Choosing the right gangway may not seem like a big deal, but it’s essential to get it right. Whether you’re looking for something sturdy for your dock or portable for your boat, there are factors to consider. From materials to size and weight capacity, the options can be overwhelming.

But fear not! In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to make an informed decision. Let’s get started.

1. Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the different types of gangways available, take a moment to assess your specific requirements. Consider factors such as where you’ll be using the gangway, the frequency of use, and the weight it needs to support.

Understanding your needs will help narrow down your options and ensure you choose a gangway that meets your requirements.

2. Types of Gangways

Gangways come in various types, each suited to different purposes. Here are some common types to consider:

  • Aluminum Dock Gangways: aluminum ADA dock gangways are designed to provide accessibility for individuals with disabilities. They are typically lightweight, durable, and compliant with ADA regulations, making them suitable for docks and piers.
  • Portable Gangways: If you need a gangway that can be easily moved and transported, a portable option may be the way to go. These gangways are often lightweight and foldable, making them convenient for boating and other temporary applications.
  • Fixed Gangways: For docks and piers that require a permanent solution, fixed gangways are the answer. These gangways are installed securely in place and provide a stable pathway between the shore and the dock.

3. Material Matters

The material of the gangway plays a significant role in its durability and longevity. Common materials include aluminum, steel, and wood. Here’s a brief overview of each:

  • Aluminum: Lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and low maintenance, aluminum gangways are a popular choice for many applications. They are ideal for both freshwater and saltwater environments and can withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • Steel: Known for its strength and durability, steel gangways are suitable for heavy-duty applications. However, they require regular maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion, especially in saltwater environments.
  • Wood: While aesthetically pleasing, wood gangways require more maintenance than aluminum or steel. They are susceptible to rot, decay, and warping, particularly in wet environments.

4. Size and Weight Capacity

When choosing a gangway, it’s essential to consider the size and weight capacity that will best suit your needs. Ensure the gangway is wide enough to accommodate foot traffic comfortably and has a weight capacity that exceeds your requirements. Additionally, consider factors such as slope and elevation to ensure safe and easy access.

5. Can Seamer

In addition to standard gangways, some specialized options cater to specific needs. One such example is the can seamer, designed for sealing cans in food processing or beverage industries. These gangways often feature adjustable heights and specialized attachments to facilitate the can sealing process safely and efficiently.


Choosing the right gangway is crucial for ensuring safety, accessibility, and convenience. By understanding your needs, considering factors such as materials, size, and weight capacity, and specialized options, you can select a gangway that meets your requirements.

Remember to prioritize quality, durability, and compliance with regulations to make the most of your investment. With the right gangway in place, you can enjoy seamless access to docks, piers, and boats for years to come.