What Type of Dock Best Suits Your Property's Shoreline?

What Type of Dock Best Suits Your Property's Shoreline?

It is a scene associated with cottage country; sipping a cool drink under the summer sunshine, sitting on your dock with friends and family members. No doubt that docks are as crucial to cottage life as boat rides and campfires. This is the primary reason we recommend that you carefully consider the most suitable type of dock for your waterfront property.

Every shoreline is unique, and the ability to successfully adapt to different conditions is what brings the difference between a great dock and something you probably won’t like. Additionally, no two lakes have similar shorelines, and the needs of every cottage owner vary widely. Whether you intend to use your dock as a launching pad for your children’s diving competitions, a mooring point for your luxurious boat, or as an entertainment area for late-night parties, figure out the dock type that best suits your property’s shoreline.

Types of shorelines and recommended dock types

A coastline is simply an area where water meets land. On the other hand, a shoreline is an exact point where tides, water, and land all interact. A shoreline is part of an extensive area known as coastline, but both exist on different water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans. Shorelines have different zones such as offshore zone, surf zone, nearshore zone, and foreshore zone. These zones can be affected by external intrusions such as piling placement and docks.

Although all shorelines have these natural zones, the condition for each zone varies. Here are the types of shorelines.

Rocky shorelines

These shorelines contain large boulders, pebbles, rocks, or a combination of these conditions. You will find them along rivers, lakes, and oceans. Rocky shorelines can withstand the natural erosion from water waves and rain, but the vegetation in these areas is sparse.

For this reason, you should not remove or damage any existing plant life when installing your boat. Otherwise, you risk leaving it fully exposed to harsh elements, which could accelerate deterioration. Also, don’t displace the rocks or boulders on the shoreline. In case the rock conditions extend beyond the shore, and beneath the lake water, it can be impossible to secure pipes or piling in the waterbed. The good news is that a floating dock would be a great option because it lets you bypass the rocks embedded in the lakebed.

Keep in mind that most rocky shorelines are found in marine ecosystems in an ocean’s intertidal zone. These zones are protected and may not be permissible for dock installation because even a minor project risks an adverse chain reaction on the entire ecosystem. So, if you have a property near a rocky shoreline, find out if you are allowed to build or install a dock before you start your project.

Sandy shorelines

These shorelines are common across riverfronts, oceans, and lakes, with sand quality and type varying across regions. You probably know that some sandy beaches have dunes, complex, and somewhat sensitive geological formations that should never be disrupted when installing a dock.

Most sandy shorelines feature a gradual slope before the land section falls away – a steep drop in the water. The change in depth means different dock types do well on sandy shorelines as long as they have sufficient ramps, pilings, or gangways to create a solid bridge between the sandy shoreline and water. If the sand extends beyond the shore into the waterbed, you may find it challenging to install pilings and other permanent dock fixtures.

If you intend to install a dock in a sandy shoreline, keep changing tides in mind and consult with a reputable dock installer to determine the expected water height during surges and storms as well as natural changes during low and high tides. This way, you can successfully install the right type of dock where you can always access it.

Wetland shorelines

There are two types of wetlands – coastal wetlands on coastal ocean areas and inland wetlands near some marshes, ponds, and lakes. These areas are highly active and protected natural environments. They’re home to numerous plants, insects, fish, birds, and other animals. They also balance ecology and aid in global climate conditions by naturally storing carbon dioxide.

Because of the sensitive nature of wetland shorelines, the Environmental Protection Agency has strict executive order to limit the degradation or destruction of these ecosystems. Before installing your dock on a wetland shoreline, check with building officials and the local environmental office to learn more about the conservation measures in place and any construction limits.

So, what dock type best suits your waterfront property?

As you consider different types of docks, property needs, and budgets, think about the available shoreline. What type of water do you intend to install your dock on? What environmental aspects must you consider? What is the waterbed-like? Please consult with a dock builder to inspect the entire shoreline because its unique features play a crucial role in your choice of a dock.

Different aspects of the shoreline environment, such as natural formations, animals, underwater ecosystems, and vegetation, are an integral part of choosing where to install your dock. Docks often affect different environmental factors such as ecosystems, shoreline erosion, and chemical leaks. Also, the bottom conditions on lake beds, pond beds, or ocean floors vary drastically. Still, you should consult with a dock installer to determine the best location for your dock.

Learn more about VW Docks

Docks have become an integral part of cottage or waterfront living. They offer a stable base to launch and moor watercraft and boats. They also make it very easy to enjoy swimming, fishing, and lounging by the water. Before you install a dock on your waterfront property, consult with VW Docks. We have been in the business of designing, installing, and building high-quality docks for more than six decades.

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