Posted on May 19, 2022

Boat Dock Basics

Boat Dock Basics

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

When you think of a boat dock, you might think of a single eight-foot section that juts out into the water with a boat tied to the end of it. While that can still be true (although we recommend storing your boat on a lift above the water), there’s so much more to today’s premium boat docks than there used to be. Here are some of the basics, boiled down for you by the waterfront experts at ShoreMaster.


ShoreMaster Infinity RS4 Dock with Traditional Woodgrain Decking

Boat Dock Styles

Each shoreline will have specific dock needs depending on factors like the type of sediment at the bottom, the depth of the water, whether the water fluctuates, whether the water is salt or fresh, and how rough the conditions are, among other criteria. Most people picture a piling dock when they think of a boat dock, which is a dock mounted on wooden beams called “pilings” to form a walkway. Floating dock systems are dock platforms resting on top of buoyant airtight pontoons, don’t require any attachments other than an anchor and a gangway, and adjust to changing water levels. Sectional docks and wheel-in docks stand on adjustable legs that can be easily installed and removed from the water.

Dock Decking Options

Docks consist of a frame, and they also have planks of decking to stand and walk on. Traditionally, pressure-treated wood decking is used for docks, although wooden docks are vulnerable to weathering and corrosion and require a lot of maintenance to upkeep. Composite decking is made of wood and plastic and requires somewhat less maintenance than wood. Aluminum decking is a very durable and low-maintenance option that can even be painted to look like wood grain for the traditionally minded.

Dock Accessories

The ways you’re going to use your dock will determine the layout you use and the boat dock accessories you attach to it. Docks can be outdoor entertainment spaces as well as places to store your boat, and they’re the hub for your entire waterfront life. If you’re a fisher, you can get fishing rod holders for your dock and even attach a cleaning table and grill to your dock if you want to eat what you catch. Water sports fans will love racks and other storage for kayaks, paddleboards, and other equipment. Dock furniture in an array of colors and options is great for anyone who wants to sit out on their dock for any reason. If there’s something you like doing on the water, ShoreMaster has an accessory that can help you do it in comfort and style for years to come.

Are you ready to move beyond the basics and start planning your dream dock? You can browse our entire selection of boat dock options and accessories. Better yet, reach out to a local ShoreMaster dealer. We have an extensive dealer network that knows our products as well as the water near them, giving them a unique perspective and expertise. Use our online form to get in touch with your local dealer today.