To make the most of the recreational possibilities when you live on the water, you need a dock. It lets you secure your boat when it’s not in use. It’s the launch pad for waterskiing adventures and the perfect gateway to swimming fun. Choosing the right type of dock is a major decision, and selecting the best accessories takes research. Here is a look at the pros and cons of both floating docks and stationary models. If you choose a floating dock, you will need to decide how to transport it, so an overview of roll-in wheels is included.
Floating vs. Stationary Docks
Both floating docks and stationary piers will let you secure a boat and have a place to bask in the sun on a lake or other waterway. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
A dock is a structure for mooring your boat and providing space to walk around, sit or lie down to catch the sun, and a floating dock is no different, in essence. The raft-like upper structure is anchored by flexible post tension cables attached to the pilings that are beneath the water.
A floating dock is buoyant and flexible, certainly much more so than a stationary boat dock. The docks can be taken out of the water at the end of each season and stowed away during winter. This protects them from damage during temperature extremes and from winds and other stormy weather.
Floating docks also make it easier to step on and off from a boat: the dock rides the waves along with the boat in a way that stationary docks can’t. They don’t submerge in stormy weather and are recommended by the Coast Guard in areas frequently hit by hurricanes. Floating docks are typically easier to install and usually cost less than stationery docksanother huge advantage over their stationary counterparts.
A stationary dock is installed just above the high water line on the lake, river or other body of water. It is firmly mounted on permanent pilings that are sunk deep into the ground beneath the water. A stationery pier is often preferred by neighborhood associations that are common in waterfront neighborhoods. They are considered more stable and give the area a uniform look.
If you use your boat for much hauling, you might prefer a stationary dock; experienced dock users prefer a stationary model. People who entertain on their dock, using it as an extension of their social space, often prefer the stable feel of a stationary dock for breezy days when the water gets rough. Though more expensive to install, stationary docks usually last longer because they are built above the high water line.
If you choose a floating dock, you will need to decide how to put it in the water each season. Roll-in wheels on your dock make moving even large docks quick and easy. It can be done by two people or by using a vehicle with a tow bar. With roll-in wheels, heavy lifting can be completely avoided, saving your back from strain. The entire dock can be rolled into the water with the decking already on, which saves time and effort.
Check with neighbors for recommendations for the best type of dock for your area. If you choose a floating dock and are worried about strain and heavy lifting, a floating dock with roll-in wheels is a good solution.