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5 Best Telescoping Pontoon Boat Ladders [Review & Buyers Guide]


A ladder is a necessary asset to have for your pontoon boat. It allows passengers to get into the water and enjoy a good swim. It’s even more important gateway back to the boat after a tiring swimming session.

If it’s feeble in structure, your boat’s ladder can become a recipe for disaster. In this guide, we detail 5 best Telescoping Pontoon Boat Ladders you can buy today.

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AT A GLANCE: 5 Best Telescoping Pontoon Boat Ladders


1. Extreme Max 3005.3380 4-Step Pontoon/Dock Ladder

The Extreme Max Pontoon Ladder is perhaps the simplest yet super sturdy telescoping ladder you can invest in. It’s designed for a simple hook on the mounting brackets.

A combination of an angled design and 15” wide steps makes it safe to step on with your wet feet.

The ladder’s frame is made of weld-free aluminum. This material isn’t just sturdy enough to support 300lbs of user’s weight but it’s also rust, corrosion, and stain resistant.

PROS

  • It’s compact thus easy to fix on the transom  
  • Corrosion, fade, and rust resistant thus needs minimal maintenance
  • Well spaced antiskid steps for users’ safety
  • Pretty easy and remove
  • Can be used on other types of boats besides a pontoon

CONS

  • It isn’t foldable thus may be challenging to store in compact spaces

2. Amarine Made 4 Steps Premium Stainless Folding Pontoon Boat Ladder

With 316 stainless steel frame construction, The Amarine Made is designed to last. A universal, self-supporting design and a 400 lb. capacity make the ladder ideal for use on different types of surfaces.  

For the safety of the users, the Amarine Made 4 Steps ladder has 2″ wide steps for comfortable landing even if your feet are wet.

Besides this, the Amarine Made 4 ladder is 41.375″ tall so that you won’t strain getting in and out of the deep waters.    

The handrail tubings add to the safety features as users can leverage on these rails to pull their body out of the water and into the boat.

PROS

  • Higher weight capacity  
  • Durable, stainless steel construction
  • 2” steps increases users’ safety
  • Can be folded thus easy to store
  • Wide areas of application

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with mounting hardware

3. Amarine Made 3-Step Stainless Steel Telescoping Boat Ladder

While Amarine Made 3-step ladder appears simple in style, it’s made of stainless steel that will stand different kinds of water environment.

The steps of the ladder are equipped with a non-slip vinyl rubber to prevent users from slipping as they come out of water onto your pontoon boat.

For easy mounting, the ladder is designed for a bolted on a platform-ideally on the side railings on a pontoon boat. While the ladder can reach 34” when fully extended, it can be folded into 15” of length thus making it easy to carry or store after use.

PROS

  • Sturdy stainless steel construction  ideal for harsh marine conditions
  • Easy to install
  • Black vinyl tread to reduce slippage and ease boarding
  • Portable
  • Wide areas of application

CONS

  • Some users may find 3 steps not comfortable enough especially in deep waters


4. Hoffen Stainless Steel in-Board Swim Fiberglass Platform

Definitely among the Best Telescoping Pontoon Boat Ladders. The Hoffen Stainless Steel in-Board Swim Fiberglass Ladder is extra tall, has wider telescoping steps, and it’s made of heavy duty 316 stainless steel. In a word, this telescoping ladder is designed to serve you with convenience.

The ladder has a self supporting design which makes versatile in application. Quick release platform mounting brackets makes it to fix the ladder on your pontoon boat and to disassemble it when need be.

PROS

  • Solid construction
  • Straight forward installation
  • Handrails for easy boarding
  • Retractable thus easy to store
  • Can be used on different platforms

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a standoff thus can’t be used on different platforms

5. JIF Marine EQB4 Over Platform Telescoping Boat Ladder, 4-Step

This is an under platform installed, 4 step ladder made with 316 Stainless Steel. The ladder reaches 44″ when fully stretched and can support up to 400 lbs of users weight.

The stainless steps are dressed with flat poly treads to minimize slippage as users getting onboard. The sturdy handgrips offer additional support as you pull out of the water.

The ladder’s fold-over construction is a neat feature as it helps to lift the unit out of water when the boat is in motion. Further on, the rungs are slanted at an angle so that you don’t your knees or toes on the metal.

To ease installation, the JIF Marine ladder comes with pre-drilled holes on each side of the mounting bracket.

PROS

  • Stainless steel construction guarantees durability
  • Non-slip steps
  • Handrails for easy boarding
  • Long enough for deep water use
  • Under-platform installation keeps the surface uncluttered

CONS

  • Isn’t shipped with installation hardware

Things to Consider when Choosing The Best Telescoping Pontoon Boat Ladders

Mount position:

A telescopic ladder can either be mounted at the rear, side, and at the belly of your pontoon boat. Side mounting remains a popular position as it allows swimmers to get onto the ladder without stepping over cables.

Under-platform mounted ladders are tucked underneath your boats top surface. This makes them less obstructive. However, they can prove tricky for users owing to their location.  

Number of steps

The mount position influences the height/number of steps a ladder should have. Basically, choose a ladder that when fully stretched, at least 2 steps are in water. This means a mount location such as under the platform will require a ladder with a fewer steps than a ladder mounted on the platform.  

Freshwater vs. saltwater use

The environment where you intend to use your pontoon boat will dictate the type of material you choose for your telescoping ladder. If it’s in salty water, then you need to go with a corrosive resistant material such as stainless steel. Going with marine-grade aluminum will be ideal for fresh water boating.

Type of mount: Detachable Vs Permanent

Detachable ladders are more convenient as you can install on different positions on your pontoon. They are also lighter and can be folded when you need to store them.

A permanent ladder would be a good fit if you are seeking a permanent structure that can be welded into position for added

How To Install A Telescoping Pontoon Boat Ladder

Tools:

– Drill motor, screwdriver set, masking tape, yardstick, cleaning rags, and washers and Nyloc nuts.

– Metal cutting jigsaw, pencil, socket wrench set, sealant, rubber gloves, stainless-steel bolts, self-tapping screws, and aluminum plate.

Estimated Installation time: 3-6 hours

Steps to installing the telescopic ladder

Preparations on the installation surface.

Step One-Choose an installation spot that’s free of wires and which has enough space for the platform. Cover the installation zone with a masking tape to surface the boat from scratch and make it easy to mark the installation points.

Step Two-Positioning the ladder, sketch a vertical line from the boat’s platform to the surface of the water. Position the ladder along this line until to reaches the desired depth into the water. Mark the points where the mounting bolts are located on the transom.

Step Three-Fix the ladder on the platform by using the mounting marks you already made, ascertain there aren’t structural supports, hoses, or wires around the marked area before starting to fix the ladder.

Step Four-Drilling mounting holes into the transom and use the bolts to attach the mounting assembly. Fix the ladder into position and clean off any sealant you may have applied on the mounted bracket.

Conclusion

The ladder you install on your pontoon boat can make your outings fun-filled or injury plagued. If chosen wisely, a telescoping ladder teases your passengers to take a dive into the cool waters and explore the seas. However, skimping on quality and convenience can lead to injurious slips, damages on your ship as you can’t pull the ladder out of the water while the boat is in motion.

You can’t afford to risk your life, and of your passengers but installing the wrong type of ladder on your pontoon boat after the intimate reviews. Make a wise choice today.

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