Types of Docks and Why They Matter
Not all boat docks are created equally. When building a dock, you’ll want to consider the area in which you are constructing it, the type of water it will come in contact with, and how you want to use it before choosing between types of docks.
Here are two different types of boat docks and the benefits of each.
Also known as a stationary dock or a permanent dock, a fixed dock remains in place and is connected to the bottom of the body of water with pilings. The length of the pilings depends on the depth of the body water as well as the desired height of the dock and its intended purpose. For example, if the dock is solely for viewing, it may be nice to have tall pilings that allow an elevated view of the area. If the dock will be used to entering watercraft, it will need shorter pilings that allow the deck to rest just above the water.
Stationary docks are great for choppy waters or areas that experience frequent waves because the pilings secure the dock and allow it to withstand the water’s movements.
Pilings may be made from steel or wood. The latter is preferred when the pilings will be in contact with saltwater.
The deck on a fixed dock can be made from lumber or from composite or PVC. Their shape frequently depends on the depth and size of the body of water, the types of watercraft it will be used for, and the preferences of the homeowner. A fixed dock can be great for securing a boat, and it can also provide you with a wonderful fishing spot or an ideal view of the sunset. Fixed docks are built to last many years so homeowners can truly create an original space that extends their property.
A floating dock is not anchored to the bottom of a body of water, though it is connected to land. They work well for bodies of water where the water level changes frequently, the water is very deep, or where the bottom of the body of water is too murky or unstable to support a fixed dock.
Floating docks can be purchased in segments that connect together to form a variety of shapes to suit a homeowner’s needs. When looking at a prefab dock, it’s important to check that the materials will work well in the type of water they’ll be submerged in.
Floating docks can also be built with lumber and a floating material such as barrels on which the lumber frame and decking will rest. This gives homeowners more flexibility in choosing their preferred decking.
Designing Your Type of Dock
Once you know what type of dock will work best for your home, you can get into the fun details like the size and shape of your dock.
For fixed docks, you can really go all out with slip docks and large decks for entertaining, relaxing, or fishing. You can create a shaded area on the water, or add another level for optimal viewing.
Before building a dock, you’ll want to consider what types of watercraft you’ll be using it for and the area where you’ll be building it. (Take a look at this gorgeous Florida dock for some fun ideas.)
If you have questions about what type of dock may work best for you, don’t hesitate to give Decks & Docks a call. Not only do we make it our business to know about docks but we love sharing our information. Plus, we carry almost everything you need to complete a beautiful dock. Check out our website today to learn more.