You’ve got the perfect waterfront property, and the only thing that’s missing now is a boat dock. While it isn’t hard to install a dock once you know what you need, buying a boat dock is an entirely different matter altogether.
To make the best purchase, you have to consider all your options and then make the final decision based on the factors that can help you determine which boat dock you should go for.
Types of Boat Docks
The five main types of boat docks include:
1- Pile Docks
Pile docks are manufactured with a galvanized steel channel frame, yet they offer a sturdy wooden dock’s appearance.
2- Pipe Docks
These are usually aluminum boat docks made from industrial-grade and truss-styled frames, offering superior strength and durability.
3- Crib Docks
Crib docks are wooden-structured docks made of custom-built wooden frames. These docks are covered with decking and filled with large rocks.
4- Suspension Docks
Suspension docks employ cables that hold them onto the water rather than requiring a foundation from the bottom. These are some of the most expensive docks.
5- Floating Docks
These docks are ramps or platforms supported by pontoons. Like suspension docks, they also float onto the water, automatically adjusting their height with respect to rising (or falling) water levels.
Three Factors to Consider Before Making the Final Decision
Now that you’re aware of the types of boat docks you can install on your waterfront property, let’s walk you through the factors that should help you make the final choice when you’re buying a boat dock:
1- Water Levels
If you’re looking for a boat dock that can shift with the fall and rise of the water levels, floating docks or automatically-adjustable suspension docks are the way to go. That’s mainly because other docks remain fixed in their positions or require manual labor to alter the levels.
However, it is best to forgo these boat docks if the water level where you’re thinking of installing a dock is too low, as these docks work best in high waters.
2- Varying Size and Shapes
If you want a dock that you can resize or reshape occasionally to alter the seating space and offer boat slips, floating docks might be the right choice for you. However, if you don’t require such changes, in the long run, any boat dock will do alright.
If you’re looking for something inexpensive yet sturdy with a long lifespan, then pipe and floating docks are the best choices in that case. That’s because, among all the other kinds of docks, these are the ones that are lighter on the pocket. However, comparably, floating docks are more reliable in rough water and weather conditions.