What is the best wood for boat docks?
There are many high quality choices for dock-building materials, but when you want a boat dock that is made to last but also emphasizes aesthetics and appearance, then wood is hard to beat.
When sealed and treated correctly, wood can hold up to any of the elements a lake or other body of water can throw at it. It’s that beauty and natural coloring, though, that makes wood such a popular choice for owners of lakefront property.
But how do you choose the best wood for boat docks? Well, we are here to help you determine what are some of the best options out there once you have your heart set on a wood dock.
The right wood can make a great boat dock
Not all wood is suitable for a boat dock project, but certain types offer the durability that you will need if the structure is going to withstand waves of water and, likely, the occasional bump or rub here and there.
But if you choose the right type of wood, then you will have little to worry about and can actually find yourself with a boat dock that is relatively low maintenance outside of a few minor things to keep an eye out for.
First, though, you need to think about what type of dock structure you want to build. The best wood boards for docks are western red cedar, redwood, cypress and eastern white cedar.
However, if the dock will feature permanent piles or cribs, then you are going to want a stronger hardwood, such as Douglas fir, tamarack and hemlock. Certain other woods may suffice in a pinch, but those are preferred. We’ll cover these and a few more types of wood here, as well as provide a few pros and cons.
Pressure treated pine
Pressure treated pine is actually a common and affordable wood used for boat docks.
Pros are that it is cheap and can last with some regular maintenance needs.
But there’s the biggest con right there: maintenance. With pine, you will need to seal the wood at least every other year. If you don’t, then you’re likely looking at rot and decay problems. Pine is also known to splinter, so consider that.
If you want an upgrade to pine, then cedar is a good choice. It has some more natural resistance to rot, although you may still need to consider applying sealer.
Other pros are that the lifespan is longer and it can be stained. Consare are that, on top of sealing, you will want to keep an eye out for splinters and some boards may have knots.
Other types of hardwoods
If you have a large enough budget, then you may be interested to know that there are certain types of exotic hardwoods, typically from South America, available for building boat docks that have very long lifespans and require very little maintenance.
These types of wood can include Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood and several more.
Pros for these choices are that they are naturally resistant to rot, mold, mildew and insects that can eat away at other wood types.
However, the price point of these woods is definitely higher. Plus, you are going to need to oil the wood each year if you want your dock to always have its original color.
VW Docks uses western red cedar wood
At VW Docks, our top choice for wood that is going to be used for a boat dock or for boat dock decking is western red cedar wood.
We also believe many of its qualities make it one of the finest choices available for a dock project. Here’s why.
Western red cedar wood is beautiful
When you are trying to select a wood for any type of dock project, appearance and color are going to be very important. It’s that physical aesthetic that makes wood such a popular choice for these types of projects, after all.
Well, if it is beauty that you are after, then you can’t go wrong with western red cedar. This beautiful wood can range in color from red-brown to pink-brown. Plus, each piece of wood can often have unique streaks that feature a shade of darker colors.
And, when it comes to building outdoor structures like boat docks, western red cedar has little competition. According to the Western Red Lumber Association, it’s perfect for when you want to “create sublime outdoor sanctuaries.”
Now, wouldn’t that be a nice way for your neighbors and visitors to describe your boat dock?
Western red cedar is durable
The other primary benefit of western red cedar also lends itself directly to docks. It’s very tough and durable.
As long as the wood is treated with the right kind of preservatives, then western red cedar can hold up for very lengthy periods of time even when it is exposed to water.
We are experts when it comes to wood boat docks
If you are in the market for a new or improved wood boat dock, then give us a call here at VW Docks. We have been building sectional wood docks since 1959. We are constantly tweaking our design to make sure it is the absolute best possible.
Our sectional docks are some of the easiest to install and remove, too. With their “walk on water” installation and removal, you never have to get in the water to put in or take out your dock. You can even get the job with one person, as each section is about 80 pounds.
In addition to their beautiful western red cedar wood, our docks also come with:
- Lifetime warranty for their heavy gauge steel brackets
- Heavy gauge steel anchor plates that are adjustable
- Screwed-together construction
- Heavy gauge steel braces that increase dock stability
You won’t be disappointed
Did we mention that our sectional wood docks are one of our most popular types of docks? Our customers absolutely love them and we are sure you will, too.
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