Good (not dumb) question. How to use the lifeline gate in port and still use the gate area for a ladder. The use the of ladder is a blend of convenience. At anchor, if the dingy is to be used, the transom ladder can be used--no problem. At anchor, when dingy is on the davits, transom ladder is unavailable and midships ladder is deployed--both for swimming and for others to come to the boat via dingy--visitors, taxi boats, customs, etc. At dock, the ladder is hopefully on the other side from the finger pier you have tied up to. If not, it can be removed with a couple pins and stowed at the stern rail or whereever. In our case, we have two sets of mounts, on each side of the boat, and the mounts are not fixed. They slide on the track on the rail. So at dock, it is possible to move the ladder to the opposite, unused side, and slide the mounts out of the way so you don''t trip over them on the side nearest the pier.
I consider an easily-deployed ladder a safety factor also, in case someone or something needs to be picked up in the water.
But the custom ones do get expensive!!!