How to Build a Wooden Step Ladder for Your Boat

legs on a step Ladder
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Wood screws
Measuring tape
Sand paper
Paint and wood finish

Rather than purchasing a wooden step ladder for your boat, you can always build one yourself, especially if you have a knack at carpentry. A step ladder is an important item to have on your boat, so here's how to build a sturdy one.

Step 1: Acquire the Wood and other Tools

First of all, acquire some robust wood, together with other necessary materials and tools. Oak is ideal, as it is a strong type of wood and obviously a step ladder has to be sturdy. You will need to use about 14 feet of lumber.

Step 2: Measure and Mark

Decide on the dimensions you will be applying to build the step ladder. Usually, you should make the step ladder 50 inches high. Apply 15 inch long steps and about 8 inches wide. Measure where you will set up each step, and mark with a pencil accordingly on the 2 side runners. Steps should be 1 foot apart. Drill holes at these points.

Step 3: Cut the Steps

Now you can cut the steps individually.

Step 4: Sand the Wood

It is best to sand the wood so as to make it look neater. Then wipe with a cloth to remove the dust.

Step 5: Attach the Steps

Attach the steps one by one, fastening with wood screws in the holes you drilled previously. For added strength, fasten with brackets underneath each step. Then, attach hooks to the ladder's upper part, so that you will be able to fix it to your boat's side. The hooks should be wide enough to be secured to the boat. It is best to choose them of a galvanized metal, so as to increase their resistance to the sea salt and weather conditions.

Step 6: Painting

Finally, it is highly recommended that you paint your step ladder. By doing so, you protect it and help to lengthen its life. Enamel paint is ideal, or else you can use some marine grade polyurethane wood finish. Otherwise, you can stain the ladder or seal it with a coating which will provide protection to the wood for added preservation. This is especially important, since the step ladder will be used on a boat and hence will be exposed to outdoor conditions and to the sea spray and salt.