Posted on December 12, 2019

What is the Difference Between a Ramp and Gangway?

What is the Difference Between a Ramp and Gangway?

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

The transition from the shoreline to your dock is important for creating a seamless waterfront experience. The first steps you take toward your aluminum boat dock need to be stable, comfortable, and easy to own and use for years. ShoreMaster has a variety of dock-to-shore transition products and accessories, but one of the biggest choices you’ll make is between ramps and gangways.

When you’re choosing between a gangway and a ramp, think about what your shoreline neighbors are using and how you plan on using yours. When thinking about what you need, also consider what length and width you need (ShoreMaster has a variety of options to suit your boat docking system). Our ramp and gangway options work with our decking options and are just as customizable as the rest of our systems, so here are the details you need to know when choosing between them.


If you don’t have far to walk (less than eight feet from shore to dock), a ramp is a nice choice. Ramps are common on shorelines where the water level doesn’t fluctuate much. Ramps are usually short enough that they don’t require handrails. ShoreMaster ramps use two InfinityTrack accessory brackets to attach to Infinity Dock Systems; bolt-on roller kits are available.

Ramps come in 4’ x 4’, 4’ x 8’, and 6’ x 8’ sizes.


If the distance from your dock to the shore is longer or the drop below the transition is large, a gangway is probably a better fit for your boat docking system. Unlike ramps, gangways do require handrails because of the distance they cover, and ShoreMaster’s InfinityTrack handrails are easy to assemble and attach. ShoreMaster carries hinges, rollers, and transition plates to suit your location, dock system, and on-shore setup.

Residential gangways are 4’ wide and come in lengths of 16’, 20’, and 24’.

Finding the Perfect Boat Docking System

Determining whether a ramp or a gangway is a good fit for your shoreline is an important part of making your dock system perfect. ShoreMaster not only offers high-quality and affordable options for gangways, ramps, and accessories but also the expertise to help determine which options will work best for you. A local ShoreMaster dealer can help you plan the perfect boat docking system for your area. Find one in your area to get started.


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