10 Best Marine Removable Telescoping Folding Sliding Pontoon Boat Swim Ladders (Boat Steps) for Dock, Swim, Boarding Review


Posted by
Ryan Peters
Updated by
Bill Miller
Last updated:
September 1, 2020

Make getting in or out of the water easier with these tips on how to properly select a boarding pontoon boat ladder. Boarding ladders are a wise addition to any boat, easing passengers in and out of the water for a swim, tow sport session, dinghy supply run or even maintenance check. Here are three tips to properly select a boarding ladder.

Most Reliable Boat Ladder/Steps β€” Top Rated 2020

Editor's pickEditor's pick

Over Platform Telescopic 4-Step Pontoon Boat Bording/Swim Ladder [Hoffen]

Why it's better?

Excellent quality. Durable Marine Grade Stainless Steel model. Hinged bracket allows for the ladder to fold over platform for easy fitting. Smooth slide with nylon bushing between ladder sections prevent galling and inadvertent deployment. A slight angle to make it easirer to board rather than straight up and down. Moulded Black vinyl tread to facilitate easy boarding and ensuring maximum grip for the user, reducing slippage.

TOP Boat Ladders/Steps Comparison Chart

1. The Best Over Platform Telescopic 4-Step Pontoon Boat Bording/Swim Ladder [Hoffen]

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  • Quality
    95%
  • Features
    95%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

2. The Best Aluminum 4-Step Compact Folding Pontoon Boat Swim/Boarding Ladder [Extreme Max]

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  • Quality
    90%
  • Features
    95%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

3. The Best Under Platform Boarding Telescoping Sliding Pontoon Boat Ladder for Heavy People [Paririe Metal]

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  • Quality
    85%
  • Features
    90%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

4. The Best Folding 4-Step Pontoon Boat Gunwale Ladder for Swim or Bording [Extreme Max]

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  • Quality
    90%
  • Features
    90%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

5. The Best 3-Step Stainless Steel Telescoping Swim Boat Ladder[Amarine Made]

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  • Quality
    85%
  • Features
    85%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

6. The Best 4-Steps Removable Premium Stainless Folding Rear Entry Pontoon Boat Gunwale Ladder [Amarine Made]

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  • Quality
    80%
  • Features
    85%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

7. The Best 4-Step Folding Marine Pontoon Boat Ladder (Stainless Steel, Polished) [Hoffen]

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  • Quality
    80%
  • Features
    80%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

8. The Best Drop-Down Boarding Ladder with Extra Wide Curve-Up Steps for Swim or Bording [Hoffen]

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  • Quality
    85%
  • Features
    80%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

9. The Best Combo Slide-Up Outboard Swim Platform Ladder (Telescopic) [Garelick]

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  • Quality
    80%
  • Features
    80%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

10. The Best Telescopicing Sport/Dive Ladder with Non-Skid Step Surface[Garelick]

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  • Quality
    80%
  • Features
    80%
Last Updated September 20, 2020

Choose a Model of Boat Ladder/Steps:

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Criteria Used for Evaluation. Boat Ladders/Steps Pros and Cons

Overall, there are the most important things to consider when purchasing best pontoon boat swim ladders. Pay attention to the following unique features:
  • product's quality;
  • price;
  • etc.

Pontoon boat boarding ladders types

Pontoon boat boarding ladders come in various styles. Many powerboats feature permanently mounted ladders that pivot out from above or below swim platforms and extend down into the water. Pontoon boats often feature similar ladders but with the addition of tall handrails to ease a boarder’s transition onto an otherwise open deck. Portable, over-the-gunwale ladders feature padded hooks that can be placed over the gunwale for boats without a fixed ladder. You can also find removable ladders that lock more securely into place via mounting brackets fixed permanently to the deck. Choose A Type That Matches Your Needs. Many powerboats come with a pre-mounted boarding ladder. If replacing simply for deterioration or damage, consider a style that uses the same mounting holes and location. Today I want to talk to you about the different types of ladders we've got. I've got a bunch of different ladders here and I just wanted to go over the advantages the disadvantages and this can probably help you decide what kind of ladders you need or want, especially if you're a new boat owner or you're thinking about switching it up. I've got two of the pretty basic ones here - the under platform ladder and the over platform ladder. As you can guess they are mounted under the swim platform and over the swim platform. They pretty much have opposite advantages and disadvantages, so let's start with the under platform.

Under Platform Ladders

this one's secured with a little rubber strap, like I said it's mounted under the swim platform so the big advantage here is that it takes up no room on the actual swim platform. When you're ready to use it, you just unsnap that and go ahead and slide it out. It telescopes down so you can get up and down easily. And then when you're done it just telescopes right back in, it's a little bit easier when you're actually on a boat because then it's not just free-floating in your hands and it's gonna be bolted in.

