Getting onto a boat from a dock can be a bit scary at times. What if you misstep and fall or lose balance? A lot of accidents can happen, which is why it is recommended to install a floating dock ladder to help prevent them.
In recent times, there are a lot of floating dock ladders to choose from. A good dock ladder adds a lot, which is why this article is here to help you pick one. We’ll review some of the top picks as well as throw in a buying guide.
I’ve found the Creekside Metalworks 4 Step Aluminum Folding Dock Ladder to be the best pick. It has all that you need out of a floating dock ladder- security, stability, versatility, high-quality construction, you name it. The angled bottom helps with climbing, and anti-slip steps ensure you won’t slip off.
If you’re looking for a good budget pick, look no further than the Extreme Max 3005.3380 4-Step Pontoon/Dock Ladder. The high-quality material and construction used exceeds the usual price tag of this dock ladder. It is designed to be very safe and easy to use. The ease of installing and relocating makes the model very versatile.
Best Floating Dock Ladder Reviews
Below we’ll review our recommended ladders so that it becomes crystal clear to you which one is perfect for you.
1. Extreme Max 3005.3380 4-Step Pontoon/Dock Ladder
- Constructed using strong Aluminium.
- Heavy-duty square tubing is used.
- Has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.
Designed For Safe Boarding
This unit is an angled pontoon ladder that is designed to make boarding safe and easy. Designed with a built-in angle and solid handles, you can easily get out of the water and board a pontoon, dock, or ship.
Steps are spaced 11.5 inches apart, which ensures easier and solid footing when climbing the pontoon ladder. The step width is 15 inches, which give ample space for you to put your foot on and provides great stability.
Being made using 100% Aluminium and featuring heavy-duty square tubing construction, this ladder is built to last. It can withstand harsh weather and needs little in the way of maintenance to keep it going. Alongside withstanding harsh weather, it can easily support weights up to 280 or 300 pounds.
Easy Mounting And Relocation
Every purchase comes with its set of mounting hardware. Setting up this ladder is very easy, and the mounting hardware is made out of stainless steel. It is quite durable. With the Footman Relocation Kit, you can easily relocate the item for various needs.
- Angled design is convenient for boarding.
- The mounting system is very secure and strong.
- Setting up the ladder is simple and doesn’t take much time.
- The steps are set far apart and spacious enough to help make you stable.
- It cannot be folded, so storing it is a bit difficult at times.
Bottomline: If you’re looking for a good budget floating pontoon or dock ladder, this is the one. It’s easy to set up, very secure and will last a long time. A very reliable pick for your money.
2. RecPro Marine Pontoon Boat Dock Heavy Duty Aluminum 4 Step Removable Boarding Ladder AL-A4
- Widely spaced steps make climbing easy
- Can go up to a depth of 60 inches
- Aluminum construction, so lightweight and sturdy
Maximum Security And Support
This 4 step pontoon boat ladder is made to ensure that you feel secure. With solid and long handrails offering great grip and wide steps, you will always find proper support when using this model. You won’t slip or fall when climbing on this.
Usable Even in Deep Water
It can be quite a troublesome boarding a dock or a ship from deep water. However, this item can go down to depths of 60 inches. The tall handrails of this unit make it very useful for a variety of applications.
Balance Of Durability And Lightweight
Made using heavy-duty aluminum, this item is very sturdy. You can use it for heavy tasks without worrying about it getting damaged. The easy mounting mechanism alongside the lighter weight of aluminum makes it easy to relocate the ladder. Overall, it’s a good option and worth the money.
- Long handrails provide great support
- Angled design and extra wide steps offers great stability
- The easy mounting mechanism makes relocation easy
- Can support 300 pounds easily
- The only mounting point is at the top.
Bottomline: If the average-sized dock or pontoon ladder isn’t cutting it, this will. Solid construction and design are great. A good option if you need reliability.
3. Extreme Max 3005.3473 Flip-Up Dock Ladder – 4-Step
- High-grade aluminum makes it corrosion resistant.
