What type of boat dock is best for your lakefront lifestyle? It’s best to think about how you and your family will be using it most of the time…fishing, swimming, sun-bathing, boating, entertaining, dining…or maybe all of the above?
Photo courtesy of
Wahoo Docks – www.wahoodocks.com.
You need to keep in mind what boats and other watercraft you currently own, plus any that you are planning to purchase in the near future. Additionally, you will want to consider if your area on the water experiences much fluctuation in water levels during the year and how big the waves are that your boat dock will need to stand up against. As far as functions goes, the main types of boat docks are: stationary, floating, wheeled/portable and those with slip docks. Normally you can choose a combination of the boat dock types to best suit your needs and lifestyle at your lakefront property.
Stationary or standing docks are suited for a wide variety of circumstances. If your boat dock will experience rough water conditions, this is the best choice because waves can easily pass through the legs. If you have a salt water situation, the dock will be placed on wooden pilings to avoid corrosion.
Floating docks are perfect for an area that has deep water, significant water fluctuation or a mucky bottom. These work best when they will remain in the water all year long. If your location is exposed to heavy waves and boat wakes, then consider a “U” shaped design. Also considered very stable are floating docks with a “T” or fingers extending from the sides. If your waterfront will experience significant ice movement, be careful to choose a “T” or “L” shape or one with jutting fingers, as ice movement can damage floating docks. Floating docks are anchored in a number of ways, included cables, ramps, sea anchors or stiff arms.
With use of floating docks, make sure you are aware of what types of flotation devices are used. Many companies now offer options that due away with foam fillings and the environmental concerns that come with them. Check for materials that are resistant to oil, gas and saltwater. Some even contain UV inhibitors that prevent deterioration from sunlight.
A wheeled boating dock is one that contains wheels and can be easily removed from the water. You will want to consider a wheeled boating dock if your site undergoes heavy freezing and ice. Conditions have to be right to use this type: a gradual slope, a fairly firm lake bottom and minimal elevation at the bank.
Once you have chosen the best general type or combination for your boat dock, you still have many style options available to you. You can choose boat docks with slip docks, for the convenient parking of your boat at the dock. These are available with spacious decks, in order to enjoy your leisure time at the waterfront. For the sun-lovers or those who would like to use your waterfront for entertainment or larger gathering, consider a sundeck on top of your boat deck. The possibilities are limitless, depending on your lifestyle, tastes and budget.
Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”