Over Platform Ladders

So next I've got the over platform ladder here and like I said that goes on top of the swim platform. It are gonna be bolted down right on the edge. So that will go ahead and flip out, this one's held in with a little strap and again telescopes right down for easy boarding and onboarding. Well, mostly boarding - you'll probably jump off the boat. And of course you can secure it with the strap when it folded, so it doesn't go flopping back in once you start driving off. So like I said advantages and disadvantages for the under platform ladder - the advantages are obviously that it takes up no space on your swim platform. And that's nice because you don't have a tripping hazard you can just kind of have all that space, however it is more susceptible to damage because it's gonna be like right near the wake, it's gonna get hit and especially if you're in a saltwater environment that's gonna start to tarnish anything. Whether it's three or four or 316 stainless it's still gonna tarnish eventually and it's probably gonna be a little bit more difficult to kind of wash off afterwards. So the opposite is true for the over platform - where it's on top it does provide a little bit of a tripping hazard but it's not susceptible to as much damage, because it's sitting on top and it's not constantly getting hit by that wake water. So both good options and it kind of depends on your on your boat and some boats have a little groove already cut in for an over platform ladder to kind of sit in to kind of eliminate that tripping hazard. And if that's the case for you, you just have to make sure that you get a ladder that fits right in those grooves because they do come in a variety of different widths and everything you've got - the narrow steps, the wide steps, the regular and then sometimes you know there's just some odd grooves cut in between.

Gunwale Ladders

A gunwale ladder is really nice. I like this kind - it's sturdy. The advantage is that it comes with little brackets so you can mount it pretty much anywhere, because it goes right off the gunwale your boat. However that also means that you have to remember to put it out and to take it back in and you also have to have a place to store it, because that usually you wouldn't go and just leave this on there. One of the nice things is that with the brackets you can buy multiple brackets to kind of put it either side of your boat, basically wherever is gonna be convenient at your present moment. So like I said it just hangs off the gunwale, it's got two standoffs, clips are pretty secure, so just flips right down to give you a nice easy boarding. And then when you're done with it, just fold it back up and it clips into itself ,and then you can always just slide it back out and stow it wherever is most convenient for you.

Transom Ladders

Technically a transom ladder can be any ladder off the transom of your boat. This is what we have kind of classified as a transom ladder, so it mounts permanently onto the side of your boat with the two little brackets and then the standoff is just built right in there, and again it clicks right into itself. It gives you a nice boarding experience and it's nice and sturdy, tough stainless steel. That's really the only disadvantage - you can't move it, so basically you have to have that ladder in that spot and that's not really so much of a disadvantage, it's just affect the life.

Dive Ladders

So this is one of our dive ladders - we have these in telescoping, as well as fixed. These can also be transom ladders, basically anything could be a transom ladder if it's on the transom of your boat, but for all intents and purposes this is a dive ladder. So these are pretty perfect for divers and snorkelers, they're meant to kind of deep right into the water, not really hang off your boat and be like a foot or so above these are pretty much quick entry-exit kind of ladders. They do come with brackets, where you can slide that into, so again this is one of the ladders that you're gonna have to have a place to store, because they're really not meant to be a permanent fixture of the boat. But, however you want to care for it - is up to you. But they are good, they're tough, pretty much everything that we have here is tough and it's gonna last you a good long time. These have nice grips, it's definitely one of our wider ladders without edges and that helps when you're snorkeling or you have fins and stuff like that on to help get off and on the boat.

Pontoon Boat Ladders

So now we have probably one of the largest ones - our pontoon ladders. This big thing is our pontoon ladder so one of the big things that you'll notice right off, it is a permanent fixture and it is a sturdy one. It has five holes to bolt through, you got a bolt these down and then you've got to bolt this bar down right at the edge. This is definitely one of the biggest and heaviest ladders we've got here and there's a reason for that, it is sturdy and it is meant for very easy boarding for adults and children, that's one of the biggest features. The nice handles that are just that make boarding easy quick and not stressful. This is our 4-step version, it just folds right down there, goes right into the water the handles and handrails make it really easy to get up and on and off the boat. The biggest downside is that it is so big, it takes up a lot of space and that's not necessarily desirable to everybody.

Outboard Swim Platform Ladders

There are also outboard swim platform ladders. They're perfect for smaller boats that don't really have the room for a ladder with more than like a step or two, it's definitely a ladder for a specific type of boat. So if you have kind of a larger boat that might not be as close to the water although it's our in the water, but you know the actual swim platform not too close to the water then it might not be the right ladder for you. However if you do, you got a smaller boat you got one that fits with with that kind of aesthetic, then absolutely go for it.

Best Branded Boat Ladders/Steps

The market is dominated by some manufacturers such as: Hoffen, Extreme Max, Paririe Metal, Amarine Made, Garelick. All of them offer a variety models of branded pontoon boat swim ladders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are good pontoon boat swim ladders?

A: Check please our best pontoon boat swim ladders comparison table.

Q: Where to buy cheap Boat Ladders/Steps for sale?

A: Take a look at this TOP best pontoon boat swim ladders kits reviewed of 2020 and then press the Β«Check PriceΒ» button to check their price and availability.

Q: What is the best Boat Ladder/Steps for money?

A: The Over Platform Telescopic 4-Step Pontoon Boat Bording/Swim Ladder [Hoffen] is our Editor's Choice as the best model of Boat Ladder/Steps with its combination of performance, features, quality and price.

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