Best Pontoon Boat Ladder

5 Best Pontoon Ladders | Review & Buyer's GuidePontoon Boats have become widely popular all over the world. They make diving into a lake or an ocean fun and thrilling.

While jumping off the boat is always exciting, what about getting back? Well, definitely not so much. Boarding your boat after swimming can be extremely hard as you feel tired.

That’s why you need a boat ladder, which makes climbing on the board very convenient. Also, there is a high chance that you could hurt yourself without a ladder while struggling to get back on the board.

You need to have a high-quality ladder that comes with all the necessary features required for a safe climb.

Short on Time? Here is the Best one –

RecPro Marine Pontoon Boat 5 Step Extra Long Under Deck Mount SELF Storing Ladder AL-UDL5
  • 5 step, slide out under deck pontoon boat ladder.
  • Ladder framework is 60" L x 16" W x 4.5" T.
  • Ladder steps are 12.5" wide x 2.5" deep.

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Things To Consider –

A ladder is important for your safety, convenience, and legality. It is the most practical thing to have on your pontoon boat, whether to meet the law of your state or for the on-boarding of passengers.

Owning a quality boat ladder is significant as it will provide you with longevity, durability, and security. However, things may get confusing when you start looking for a boat ladder.

Boat ladders come in various sizes and shapes, and finding the correct ladder that suits your pontoon boat and passengers’ needs can thus become tricky.

So, before making any purchase, you need to put some thought into it. Given below are certain features that need to be considered while buying a pontoon boat ladder.

1. Type –

The type of mount is an essential aspect that needs to be considered. Firstly, you need to decide if you want a permanent or removable ladder. Normally, none is superior to others; it depends on your preference.

A permanent ladder can quickly be fetched in emergency conditions and dropped in water easily. Plus, they don’t take space in your storage unit. Alternatively, a removable ladder can be folded flat, and it will take limited space in your storage. They are also lightweight and can be installed anywhere on the pontoon boat.

Some other types of ladders are also available in the market for pontoon boats. A folding ladder is the easiest type; simply slide the ladder into its mounting state when you are in water and fold it up after use.

Under-mount is another common type of boat ladder placed under the bow in front of the boat.

2. Size Of Steps – 

Pontoon Boat Ladder - 10 Best Pontoon Boat LaddersThe size of the steps of a ladder defines how steady and stable you would be on it. The ladder with narrow steps would make you fall as you won’t be able to balance yourself on it.

Therefore, choose the one with wider steps as they increase the contact between the steps and feet. In this way, you will be able to balance yourself while you are mounting the boat.

Moreover, choose a ladder that comes with a skid-free protective covering over the steps to prevent injuries. Besides, make sure the ladder’s length reaches deep inside the water so that mounting over it becomes convenient.

3. Material –

You need to purchase a ladder crafted from solid and sturdy materials to avoid mishaps. Stainless steel and aluminum are two reliable and trusted materials for the construction of ladders. These materials resist the damage and corrosion that marine water offers.

Out of these two, aluminum is the most popular ladder as it is less expensive. Moreover, it is lighter to carry on board and mount on your boat platform. In contrast, the stainless-steel ladder is more costly but worth the money.

If heavier people will use your ladder, it’s best to opt for a stainless-steel ladder. They are sturdier and have higher corrosion resistance. In a way, both of them can consequently withstand the wear and tear of water.

So, when planning to buy a pontoon boat ladder, make sure it is either made from stainless steel or aluminum.

4. Safety –

It is obviously for safety and ease when you install a ladder on your pontoon boat. Therefore, they need to come with certain additional safety features, such as the gap between the steps should neither be too close nor too wide.

Secondly, they should have a nylon covering to reduce the chances of slipping. Thirdly, they should have handrails featured for comfortable climbing.

Additionally, to be safe, try to go for a ladder with a weight capacity between 300-400 lbs. Make sure not to go over 400lbs capacity as the overall weight of the ladder will also increase.

