Getting off a boat (presuming your destination is the sea) is one thing. Getting back on it is another thing entirely. Diving from your boat into a glistening blue sea might be one of your main pleasures in life, but dragging yourself by your fingertips back on board is probably anything but. Which is exactly why a good ladder comes so in handy. But ladders wear out, becoming more dangerous than they are safe and more a chore than they are a convenience. So, what’s a responsible pontoon boat owner to do? Buy a new one, obviously. But which? With so many options on the market, choosing the best one can be tricky. Before you give up and buy yourself a jet pack instead, why not consider one of these fine choices instead? In no particular order, here’s our pick of the top five best Pontoon boat ladders on the market today.
1. RecPro Marine Pontoon Ladder
Pontoonauthority.com ranks the RecPro Marine Pontoon Ladder as one of their favorite pontoon ladders, and one of the best to boot. Considering they’ve got both “authority” and “pontoon” in their URL, we don’t feel too inclined to disagree with them. And why would we? With a great range of features and an attractive price point, it’s got a lot of very good things to say about itself… as do the many satisfied customers who’ve handed over just short of $100 for one of their own.
But before we get too bogged down in the detail, there’s something to flag. This is a ladder for freshwater pontoon boat owners only. While we don’t mean to leave saltwater pontoon boat owners out of the party, there’s a world of difference between a ladder intended for saltwater and one intended for freshwater. Freshwater can corrode, and ladders need to be suitably durable and resistant to stand up to the pressure. But the corrosive qualities of freshwater are nothing compared to those of saltwater. If you take your pontoon out on the ocean, you’re going to need a ladder made of stainless steel. Yep, the initial outlay will be far higher than it would be if you opted for a freshwater-friendly version made from galvanized steel or aluminum, but unless you want to have to replace the ladder every few months, it’s worth biting the bullet from the start. The RecPro Marine Pontoon Ladder is made from aluminum; for freshwater, this offers just the right amount of durability. For saltwater, it’s simply not up to the challenge.
So, lesson over, what is it about the RecPro Marine Pontoon Ladder that makes it so great? For a start, it’s got ultra-wide steps that offer excellent stability and safety. Secondly, it’s superbly lightweight and a breeze to install (and considering this is a detachable option, that’s a very big plus). Lastly, it’s made from very durable aluminum that offers the perfect amount of strength and durability for freshwater applications.
2. Hoffen Telescopic 4 Step Ladder Stainless Steel Telescoping Extendable Ladder
If you’re in the market for a high-performance pontoon ladder that has the strength and durability to stand up to saltwater applications, you’ll be hard pushed to find much better than the Hoffen Telescopic 4 Step Ladder Stainless Steel Telescoping Extendable Ladder. Coming highly recommended by thesandshore.com, the ladder is made from a high-quality, marine-grade stainless steel (the best choice for saltwater) and comes with an impressive range of perks. A molded black vinyl tread makes for easy, safe boarding with the minimum of slippage, while the slightly tilted steps have the edge (at least from a safety perspective) on the more traditional straight type. Combine that with easy assembly, a hugely impressive 900 lb capacity, and a very attractive price point, and it’s not hard to see what’s attracting the attention of so many boat fans.
3. Amarine Made 4 Steps Pontoon Boat Ladder
What makes the Amarine Made 4 Steps Pontoon Boat Ladder such a great choice? How about the extremely durable 316 stainless steel construction? The high tensile strength? The superb resistance to corrosion and pitting (something that comes courtesy of its 3% molybdenum content)? And that’s not even to mention its telescopic design (perfect for those that like to fold and store the ladder away when it’s not in use), it’s extra-wide steps, the grip of its handrails or its ability to support weights of up to 400lbs. No wonder it's one of sistersgrimm.com’s top picks.
4. XGEAR 4 Step Stainless Steel Marine Slip Proof Pontoon Boat Ladder
First of all, let’s make one thing clear. At just over $200, the XGEAR 4 Step Stainless Steel Marine Slip Proof Pontoon Boat Ladder is by no means the cheapest pontoon boat ladder on the market. It is, however, one of the best. If you’ve got the cash to splash, you won’t find yourself disappointed in the superbly robust, marine-grade stainless steel construction, the tall, comfortable handrails, the slip-proof, extra-wide steps, the telescopic design (easy to remove and fold, easier still to install), and its excellent ability to withstand corrosion. Worth the money? Most certainly.
5. Garelick EEz-In Premium 4-Step Folding Pontoon Transom Boarding Ladder
For safety, durability, and reliability, the Garelick EEz-In Premium 4-Step Folding Pontoon Transom Boarding Ladder ticks all the boxes. The contour traction molded steps are extra-wide (5" X 12", to be precise) for safer boarding, while its stainless steel construction offers excellent resistance to corrosions, making it a good choice for saltwater applications. Additional features worth a mention include a durable 1" diameter anodized aluminum tube, a fold-down design for easy boarding, and a very reasonable 250 lb capacity. With an average price tag of around $260, the Garelick EEz-In Premium 4-Step Folding Pontoon Transom Boarding Ladder is certainly not cheap. It is, however, proof that, sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker