We Know: How to Buy a Boat Dock

Where are boat docks installed?

Boat docks can be the floating type or be permanently installed beside rivers, harbors, lakes, or oceanfront. They are found in fresh as well as salt water. In cold weather environments, some will install removable docks that are taken out of the water before it freezes.

What choices do I have for boat dock materials

Boat docks can be made out of several materials, but are usually made from one of the following:

  • Wood. These generally require more work to maintain because of painting, scraping, and replacing cracked or warped boards, but they are easier to repair.
  • Aluminum. These can be of the floating type, or be permanently installed. There are many options available with aluminum constructed docks, such as ramps, boat storage, and sun decks.
  • Heavy-duty plastic. These boat docks look like giant interlocking puzzle pieces. You can put them together however you like, creating slips, ramps, or whatever you want. This type of dock can be removed from the water at season's end.

How do you buy a boat dock?

The following guidelines are good to use when considering the purchase of a boat dock:

  1. Decide if you want a floating dock, or one that is permanently installed. If you live in an area where the water will freeze, keep in mind that when ice forms and breaks up, it puts a lot of stress on the dock. It must be strong enough to withstand the rough treatment. Some floating docks can be removed from the water at the end of the season, effectively eliminating any concern about winter damage to the boat dock.
  2. Decide how many boats the dock will have to accommodate. Do you also want space for guests to moor their boats too? Will you be buying an additional boat anytime soon? Is the boat dock you are purchasing expandable?
  3. Do you want any extras with the boat dock, such as benches, storage boxes, built-in umbrellas, a water slide, boat lift, or overhead shelters for the boat(s)?
  4. What length and width do you need for the boat dock?
  5. When you contact a dealer, inquire about installation, delivery, and their warranty policy.
  6. Shop around for the best prices. The Internet is a great source for finding dealers and manufacturers in your area.

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