How to Choose Between a Floating Dock or Stationary Dock
You finally got that boat you've always wanted. You can take it out on the lake whenever you feel like it!
But how are you going to get it in the water? Looks like you're in need of a dock!
So, what kind of dock is best for you? Should you go with a floating dock or a stationary dock?
Both kinds of docks have their pros and cons, and the one you choose should fit your needs. What do you plan to use the dock for? What's the water like where you want to install the dock?
We'll help you sort through these questions and make the best decision possible. Keep reading to learn the difference between floating and stationary docks, and how to decide which type is best for you.
What Are Floating Docks?
A floating dock is just what it sounds like: a boat dock that floats. This type of dock floats on the water instead of resting on wooden pilings.
Floating docks are perfect for some situations, and not so great for others. So let's look at the pros and cons of this kind of dock.
Pros of Floating Docks
There's not only one way to make your dock float. Dock floats or plastic barrels both work just fine. Other options may be available as well.
If you plan on swimming around your dock, a floating dock could be a great option. Their platforms are easily accessible to swimmers.
Floating docks are versatile. They can be used in high or low water and can be attached to a shoreline, pilings, or even a stationary dock. You may run into problems if the water gets too low, though, since floats could get damaged.
They can also be changed often if you don't like the configuration. Simply take out sections and reposition them.
Floating docks are your cheapest option if you're looking to put a dock in deep water. And, if you're the DIY type, you can even assemble this kind of dock on your own.
If you like the feel of the tide rocking and swaying, this is the dock for you. Whenever you're on the dock you'll move with the water.
Cons of Floating Docks
If you don't like to sway with the water, this definitely isn't the choice for you. You'll want to go with something more stable, like a stationary dock.
Floating docks last around 20 to 30 years, but that's less time than a stationary dock will last. Stationary docks usually last around 25 to 35 years.
Due to their floating nature, you won't want a floating dock if you're building in an area with high water traffic. Each time a boat comes by your dock will rock with the water. And floating docks are noisy too, so you'd have to get used to the sound of clanking chains whenever the water moves a lot.
Floating docks present a problem during low tide. Since they float on the water, they'll get closer and closer to the ground as water levels decrease. This can potentially result in damage to your floating devices.
Unlike floating docks, stationary docks do not rest on the water. Instead, they're built on top of pilings. These pilings are secured to the bottom of the body of water you're utilizing.
Here are some pros and cons of this type of dock.
Pros of Stationary Docks
Due to their construction, stationary docks are more protected than floating docks. They remain the same despite currents or tides. And in general, they'll last longer than floating docks.
Stationary docks are perfect for areas with lots of watercraft activity. They remain secure even through lots of water movement, making it easy for you to get into your watercraft.
Because of their stability, stationary docks are great if you're looking for a gathering place for family and/or friends. And if you don't like to feel the swaying of the water when you're relaxing, this is the way to go.
They're also great in shallow waters, where floating docks are not. You don't run the risk of floats getting punctured if the water level drops too low.
And, if you're new to docking your boat, you may have an easier time with a dock that doesn't move.
Cons of Stationary Docks
Because this kind of dock has to be secured to the sea or lake floor, you'll generally have to pay a lot more than you would for a floating dock. You'll need to get professional help to put in this type of dock.
If you're looking to build in deep water, you're going to have to pay even more. For this reason, a floating dock is better for deep water situations.
Deeper water requires longer pilings. These are more likely to have bending and warping problems.
Because there's a gap between the water and dock, you may run into problems reaching your watercraft when the water is low. High water could cause problems, too.
Your Perfect Boat Dock
There are many reasons for or against each type of boat dock. You'll ultimately have to decide for yourself which type is best for you.
If you need a dock in a shallow area or one where lots of other watercraft are around, go with a stationary dock.
If you'll be boarding your boat in deep waters, or want to save some money, go with a floating dock. If you really can't decide, you can do a combination of the two. So you should be able to find a dock that meets your exact needs.
Whatever you choose, make sure you perform proper maintenance to ensure your dock gives you as much fun as possible.
Do you have a great idea for a boat dock? We'd love to help you build it! Request a free quote today to get started.
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