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Extreme Max 3005.3434 Undermount Pontoon Ladder - 4-Step
Amarine Made Boat Ladder 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder Foldable Stainless Steel Marine Rear Entry...
XGEAR 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder, Foldable Premium Stainless Steel Marine Yacht Ladder /Swim Deck...
Hoffen Telescopic 4 Step Ladder Stainless Steel Telescoping Extendable Boat Ladder 900 Pound...
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RecPro Marine Pontoon Boat 5 Step Extra Long Under Deck Mount SELF Storing Ladder AL-UDL5
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Extreme Max 3005.3434 Undermount Pontoon Ladder - 4-Step
Amarine Made Boat Ladder 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder Foldable Stainless Steel Marine Rear Entry...
XGEAR 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder, Foldable Premium Stainless Steel Marine Yacht Ladder /Swim Deck...
Hoffen Telescopic 4 Step Ladder Stainless Steel Telescoping Extendable Boat Ladder 900 Pound...
RecPro Marine Pontoon Boat 5 Step Extra Long Under Deck Mount SELF Storing Ladder AL-UDL5
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Amarine Made Boat Ladder 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder Foldable Stainless Steel Marine Rear Entry...
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XGEAR 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder, Foldable Premium Stainless Steel Marine Yacht Ladder /Swim Deck...
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Hoffen Telescopic 4 Step Ladder Stainless Steel Telescoping Extendable Boat Ladder 900 Pound...
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RecPro Marine Pontoon Boat 5 Step Extra Long Under Deck Mount SELF Storing Ladder AL-UDL5
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5. Extreme Max Undermount Pontoon Ladder –

This under-mount ladder from Extreme Max is lightweight yet sturdy. It weighs only 15 pounds and is designed to hold up to 300 pounds. It’s so light that I initially doubted it could hold heavier adults, but after having my 260 lbs friend using it, the quality was clear. It has four steps that make boarding convenient, especially for kids.

The best part is that it stows under the front deck. It attaches to two pontoon stringers and stows under the front deck so it doesn’t interfere when not used. It remains in the stowed position by a rubber strap that hooks to a metal holder. Just unhook the rubber, and your ladder is ready to deploy in the water.

I love how close the rubber clamp is to the deck. You can actually open it by getting on your knees, so there is no need to go in the water. Apart from securing, the rubber clamp also keeps the ladder from squeaking while underway. The squeaking, however, is done by the metal guide rods that slide on the track.

The metal squeaking is like nails on a chalkboard. I wish there were some sturdy vinyl caps to put on them to save my ears, but I am fine now. This ladder is around 3 1/2 ft long and 12.5″ wide, which is like the perfect dimension for everyone. The mounting hardware that came in the box is nice but not perfect.

If you want absolute performance make sure to have some beefy bolts and washers around. Not necessary, though, but it makes it good for long. One complaint I have is that the metal area at the bottom of this ladder has very sharp edges. You can easily cut yourself by checking it out, so I recommend sand smoothing the edges before use.

You can use a metal file for the purpose. This ladder comes with a two-year limited warranty, so if it doesn’t work as expected, contact Extreme Max, and they will surely help you out.

Extreme Max 3005.3434 Undermount Pontoon Ladder - 4-Step
  • Welded aluminum construction
  • Convenient undermount design
  • Four steps for comfortable boarding

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4. Amarine Made 4 Steps Pontoon Ladder –

When I first saw this ladder, I was surprised by its similarity to the XGear ladder. But apart from the design, there is a big difference between them. I earlier tried finding similarities in both(other than the design), and I couldn’t find any other than the weight capacity and price. So, let’s talk about this ladder.

It is made from 1.5” diameter 316 stainless steel tubing, creating a solid and durable ladder. This thing can hold up to 400 lbs, which shows its strength. I have a friend(280 lbs) using it without any problem. He said that the “handholds”(handrails) make it easy to get out of the water.

Just so you know, he had spinal fusion surgeries before, so his opinion counts big time. This ladder extends 41.375 inches down in the water, which is pretty deep. It has four steps, and each has a slip-proof tread for better grip. It ensures you don’t slip out, especially when you are wearing fins and other gears.

If you are swimming barefoot, it feels really good at the foot, believe me. This ladder has telescopic steps and a mounting bracket similar to XGear one. So, when not needed, simply retrace it, flip up, and secure it inside the mounting bracket(the black holder on the side).

And when needed, give a slight push(off the foot), and it’s instantly ready like popcorn. The description said, “Comfortable wide steps,” but it’s not. It is too narrow for overweight people, not that it can’t lift them, but it becomes difficult for them to get out.

This might not be a great option if you have a heavy person in the group. The main problem I have here is that the brackets(or bolt plates) do not lay flat, which can be an issue on Aluminum or Fiberglass boat surfaces. So, if you fall into this category and your brackets don’t lay flat either, consider returning it.

