Swim ladders are a crucial part of your pontoon boat, giving you easy access in and out of the water.
They’re not just important from a practicality perspective, but also for safety purposes and possibly a legal requirement in your state.
But with plenty of options to choose from, it’s easy to get spoilt of choice of the best swim ladder for your pontoon boat.
Now, if you’ve been thinking of purchasing a swim ladder or pontoon boats, you’re in luck because we’ve provided you with a list of the best swim ladders for pontoon boats in the market.
Top 3 Swim Ladders for Pontoon Boats
Best heavy duty pontoon ladders
1. Amarine Made 4 Steps Pontoon Boat Ladder
Topping our list of the best swim ladder for the pontoon boat is the Amarine Ladder.
It’s a popular option because of the richness in features and limited flaws if any.
But is it the right ladder for you?
Features and Benefits
When choosing a pontoon ladder, the first thing to consider is the build quality and material construction.
The Amarine Ladder seems to tick the boxes in this department, thanks to the 316 stainless steel construction.
Steel by itself has high tensile strength, and so the ladder is reliable and can easily withstand your weight.
More impressively, however, the steel on the ladder contains 3% molybdenum, which increases the resistance of the ladder against corrosion and pitting. It, therefore, means won’t get affected by the corrosion of the sweater even when left for long periods.
Underlining the strength of the steel construction is the incredible 400-pound weight capacity, which means even the heaviest of the people on board can use the ladder without breaking it.
The telescopic design on the Amarine Ladder lets you fold the ladder, and the design proves to be beneficial in several ways.
Folding takes lesser space, and it avoids contact with water when not in use.
The latter, in particular, hold greater importance as the seawater has the potential of causing corrosion.
Safety is a crucial trait for every pontoon ladder, and it’s hard to beat the Amarine Ladder on this.
For starters, the ladder comes with wide steps that provide support while climbing, while at the same time reducing the chances of slippage even when your feet are wet.
The presence of handrails, on the other hand, provides grip and support so you can always climb the boat safely ad comfortably.
- Can be a challenge to mount on the dock
2. RecPro 5 Step Best for Divers
Our second pick is yet another incredible option, and it promises safety, reliability, and convenience.
Though it’s a budget option, it has everything desirable in a premium pontoon ladder.
Features and Benefits
RecPro 5 Step features aluminum construction.
While not as robust as the steel we had earlier seen on the Amarine, it’s still a sturdy option.
It’s biggest selling pint, however, lies on how it strikes a balance between lightness and strength.
Also, it has corrosion-resistant properties, a feature that makes it handy for use in saltwater.
Distinctively, this ladder goes down to 60 inches, a far cry from the regular ladders that reach up to 40 inches.
Therefore, the ladder will always let you board the board even from deep down from the water, and it’s an ideal option for the deep divers.
Weight and Capacity
The weight capacity of the RecPro 5 Step isn’t the best, but still decent.
The 300-pound weight limit is still sufficient to cater to most of the averaged-sized guys.
The good news is, the ladder is quite lightweight and portable too; at 19 pounds, it’s easy to move the ladder from one location to the other with ease.
The quick-release hardware makes the process of the docks and pops easier, and so, you shouldn’t get worried about a monstrous climber attached to the side of your boat.
- Solid and sturdy
- Extra-wide stapes for safety
- No connection between the ladder and boat in the middle and button section
3. Hoffen Telescopic 4 Best Heavy Duty
If you’re in search of a ladder for heavy-duty applications, then the Hoffen Telescopic 4 might be an intriguing option.
It has everything you need to handle the heavyweights and the rugged conditions.
Features and Benefits
Nothing comes close to the durability and sturdiness offered by the Hoffen Telescopic 4, thanks to the stainless steel construction.
The steel on this ladder is rugged for reliability, and durable, too, for longevity.
The steel also has corrosion-resistant properties, so it less likely to get affected by the saltwater.
Similar to the Amarine, this model has a telescopic design, which has several benefits.
Notably, however, it makes storage a cinch since the ladder can be folded down.
It also takes less space during storage and enhances the overall portability.
Weigh and Capacity
At 19 pounds, Hoffen Telescopic 4 is among the lightest pontoon ladders on our list and the market in general.
Now, with such lightness, it would be easy to assume the weight capacity is quite limited.
We also thought so, but to our utter shock, the Hoffen Telescopic 4 offered an impressive weight capacity of 900 pounds.
The weight capacity for this model is among the highest in the market, and regardless of your weight or stature, you can be sure the ladder can accommodate your weight with the least effort.
Several elements on this model promote the ease of use.
For starters, a molded black vinyl tread facilitates easy boarding by maximizing the grip function and reducing slippage.
Secondly, the slightly angled design makes it easier for users to board, and this is as opposed to using a straight up and down ladder.
Finally, the smooth slid with nylon bushings between the ladder section will prevent galling and inadvertent deployment.
- Challenging to set up
Best Swim Ladder for Pontoon Boat Buying Guide
In the guide below, we shall provide you with some of the guidelines to follow and what to look when purchasing a ladder for your pontoon boat.
But before that let’s look at the different types of pontoon ladders;
Types of Pontoon Ladders
Freshwater Pontoon Ladders
Freshwater ladders are for use in freshwater bodies.
Typically, the types of ladders used for freshwater feature marine-grade aluminum to offer the corrosive resistance.
However, if you need longevity, then choose galvanized steel.
Saltwater Pontoon Ladders
Ladders meant for saltwater use feature systems that can tolerate corrosion better.
Such materials include stainless steel ladders. While they’re more expensive, they offer more durability and can stand up to the corrosion.
Permanent or Detachable Pontoon Ladder?
Both have their merits and demerits.
The fixed ladders save you time and space since they in water. However, they’re more susceptible to corrosion since they’re exposed to water all the time. Their fixated nature also limits their usage regarding mounting.
He removable ladders, on the other hand, offer more flexibility in terms of mounting. They’re also not exposed to water, so they’re unlikely to rust. Unfortunately, they take much space on board.
How to go about painting high places without a ladder.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Swim Ladder for Pontoon Boats
Length and Number of Steps
Generally, the longer the ladder, the better; longer ladder can reach further down into the water.
Alongside the length, the ladder should also have sufficient steps for easy climbing.
The weight capacity or limit refers to the weight a ladder can support without breaking down.
Generally, the weight capacity is determined by your weight.
If you weigh 250 pounds, then a ladder with a capacity of 300 pounds and above should be a great choice.
To ensure maximum safety, your ladder should have some added feature in its basic construction.
First, the rungs on the steps should be wide to give your feet space for stabilization.
The steps should also be places neither too close nor too wide apart from each other.
The surface of the steps should also have a covering, preferably nylon, to prevent slippage.
Finally, a ladder with handrails is also welcome to provide you with the support you need to get back on board.
There’re plenty of swim ladders for pontoon boats in the market, but we’ve done the hard work for you.
We’ve highlighted the top 3 ladders and provide you with a comprehensive buying guide.
So, all you’ve to do is pick a model you think suits your needs.