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Add a step or ladder to tinny

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I have just bought my first boat: it is a 1996 4.2m Qunitrex runabout with a Yamaha 40CV outboard. I've only had it a couple of weeks and have already done a bunch of little things to it to tidy it up. Overall I am very happy with my purchase. But the other day I ran into an unexpected problem...

I was up the Evans river with 3 friends and we got into some shallow water and ended up stuck in the sand. I jumped out and quickly pulled the boat into slightly deeper water. then I had a real problem getting back in the boat. The water was a couple of feet deep. I could get my foot up onto the lower/middle part of the transom, beside the motor (there's probably a correct name for that part) but I couldn't lift or pull myself back into the boat. In the end I went to the front and managed to drag myself in over the bow. But I don't think I could have done it if I was swimming in deeper water.

So, I would like to add some sort of ladder or step/s to make it easier to get back in the boat from the water. I've seen the ladders with the big hooks on the top, which look like they would work, but then you have to fit it in the boat somewhere when its not being used. I've also seen lots of tinnys with an aluminium step welded on the back corner, usually with an extra handrail, but these all look to be factory fitted. I've also seen very cheap black nylon bolt-on steps that look like a hand hold.

I have included a photo of the rear of my boat and an example of a factory fitted step. Is is possible, or worthwhile, to have a step like this added? Where might I go to have that done?

Or am I better to bolt on a nylon step or two?

Has anyone had any similar experience and found a suitable solution?

back of boat.jpg

rear tinny step1.jpg

nylon transom step.jpg

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About 12 months ago I was asked if I could make a rear step for a tinnie so I made these.


This is the one I added to my boat. Bolted on which is how I suggest you to do it.

This is one of 3 I still have laying around waiting to be completed and fitted to someone's boat



Just needs the grab handle welded onto it to size to suit boat.


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From the shallows no problem, deep water depends on your athleticism may need a ladder connected. Will be much better than nothing. And no welding required which would destroy your paintwork, make sure you put a large compensation plate behind the platform.

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1 hour ago, GregM said:

Thanks Frank, but does it do the job? Can you get back in the boat from the water? 



Greg. As yet it is untested, but IF I found myself in the water I think I would have a far better chance of getting back in the boat with the air of the ladder than without it !!.


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To ADD. The main reason I fitted this step was so I could back up to the shore and allow passengers to board with the step from back of boat, then to use my front mounted electric motor to pull the boat out to deeper water before lowering main motor into water to be used.

Haven't tried this as yet either. In fact the boat hasn't seen water since I added the step.


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I have an ally marlin board which is very similar in concept to @frankSstep. Mine also has a simple fold down ladder which could be easily retrofitted to Frank’s design. 

The ladder swings up and I secure it with an occy strap. 
An additional benefit is I also use this platform to hold my live bait tank and free up deck space in the boat. 

Just sharing ideas. Hope it helps. 

cheers Zoran 

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