Boat Ladder Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying

Thinking of buying a boat ladder?

In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages, the factors to consider, and the types of boat ladders.

Types of Boarding Ladder

Transom Ladders

Image Source:

Transom ladders are perfect for powerboats or sailboats that lack a swim platform. You have two options; a fixed or a removable one. If you’ll use them often, of course, it’s recommended to attach them to the side of your boat or mount them on top of the transom.

Swim Step Ladders

Image Source:

Usually, swim step ladders are attached to the swim platform of your boat as an aid for people who are going to swim in the sea. Using these ladders makes it easier for swimmers to pull themselves up to the platform, since most swim step ladders are already close to the water.

You can also have them mounted permanently since you can either fold them on top or slide them underneath the platform.

Over-the-Gunwale Ladders

Image Source:

For boaters who are looking for a temporary ladder, the over-the-gunwale type is a perfect find. You can simply hook these ladders on the gunwale of your boat and it doesn’t require any permanent fixture. 

When purchasing one, make sure that it has the correct depth to fit perfectly on the gunwale of your boat.

What to Consider When Buying Boat Ladders?

Fixed or Removable

Fixed LaddersSave time and effortExposed to water that can cause corrosion
Removable LaddersCan be placed anywhereOccupy space (especially to smaller boats)

You have two options when installing boat ladders, it’s either you mount them on your boat or you can remove them after use.

As mentioned above, fixed ladders will save you time and can prevent any corrosion since you can store them after use. While removable ladders will give you free will to place them anywhere you want but the downside is you need to have a dedicated storage for them.

Ladder Step Size

Image Source:

Another thing to consider when buying boat ladders is the size of the steps. In this factor, you can find out the stability and consistency of the ladder.

Wider steps are more advisable than narrow ones since they aid you in balancing yourself and can avoid any accidents like slipping. Though wider steps can be expensive compared to narrow ones, it’s clear that they perform better.

Boat Ladder Weight Limit

Image Source:

Boat ladders have different capacities. For children, you can use a lightweight boat ladder. However, for adults, a boat ladder that can hold around 250 lbs of weight is recommended.

For bigger people, a heavy-duty boat ladder is necessary for safety purposes.

Boat Ladder Handrails

Handrails are also a good factor to consider, especially if you have elders on board. They’ll give support to people who are having difficulty of lifting themselves. You can buy a ladder either with side rails or top rails.


There are many factors that you should consider when buying boat ladders. However, these are the important things you have to prioritize. They can somehow affect the boat ladder cost, but keeping your family and friends safe is still a great investment

Share us which boat ladder you need to use by commenting below.

Related Articles

Back to top button