The final thing I realized was that it didn’t come with any hardware. Like, I am getting a similar design ladder at the same price as all the hardware, with more length, more width, and flat brackets. Why should I choose this one? Not that it’s terrible, but the overall value I much higher in the XGear than here.

Amarine Made Boat Ladder 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder Foldable Stainless Steel Marine Rear Entry...
  • 【Durable Stainless Steel】Heavy duty welded 316 stainless steel pontoon ladder. Unique universal self supporting design requires no...
  • 【Anti-slip Step Threads】Extra wide telescoping steps for more comfort when boarding. Perfect for swimmers or divers with fins and heavy...
  • 【400 lb.Capacity】This 4-step folding telescopic ladder has a 400 lb. proven weight capacity,enough for daily use and 900lbs maximum...

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3. XGEAR 4 Step Pontoon Boat Foldable Ladder –

This ladder from XGear has one of the best designs so far. I am completely in love with the design and, of course, its sturdiness. Made from marine-grade stainless steel material, this ladder has a hopped handle(handrail) on top, making it very easy to get out of the water. It’s just effortless when compared to other ladders.

The material gives the ladder robust, durable, corrosion-resistant quality, and sleek lines. It is designed to load up to 400 lbs, so it won’t budge when heavy adults join your pontoon fun. My 260 lbs friend tried it, and it didn’t budge or squeak, which shows its quality.

It has four steps that extend 45.5 inches in the water, so it goes pretty deep. These steps have an extra-wide slip-proof tread(that vinyl-like coat) that provides better grip and avoids slippage. Plus, it provides a comfortable surface to walk on, which gives it an upper hand over the aluminum steps.

It’s a plus point for everyone, especially the divers with fins and heavy gears. You can easily retrace it and store it with the black strap on the side when not needed. Unlike the Hoffen ladder, you don’t need to rotate it over the surface; it secures near the handrail.

So, when you need to deploy it, just give it a slight push with your foot, and POOF, it’s ready. Along the ladder, L-Shaped Plate, steps, Handrail, and Mounting Screws are included in the box. Users love that it’s effortless to install, use and retrace, but hate that they didn’t try it earlier.

Sale
XGEAR 4 Step Pontoon Boat Ladder, Foldable Premium Stainless Steel Marine Yacht Ladder /Swim Deck...
  • HEAVY DUTY WELDED MATERIAL: Well-welded stainless steel marine grade tubing gives the pontoon ladder robust, durable and corrosion-resistant...
  • NON-SKID STEP THREADS: The design of extra wide slip-proof tread is intended for maximum safety and comfort boarding. Good for swimmers or...
  • EASY DROP & STORAGE: The telescopic steps drops smoothly and retracts easily, so you can store them with strap when not in use.

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2. Hoffen Telescopic 4 Step Expandable Ladder –

If you want a value-for-money ladder, nothing can beat this one from Hoffen. Made from marine-grade stainless steel, it takes minutes to install, works great, holds 900 lbs., and appeals to the eyes. What else do you need? It’s already more than expected. I was shocked at how it could be so cheap until I realized that it didn’t come with any instructions or mounting bolts.

But you don’t need any instructions; it’s so simple to install. Just get the 5/16th stainless steel bolts(non-galvanized), and begin filling the holes. When not used, it folds up neatly thanks to the nylon bushing and hinged brackets. The nylon bushing goes between ladders and holds them firmly, thus preventing galling and inadvertent deployment.

Whereas the hinged brackets allow you to fold it over the platform. So, when not needed, you can rotate it to keep it inside the pontoon. This also makes the deployment more comfortable, i.e., rotate it in the water again, and it’s ready. Unlike the under-mount ladder, it does take space when not used, but it’s the design.

All four ladders have a black vinyl tread that ensures better grip in the water. This vinyl makes easy boarding and reduces slippage, which is impressive. The best part is the feeling you get on your feet after a nice swim. The fantastic feel is not only because of the vinyl coating but also the angle.

All the ladders are fixed slightly so they don’t swing in-towards the boat while boarding. This makes it much easier to board, especially if you are short, disabled, or have a bad back or knee. While it looks good, it also puts excess stress on the bracket support.

And if the bracket support broke off the pressure, you have to re-enforce the deck for installation. But I have seen heavy people using it without any problem, so I guess it won’t break that easy. The biggest one is 338 lbs, and here is what he has to say about this – “I weigh 338lbs, and this thing did not budge as I came up it.”

