A good boat should provide an entire lifetime of cruising and fun memories. While boats can last a very long time, the ladders can be an entirely different story. They can get damaged during storms and collisions or simply wear out. When something does happen, it’s important to know what to for when buying boat ladders.
The Dimensions of the Boat and How it Relates to the Ladder
Most people assume one boat boarding ladder will fit all boats. While this would certainly make the shopping process a great deal easier, it is simply not the case. All boats have their own dimensions that impact which boat ladders can be used safely and which ladders could be a safety hazard. Out of the box ladders will work in most, but not all situations. Boats with odd dimensions often need to have ladders custom designed for them. The information contained in your owner’s manual that covers the ladder should provide information about the type, size, and style of ladder the boat requires.
Don’t Try to Save Money by Avoiding Safety Issues
It can be tempting to try to purchase a lower priced boat boarding ladder even if it’s not exactly what the boat requires. Often this type of thinking can create all kinds of problems. Ill fitting ladders can pull lose and fall into the water compromising your boat and damaging the bottom of any boat that passes over it. Even worse, they can break free while someone tries to climb into or out of the watercraft which can cause that person to get seriously hurt. In the long run, it’s always best to spend a few extra dollars and make sure the ladder and the boat will be compatible and safe.
Professional Installation is Always a Good Idea
Installing boat ladders tends to be a job that looks easier than it actually is. More than one boat and ladder has been damaged because the person doing the installation didn’t have exactly the right technique, tools or enough patience to do the job correctly. If the ladder doesn’t get installed properly, there’s a chance that if the boat gets bumped or the ladder gets used too heavily, the boat could become compromised and require extensive repairs. When it’s time to start shopping for new boat ladders, it is best to limit your shopping to places that also provide installation services.
Stick to Lightweight Material
Don’t assume that just because a ladder is lightweight that it won’t last a long time. Manufacturers have put an enormous amount of time and effort into crafting boat ladders out of the lightest weight materials without compromising quality or safety. The results have been very positive indeed. The lightweight material allows the boat to float evenly, even when the ladder has been mounted on the side and the durable material can withstand a great deal of use. It will even maintain its shape and integrity if bumped against the dock. The newer models last a great deal longer than the ones crafted a decade or two ago.
Don’t wait until your current ladder has become unsafe before shopping for a replacement. It’s best to take your time and consider all the pros and cons of the different boat ladders you look at.