- Features an anti-skid surface.
- Has a 4-step flip design.
Featuring a great flip-up design combined with excellent reach, this is one of the best ladders for floating docks. It allows you to easily climb from the water. The flip-up design and the quick release kit also make installation and removal easier.
Compact And Sturdy Design
This item does not have any built-in angle. So the design is compact, which allows for easy storage when not in use. High-grade aluminum ensures the ladder won’t be corroded. Construction is very solid while also being relatively lightweight.
Secure Footing And Stability
The steps have anti-skid properties, so you won’t slip when climbing up from the water. So, this unit makes sure you have secure footing even when your feet are wet. They are spaced apart from each other to facilitate easier climbing.
- Long handrails for solid grip and reach.
- Anti-skid steps ensure solid footing.
- High-grade aluminum makes the ladder rust and corrosion-resistant.
- Compact, portable, and easy to store.
- Steps may be a bit narrow for some people.
Bottomline: Versatile, easy to install, and very useful- this ladder will serve you well. If you don’t mind the narrow steps, you will be quite happy with this ladder.
4. Creekside Metalworks 4 Step Aluminum Folding Dock Ladder, Swim Ladder
- One of the sturdiest ladders
- Features a foldable design for easy storage.
- Has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
Made To Last
Being constructed out of heavy gauge marine grade aluminum and TIG welded, this is the best heavy-duty swim ladder you can get. The aluminum is corrosion and rust-resistant. This ladder is very strong and won’t suffer from harsh elements. You can get a lot of mileage out of this ladder.
Foldable And Functional Design
The angled bottom of the ladder makes climbing easier. Two sets of handles are there, which provide superior grip. The ladder itself can be folded nicely and carried around. Since the mounting mechanism is simple, you have a very efficient and portable ladder that’s also easy to store.
With this ladder, you don’t have to worry about slipping as the steps have anti-slip properties. They are decently spaced and have good width, so it offers great stability.
- Very strong construction that resists harsh conditions
- The foldable design increases portability
- Strong yet also lightweight, weighing in at 20 pounds.
- The bottom half is angled for easier climbing
- We did not find any cons for this ladder.
Bottomline: Do you want a ladder that can stand the test of time? Then this is the ladder for you. When not in use, you can easily store it away, thanks to the foldable design.
5. Dock Edge ECO Weld Free Fixed Dock Ladder
- Constructed using marine-grade aluminum
- The steps are bolted for more security
- Weight capacity of 650 pounds
Great Security and Stability
This ladder features bolted steps, which give it a great degree of security. Alongside the handrails, everyone using this ladder will have an easy time climbing. The bolted steps allow the ladder to handle great loads, so you won’t have to worry about the ladder breaking.
Corrosion and Rust Resistant
Marine-grade aluminum is used for this ladder. This floating dock ladder is not only strong but is resistant to corrosion and rust. It’s a good option for durability as It will retain its quality for a long time and serve you well.
Versatile and Easy to Use
Compatible with almost all docks and seawalls, this is a very versatile dock ladder that is easy to install and remove. Due to it being able to work with a variety of docks and seawalls, it is a great option for most buyers.
- The unit is corrosion and rust-resistant.
- Steps are bolted for extra strength.
- Steps have anti-slip properties for better footing.
- The item is quite light, weighing 11 pounds.
- Perfect floating dock for pontoon boat
- Does not come with mounting hardware.
Bottomline: The best thing about this boat dock ladder is how much load it can support and its sturdy construction. If you need a very secure and strong option, you should buy this.
6. Extreme Max 3005.4108 Weld-Free Fixed Dock Ladder – 5-Step
- Weld-free aluminum construction.
- Has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
- The unit has a great reach.
Strong Yet Lightweight
Due to the weld-free aluminum construction, this ladder manages a great balance between durability and lightness. It weighs in at 14 pounds. The ladder itself is very durable and can easily support weights up to 300 pounds.