Overall, I love this ladder; it’s cheap, sturdy, and clean. Plus, it’s marine-grade material, so it won’t rust.

Sale
Hoffen Telescopic 4 Step Ladder Stainless Steel Telescoping Extendable Boat Ladder 900 Pound...
  • ✅ Durable construction - Marine Grade Stainless Steel
  • ✅ Smooth slide with nylon bushing between ladder sections prevent galling and inadvertent deployment
  • ✅ Hinged bracket allows for the ladder to fold over platform for easy fitting

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1. RecPro Marine Pontoon Boat Under Deck Mount –

Want a long ladder that is easier to aboard? This one from RecPro is all you need. With a length of 60 inches, it’s the longest pontoon ladder I have ever seen. It has five steps that go deep inside the water. Not only lengthy, but it also offers the largest step of 12″ Wide x 2-1/4″ deep, which is bigger than any other pontoon ladder.

It is 60″ L x 16″ W x 4.5″ T and can hold up to 300 lbs so that everyone can use it. I have friends with 270+ lbs using it, and it didn’t even budge. This thing is relatively simple to install; one look, and you know how to install it, but the directions that came along were little to no help.

One thing to notice is that the ladders don’t have any stopper or reserver in between, so it deploys every time it gets at an angle. This isn’t a real problem after the installation, as it’s heavy enough to stay in place until you pull it out, but it can be a pain during installation.

I will recommend you get someone to help. Remember, it will not work on scissor-style trailers, so this isn’t for you if you have one. The installation is the most challenging part here; I had to jack the front up about 6” to install the last two bolts.

But the hardest paths lead to the best places, and the same is here. Once ready, it gives the ultimate ladder experience. Unlike others, it creates a stable slanted ladder, which is much easier to get abroad than vertical ladders.

The fact that it’s long and slanted makes it worth the money. The only con here is that the downside of this ladder is unrefined and has very sharp edges. I recommend you ground out them before using them so you can have a safe journey. Otherwise, a wound can ruin your entire trip.

RecPro Marine Pontoon Boat 5 Step Extra Long Under Deck Mount SELF Storing Ladder AL-UDL5
  • 5 step, slide out under deck pontoon boat ladder.
  • Ladder framework is 60" L x 16" W x 4.5" T.
  • Ladder steps are 12.5" wide x 2.5" deep.

We earn a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you. It helps keep the site running. Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API/ More Info

FAQs –

Side Mount Pontoon Ladder - Shop Our Products | Aqua-Stairs | Boat ladders, Pontoon boat, Pontoon

How to Clean Your Pontoon Boat Stainless Steel Ladder?

When planning to wash the stainless-steel ladder, ensure that you clean the steel thoroughly. Use a toothbrush to get through the angles and corners.

Moreover, use an ideal marine cleaner and wax to remove any stain. After cleaning the ladder, polish them if necessary.  

Where To Mount Your Pontoon Boat Ladder?

In a pontoon boat, you can attach or mount the ladder, considering the location of your diving platform. There are three places where a ladder can be placed. On the Bow- At the bow, either fit the removable hook ladder if the bow has a diving platform or install an under-mount step at the center.

At the stern – This is an excellent place for you to place a ladder if you enjoy going tubing or skiing, as it allows an exhausted passenger to climb on board pretty easily.

The Gunwale- Gunwale or side-mount ladders are the most common type of ladders. They latch to the boat’s upper edge side, where the pontoon has at least one side entrance. These ladders offer support and stability while coming out of water.

Will your pontoon boat ladder be used in saltwater or freshwater?

It may seem silly, but it is essential to figure out where the ladder will be used to determine the ideal material for your pontoon steps. If the plan is to take your pontoon boat on a saltwater ride, you need to mount steps that deal with corrosion better.

With the presence of salt, these water bodies pose a high risk of corrosion. Thus, it would be best to use stainless steel pontoon ladders to offer more durability and protection. On the other hand, if you dive into a freshwater body, the marine-grade aluminum ladder is a perfect choice.

It is corrosion-resistant and also comes at a low price. However, if you look for more longevity, opt for galvanized steel step as it is superior to aluminum.

Conclusion –

We have provided you with valuable information regarding some of the best pontoon boat ladders available in the market. You need to make the correct choice as they are essential to your boat equipment array. Without them, getting on and off a boat can become a daunting task for any individual, especially for a kid or an older adult. Therefore, it is crucial to have a ladder to make mounting easier and simpler.

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