Development of a product that helps the user climb back into the boat.

by Elias Axelsson, Kerstin Wolme

Subject Personal safety, Rescue
Status Further Development Needed
Results Working Prototype
Owner Type Students


Our final goal with this project is to develop a product that helps the user rescue himself if he has fallen overboard. A major milestone is in December where we will have come up with a concept that solves the problem. We wish the product to be ready for the market in May 2016.


The core of the problem is that if a person falls overboard he can find it very hard to climb back. This combined with the fact that small boats have more often a lack of rescue equipment and sometimes the person is unable to call for help, there is a great need for a self rescue equipment attached to the boat.


Both of the members in the project has a lot of experience in boat life and being by the water. One of us has also experienced the difficulties of climbing back into a boat when fallen overboard. One of the earlier project published on this website called “BACK IN THE BOAT” by Malin Andersson, also gave us inspiration to develop this self rescue equipment.

Project Updates

We will update our process throughout the year. Details in how our product works and its design will be announced when the product is fully developed and satisfies our demands.

  • Week 41: The project has begun and some background and research has been done about the problem. We have created a project plan and also gathered some information from a survey we have made.
  • Week 42: One of our goals is to make a fully functional prototype. To be able to realize this goal we have now applied for financial means from several organisations. We have also made a specification of requirements for the product and began to formulate the mathematical problems that occur.
  • Week 45: After two week of studying for exams, we are now back on track with this project. We have been working on possible solutions which can fulfill our requirements and four different concept has been developed. The task for us now is to refine and evaluate the concepts against each other in order to be able to choose the best option.
  • Week 48: By creating models of fiberglass composite we investigated how a boat is acting in water and how much force it can take vertical on the edge/ at the stern before it take in water or keel over.
  • Week 50: After evaluations we have come up with one solution we will continue working with. We are now documenting our work and preparing for a presentation where we will present the need, lack of product in the market and how we have proceeded and will solve the problem.
  • Week 52: Presentation has been held in front of a hundred students and a few examiners. We have also taken part of other students projects. It was very informative and inspiring for us.
  • Week 4: Deadline for handling in the report of our work so far. The report includes which methods we have used, all our research around the problem, how a person reacts in cold water and emergency situations etc. Also has decisions we have made been motivated.
  • Week 5: After sketching our final concept in details we have proceeded with making a model in CAD. The CAD-model allows us to see how the concept will work and gives a decent idea on the measurements.
  • Week 6: We have printed out our drawings from the CAD-model so we have all the measurements we need to build a functional prototype. So the next step is to build a prototype.
  • Week 7: A prototype has been built and during the process we discovered a few problems with our concept. The prototype is built in some kind of plastic foam the school provided us with. Some of the problems are already solved but we are still working on the lurking problems that are left.
  • Week 8-9: With a physical prototype in front of us we could see what needed further developments. During these weeks we tried several different concepts in solving some problems and finally we were content with our result. All our changes were made in CAD and we created new drawings of our final product.
  • Week 10: To be able to test our product in real conditions we had to make a prototype in a material that managed our demands. We contacted a small manufacturer who would help us build it. They looked at our drawings and gave us feedback in how to make it easy to manufacture and assemble. We made some changes in details in the product and then handed our drawings over for the company to produce the product. The product will be delivered to us in approximate 3-4 weeks.
  • Week 11: During the project some tasks are required to be done. One of them is to be in an opposition and critically review another project in the class. This week we have therefore focused on evaluate and read about the other project. We have also prepared for our own presentation that we will make in connection with the opposition.
  • Week 12-15: While waiting for our product to be made we have focused on documenting our processes and work for the final report.
  • Week 16: Our product needed a good name and a logotype. None of us were very fond of the name Self Rescue Equipment. It was long and cheesy and the name was more appropriate in the beginning of the project. Now, when we know what the project will result in, our product is better called “Borda”. A logotyp was also created and is inspired by the international code flag for “Man overboard”.
  • Week 17: We had a minor setback. Some of our parts to our prototype where cut out in the wrong size. They came out from the laser cutting machine in a scale of 1:2. This delayed the building process even more. The machine had been broken for a long time and our parts were already delayed before this incident.
  • Week 18: All our parts were now cut out in the right size and the prototype was finally made. We tried it out in a real environment to validate if the function worked. It was a success! Even though it worked and fulfilled its function we found some minor improvements we need to make before it is completely finished.
  • Week 19: With the product fully working and finished, documenting and make material for an oral presentation was next. Formulate details that need further developments and describe some future adjustments was urgent and necessary. With this information prototype number two can be ideal for its purpose.
  • Week 20: A oral presentation of the project and its result has been held for members of the school. Also make the last changes and documentation were made and the final report of the project was handed in by Friday.
  • Week 21: Borda will be presented in an exhibition hosted by Halmstad University in May 26-28. To make a good impression and make people interested in our project we have created posters. We have also built a customized bracket for the product to show how it works in reality.


Our project has resulted in a fully working prototype that fulfill its purpose – to help a person climb back in the boat again. To make the product ready for the market, there is som adjustments decisions that has to be made. These are discussed and described in the report.

The pictures below show how it works. For more details, download the project report! (The report will be uploaded as soon as we have passed the examination).

logga – Ett hjälpande steg i sjönöd2





Who is behind the project?

We are two students from Halmstad University.

We have studied Utvecklingsingenjörsprogrammet, Bachelor in Science – Innovation and product development.

If you have any questions or thoughts about our product, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Kerstin Wolme –

Elias Axelsson –


If you have any questions about this project, you can send the project owner a message from here.


Share your thoughts about this project and let the project team know what you think. Comments are moderated to make sure a friendly and nice tone are kept by all.