Easy And Secure Mounting Method
Four mounting holes are present, which require 1/2″ hardware. Not only is the model easy to set up, but it also remains quite secure. This fixed dock ladder won’t be coming off the dock or swim raft soon.
Great Stability And Reach
The steps are spaced out decently, so climbing it is easy. This particular model has a good reach, which makes it good for docks or swim rafts.
- Corrosion and rust-resistant thanks to the aluminum.
- The ladder has a great reach.
- Well-designed handrails allow for a great grip.
- Installation is easy and secure.
- Non-skid surface
- The steps are a bit narrow.
Bottomline: If you’re looking for a well-fixed floating dock ladder, it doesn’t get better than this, especially if you’re living near freshwater.
Floating Dock Ladder Buying Guide
So what should you look for in a floating dock ladder? There are a few key things like weight limit, design, spacing, perfect fit, security that any new buyer should keep in mind while purchasing a ladder for floating dock. Identifying these will help narrow down your options. These include:
You want a ladder that can support the weight of the people who use it. Higher weight limits correlate to greater safety. If your ladder sees frequent use, you will want to make sure your ladder has a good weight limit, so you don’t compromise safety.
Construction and Durability
Dock ladders have varying construction quality. When looking for a ladder, the best thing to do is look at the material and its quality. Aluminum is always a safe bet as it’s such a useful material and lasts a long time. High-quality construction always translates to durability, which means longer use and greater safety.
Step Design And Spacing
One thing that gets asked is how to measure for dock steps. Generally, the rule of thumb is that you will want a 4 step ladder and have at least 2 steps below the water. This allows for an easier time climbing out of the water. The extra wide steps with anti-slip properties are an amazing option to invest in.
Stability And Security
Never invest in a retractable ladder that wobbles or is not secure. Always look at the mounting mechanism. Try out the ladder to see if it is stable or not. The ideal options should have the option to lock it in place with a pin.
FAQ About Best Portable Dock Ladder
What are the best dock ladders?
Sliding aluminum ladders are incomparable in our opinion. We find the RecPro 4-Step Boarding ladder as the best option because it’s removable, sturdy, stretches to 60 inches, and ideal for fluctuating water lines. The handrails paired with the extra wide steps make sure that swimmers can get on the boat with minimum effort!
How many steps do you need on a dock ladder?
You need about 4 to 5 floating dock steps on a dock ladder. Keeping two or three steps below the water will make it easier for you to board the boat. Ideally, the best option would be to buy a tall dock lift ladder with plastic coated lift cable for stationary docks. Make sure the step height suits you. However, people that prefer finger pier ladders for dock may differ on the number of steps needed.
Where do you put a ladder on a dock?
The best location to mount a dock ladder is the narrowest side of the dock. So, if you frequently do swimming and snorkeling, you’d attach the ladder to the transom. It’s a horizontal surface that forms the stern of your boat.
How do you secure a floating dock?
To secure a floating dock, you need to install anchoring weights. You must use appropriate blocks for every 30 feet of the dock. Attach the blocks to the dock with a heavy-duty galvanized chain and sink them in water.
How do you clean a dock ladder?
The secret to a shining dock straight ladder is regular maintenance, scrubbing with a soft cleaning brush, and pressure washing. Use a biodegradable, phosphate-free cleaner for cleaning a moldy ladder.
How do you remove barnacles from a dock ladder?
Scrub your aluminum dock ladder with a lime remover or vinegar to remove barnacles. Long-standing barnacles may not respond to these methods. Then, gently scrape them off with a plastic knife and then apply the cleaner.
How do you measure for dock ladders?
Choosing the right size dock ladder depends on your dock height above water and swim depth. For example, if the dock height is 15 inches above water, and your swim depth is 40 inches, a 5-step floating ladder is the most suitable option.
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The best dock ladder for the job will vary depending on your needs. This floating dock ladder review serves to show you some of the best options in the market and help you make a good purchase. We hope you find these reviews helpful.