Boat owners can improve the functionality and appearance of their docks using dock ladders. Dock ladders ensure that people do not feel unsafe while boarding floating docks. Does your boat dock have a ladder?
If your boat dock does not have a ladder, you have the option to choose from the following types of ladders:
- Rope ladder
- Retracting ladder
- Fixed ladder
How Do You Choose the Right Ladder for Your Boat Dock?
Choosing the right ladder for a boat dock depends on your personal preference. There is no right or wrong type of ladder. For floating docks, measure the distance from the water to the surface of your dock, dividing that by the ladder’s step height. Usually, this is around 12 inches.
If you have a stationary dock, add the distance between the surface of the water with the top of your dock, dividing that by the ladder’s step height. For instance, the boat dock’s height and water depth add up to 36 inches and the height of the ladder step is 12 inches, go with a 3-step ladder.
What is the Most Popular Dock Ladder?
From the list, the two most popular dock ladders are stairs and fixed ladders. Let’s find out why:
If you enter and exit the water frequently, consider opting for stairs. Stairs are an excellent option for people suffering from limited mobility. Climbing up and down a rope ladder can cause them discomfort and make it difficult for them to enjoy their boat dock.
Stairs will allow them and as well as their pets to get on and off the boat dock easily. Stairs offer a larger footprint and are coated with a slip-resistant coating. You can attach either a four or five-step stair ladder to the side of the boat, canoe, and kayak docks.
2. Fixed Ladders
Fixed ladders can withstand outdoor elements and will not move out of place due to inclement weather and water conditions. They are made from premium quality materials have sturdy and durable joints.
There is also no need to lift and lower them to get up and down from your boat dock or get in and out of your boat. Getting a good quality fixed ladder also means that it requires little to no maintenance or effort.
How Do You Attach a Dock Ladder to Your Boat Dock?
You will mount the dock ladder into joists using two to four steel bolts on both sides. Boat docks made from composite materials require additional support, such as a wooden 2 x 4 inches, under them. Without extra support, the bolts will tear through it.
If you want a removable ladder, use a quick-release kit. In the kit, you receive two bars made from steel or aluminum, which are connected to the boat dock. You can install the ladder on top of the bars and lock it in place using a pin. You can remove the pin to remove and install the ladder again without needing any tools. A kit is a good option to use on lakes that tend to freeze in the winter.