How to Build a Boat Dock

Knowing how to build a dock is essential if you want to maximize your waterfront property. Even if you don't plan to build your own structure, you can save money and make sure things are done right if you know how boat docks are constructed.

How To Build A Boat Dock That Will Last

Although a dock's primary purpose is boat storage, you'll also get plenty of use out of your dock for parties and as a place to kick back and watch the world float by. Most backyard decks are made of wood and simple carpentry and mechanical skills are all that's required. Quit dreaming of boat docks and get started now using these tips:

  • Dock sizing. The size of your boat dock will depend on its function and location. The length of most boat docks is based on required depth of water for your boat and the slope of the water bottom. The width of boat docks is based on the intended activity: mooring, loading equipment or lounging.
  • Type of dock. Cost and the type of water you'll be building in influence the type of boat dock you'll build. A fixed dock, using pilings sunk into the bottom, is the most secure making it appropriate for rivers or other bodies of water that experience moderate wave action. A floating dock can be inexpensive and is appropriate for lake and calm water applications. A flexible dock combines fixed and floating technologies and is perfect for creating a secure dock that can ride up and down on changing water levels.
  • Materials. Most personal boat docks are constructed from pressure treated wood in 2" thick sections. All hardware used in boat dock construction must be galvanized or made of marine-grade stainless steel to stand up to water exposure. Heavy-duty screws or lag bolts should be used for superior holding strength. Flotation material should be environmentally sound and able to withstand long-term exposure to water and ultraviolet radiation.
  • Getting help. Whether you use beer, barbeque or boat time as an inducement, it's important to get plenty of help when it comes time to put your dock together. Anything you've spent on bribing friends will seem cheap when it comes time to move heavy dock sections into the water.
  • Dock framing. Wooden boat docks are typically built using rectangular frames that are fitted together to construct a larger structure. As in home deck building, the frame is built using 2"x8" or larger timbers to construct joists and stringers. All wooden members are screwed or bolted together. Some kit-built docks come with special corner brackets for added structural support.
  • Decking. Next, 5/6" rounded edge decking is screwed to the framing members. Decking is laid perpendicular to the framing members and cut to size.
  • Putting it together. If you're building a floating dock, you'll need to add floatation under the decking. For a fixed or flexible dock, you'll need to add mounting hardware as appropriate. Once your modules are complete, they'll need to be moved into place and bolted together or attached with heavy-duty hinges. Once the dock is in place, cleats, fenders and gangways can be added as required.
Related Life123 Articles

Knowing how to build a floating dock requires little more than basic carpentry and mechanical skills are all you'll need.

Boat dock construction is something you can handle on your own, as long as you have the know-how and the right permissions.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles

Read articles about boat docks, boat dock construction, how to build a boat dock and build a floating boat dock.

Read articles about boat docks, boat dock construction, how to build a boat dock and build a floating boat dock.

Read articles about boat docks, boat dock construction, how to build a boat dock and build a floating boat dock.

© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company