7 ways to customize your boat dock

7 ways to customize your boat dock

Some boat docks are made with an emphasis on simplicity, ease of use and functionality. They are for accessing and storing boats and other watercraft that are not in use.

But if you could have the dock of your dreams, wouldn’t you want options? For example, there are many accessories available that can turn a simple boat dock into a place where people gather, whether it’s for fishing, outdoor hangouts or other forms of recreation.

Customizing your dock is just another way of making it yours. By adding an accessory or two, you can do more of what you love while also enjoying the access to water that docks have always provided.

Need ideas? Then look no further. We have a few boat dock customization ideas that we think you will love as much as we do.

1. Make the dock family-friendly

Let’s start with a customization project idea that will be a hit for everyone: Make your boat dock as family-friendly as possible.

If you have children (especially younger ones), older adults - or maybe that crazy uncle who has always been known to be a little clumsy - then you may want to invest in a railing for the dock.

Railings are simple solutions that give children or anyone else who might need it something to steady their balance.

Railings can be helpful when people are trying to get in and out of boats, fishing or simply hanging out with the rest of the family on a nice day.

2. Ladders give you a leg up on accessibility

Like railings, ladders also make boat docks much more accessible for everyone who uses them.

Ladders are great solutions when you need an easier, more stable way to get in and out of boats and other watercraft.

If you enjoy swimming, then ladders can also make the boat dock a great place to get into and out of the water.

Many boat dock ladders are also lightweight and very easy to install or remove as needed.

3. Own a boat? You will want cleats.

It’s probably safe to assume that as the owner of a boat dock, you likely also are a boat owner. If that’s the case, then you will need to install dock cleats.

Cleats are used to tie down boats and other watercraft to docks. They can come in several different material types, including metal, wood and plastic. Certain heavy duty materials, such as galvanized steel, will be required for large boats, while a material such as aluminum is suitable for smaller craft.

Materials are not the only thing to consider when trying to find the right cleats for your dock. Some come in different shapes that can make tying down boats much easier, while others have solar-powered lighting attached and some are even foldable - a real plus when you don’t want to trip over them.

4. Add boat cushions

While you’re planning what types of cleat to add, go ahead and research boat cushions, too.

Boat cushions, also known as bumpers, are installed along the edge of the dock. They add some protection for your boat, which could rub up against your dock when you are docking.

Trust us, your boat’s finish will thank you for installing cushions.

5. Go fish.

Fishing is certainly one of the best recreation activities associated with water. It is definitely right up there with boating. Luckily, there are many great ways to make your boat dock an angler’s paradise, especially when you are teaching the next generation of anglers how to fish.

We’ve already touched on adding railings to your boat dock, which can add a safe barrier between anyone fishing and the water. Railings also offer something to lean against for periods of standing.

But if standing doesn’t sound like fun, then you will want to consider adding a bench - or two for larger docks - to allow for easy seating.

Plus, when you aren’t fishing, you have the perfect spot for reading a book, chatting with friends or simply relaxing outside next to the water.

6. Turn on the lights.

Boat docks can also be equipped with lighting to make night-time access much safer. The right lights can also add some desirable design flair for those who want a little more visual appeal.

There are a few pieces of advice available on how to go about installing lighting, though, that dock owners will want to heed.

For one, avoid installing tall, bright lights that shine down onto your dock. That much harsh lighting can achieve the opposite of an aesthetically pleasing appearance. It’s best to go with short lights around the edges of the dock.

It is also a good idea to talk to any neighbors who may also be affected when your boat dock lights are on. Be a good neighbor and make sure your extra lights won’t be an annoyance or inconvenience.

7. Let’s talk about other seating options

We’ve already covered how benches can be a perfect place to sit while relaxing or even while entertaining. But benches are not the only dock seating option.

Some custom dock designs may have seating built directly into the dock itself. This improves functionality of a dock without having to go out, look for and buy a bench that also matches your dock’s design. Many of these built-in seating options use the same planking that is used for decking material, so matching is not an issue.

BONUS: Take “fun” to another level.

If you really want to emphasize having a fun boat dock for kids, then here’s a bonus suggestion: Look into adding a slide.

Imagine all the fun that the entire family can have and all the memories that will be made!

Get a free quote on your dock project

VW Docks is proud to offer custom solutions for everyone’s docking needs. Sectional, floating, handicapped, custom docks - we have built them all. We have never met a dock project we can’t tackle.

If you are ready to start designing the boat dock of your dreams, then we are ready to make it happen. Request a free quote to tell us about your upcoming project and we will get back in touch with you soon.

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