can easily grab and climb is an alternative to getting a rope ladder. If you are looking for a cheap and easier way of climbing a boat without a ladder, you can use this. Here are the quick steps to take:

  • Tie the rope in a U-shape on either side of the boat. This rope can offer support if anyone falls off the boat by keeping one’s leg on the boat.
  • Afterwards, you can simply push your body upwards by allowing your leg to remain on the rope as you get in the boat.

How To Prevent Falling In Water

It is safer for you to avoid falling in water rather than looking for the measures to implement in getting out of it. Remember the popular saying about prevention being better than searching for the cure, well that’s what we are sharing now.

●     Avoid Sitting On Any Side Of The Boat While It Is In Motion

Stay away from sitting on the starboard or port side when the boat is moving. This is the best way to avoid falling altogether, make sure not to sit on any side of the boat especially if the boat is moving fast.

You might be thinking you can handle this, in cases where you face bad weather and tides, it is unwise for you to sit on the side of the boat. This is because the boat won’t be stable while you move.

You can decide to sit on the sides of the boat when the water is calm and stable. It would reduce your chances of falling overboard.

●     Wear The Kill Switch On Your Wrist

Tying a kill switch to your hand is a step you can take especially when you’re alone on the boat. If you fall overboard while the outboard motor is still working, it would be difficult for you to catch the boat.

Wearing a kill switch tie to your wrist helps to kill the outboard motor automatically when you fall in the water. It would help you to be proactive while you fall overboard.

●     Wear Boating Shoes

There are shoes made specifically for boating. These shoes reduce your chances of slipping off when you are in the boat. This is why you should wear them on the boat. Boating shoes are uniquely built with broad soles which give you great grip when used on slippery floors.

Stay away from waterproof shoes when buying your boating shoes. Water stays when it enters them and it can be quite uncomfortable when used while boating.

●     Avoid Running Or Playing On A Moving Boat

Playing on a moving boat is one of the major reasons for falling off the boat. When the boat is in motion or when there’s bad weather, avoid running around or playing excessively. Even when you’re playing, ensure that you have a life jacket on so you would merely swim into the boat.

5 Steps To Take After You Fall Overboard

If you’re all alone on the boat when you fall, you need to take some quick steps.

  • Take in your environment and check if any boat is coming at you.
  • If you can see anybody coming, try as much as possible to get out of the way.
  • When you’ve confirmed that no one is coming your way, quickly climb back into the boat.
  • If the water is a choppy one, you would have to try to hold any floating object around you for support.

If you have company on the boat, then you can do this.

  • Simply ask your friends to throw you a flotation device or life ring near you. Then, ask them to pull you up. You can then climb up the boat with the help of your friends.


Boating comes with various possibilities that can put your life at risk and one of the major ones is falling in the water. You can easily prevent this by avoiding some of the things stated in this article. But in other cases, you can set up a rope or rope ladder to help you climb back on the boat.

Try to be alert in situations where you fall out. This way you can avoid getting in the way of other people or an incoming boat. By taking these steps, you can safeguard yourself.