Boat Boarding Ramps / Steps / Etc

Boat Ramps, Boat Steps, Dock Plank Steps, Passerelles… whatever they are called.

Is it any wonder that it’s difficult to find information on internet searches, when the item you are looking for goes by 50 different names? Well we are consolidating info here, so this blog can be your one-stop-shop.

But first let’s tackle the why, then we will get to the what.

So why do you need an extra step to get you over the gap from your dock to your boat?

So, for starters, you don’t want to fall in right? Be it falling in to a lake, a toilet, etc. When you have an expectation of staying dry, you are trying to stay that way. When traveling  from your dock to your boat, you’ve got a 100% success rate of making the leap… so far. But how long will your streak last? One of those two surfaces is bound to be slippery after all.

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stretch or risk straining something every time I do the splits to get to my Boston Whaler. As I get up there in years the leap seems further and further away.
Also children. What are you doing now? Throwing them at the boat? We’ve never quite figured out how to get our kids in there without chucking them. And what about friends with strollers? How are you getting those cumbersome things to your boat? There are so many complicated scenarios made simple with a simple little extra step.
Lastly, think about how lazily you can glide that boat into the dock and not worry about getting right up next to the dock and scratching up your paint. You can be a few feet away and just use your step.


The What :

If you are convinced of the need of a dock extender of some kind, what varieties exist out there? Do I need to build one myself or…?

Step – Securely attached to your dock, this is a stationary structure that you can install once and be done with it. Usually only 12″ long, but goes far to get your family safe over that watery chasm. Small and unobtrusive, its much easier to speed your speedboat over to a specific target, rather than risk the fat side of your watercraft against your whole dock.

Plank – A term for a large category of ramp like structures to get you from boat to dock. Literally could just be a few 2x4s glued together. You know what a plank is. Wood, aluminum, any material will do! There’s several variation on the plank style, with wheels or telescoping or handrails etc. But you do have to move it every time you take your boat out or in. So there’s a little bit more effort than the step-style.

Its worth noting that you can always get a non-slip surface of some kind to add to steps and planks to prevent slippage. Minimize those oopsies.

The Verdict

We like the step variety, since it’s stationary. You install it once. One-and-done is our style. Planks and ramps to your boat you gotta fuss with every time you come or go. So whether its a roll out, or a heave out, its a bit fussy. We just aren’t that into that. We have a step-style for your convenience at or feel free to contact us for more ideas.

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