I need to get on and off my boat easily. More to the point my pregnant wife needs to be able to.
(Because we both live in the boat).
I have recently built a new wooden
which is not too bad. (but heavy)
But for reasons I will go into below I think I need a replacement.
Because of the rise and fall of the tide it is already suffering.
The main problem is that I didn't get round to properly securing it to the quayside, or adding wheels on to the bottom on the deck side so as the tide rises and falls it pulls on the uprights (which is how I've temporarily secured it)
So I think by the time I have enough time and light to fix it properly it will already have pretty much degraded. I was thinking of instead of repairing this one, building a new one, taking what I've learned from this one to improve it.
One of my thoughts was to replace the side beams of wood with aluminium channel because it is a very very heavy gangplank. Aluminium would make it much lighter.
This leads me to my question:
If I get a bit of aluminium that is at least 3.6m long, possibly 4m long, what thickness would be needed to support a heavy human standing on it. Is channel best? or should it be box section? etc, etc...
(I was looking at various size options here
Is there a downside to mixing wood and aluminium construction?
Like for example I was going to stick my treads (cut from wooden decking board) in the channel and then screw in through the aluminium itself.
How easy is it with domestically available tools to cut, drill and generally fabricate with aluminium. I don't have anything specialised and haven't worked with aluminium before.