December 28, 2023
Apart from being a waterfront extension of home, boat docks serve as a launchpad for many outdoor adventures. However, they can also be a petri dish of potential hazards without the necessary precautions. Below, we discuss the primary boat dock safety considerations you should take to leave danger out of the equation while indulging in fun and leisure.
Below are the essential maintenance tasks to keep your boat dock safe and reliable:
Regular Cleaning and Inspection
Thoroughly cleaning your boat dock at least twice a year removes debris, algae, and stains, preventing these elements from weakening dock materials and causing damage. Use mild soap and a soft brush to wash the decking. We suggest using a hose, but if you plan on using a pressure washer, use its lowest setting to avoid damaging the surface.
During cleaning, inspect your dock for any signs of wear and tear, such as:
If you notice any of the above, address them immediately to prevent the issue from escalating into costly repairs.
2. Maintaining Different Dock Materials
Different dock materials involve specific maintenance needs. While we suggest consulting the owner’s manual, here are some general guidelines:
Additionally, inspect steel parts and sand, prime, and paint them where applicable.
If you want to upgrade, our floating docks combine performance and stability with superior ease of ownership. Contact one of our local dealers today to learn more about one of the best docking solutions on the market.
3. Maintaining Dock Lines
Regular inspection of cords and dock lines must also be a part of your maintenance routine. Check for signs of fraying, wear, or damage and replace them immediately if the integrity appears compromised. Doing so prevents your boat from spontaneously unhitching and drifting away.
Finally, remember to keep ropes and cords clear of walking areas when not in use.
4. Winterizing Your Dock
If you live in an area with harsher winter conditions, performing the following winterizing tasks is crucial to extending the lifespan of your boat dock:
If you’re using one of ShoreMaster’s boat docks, contact your local dealer for more information and tips on proper boat dock maintenance.
While docks may seem like stable platforms, falls can happen unexpectedly. In such cases, having readily available life jackets can be critical. Even for stronger swimmers, unexpected events like slippery surfaces and sudden water depth and current fluctuations can result in precarious situations.
In addition to life jackets, it’s best to equip your boat dock with the following boat dock safety equipment:
Having essential safety equipment readily available and following a boat dock safety guide creates a safer environment for your friends and family, allowing them to focus on enjoying their time on the water.
Here are a few other tips to enhance boat dock safety:
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
GFCIs are vital safety devices for any dock with electrical outlets, lights, and other electrical equipment. They can detect even the slightest imbalances in electrical current, immediately shutting off power to prevent shocks. As such, installing GFCIs is critical to ensuring boat dock electrical safety.
Here are some pivotal GFCI installation considerations:
Additionally, make a habit out of checking electrical wirings and connections. Look for signs of damage, fraying, or exposed wires. Avoid using extension cords and maintain a safe distance from overhead power lines when docking or operating your boat.
2. Install Barriers and Gates
Restricting access to the water’s edge, especially for young children, prevents accidental falls. Consider installing these safety barriers:
Check out our accessories catalog to find a quality safety gate for your boat dock, and contact your local dealer to learn more about dock accessories for enhancing boat dock safety.
As the leading manufacturer of innovative docking solutions, ShoreMaster boasts a network of authorized dealers across the US and Canada. These retailers offer a wide selection of boat dock safety rails, including:
Our knowledgeable team can provide more information on boat dock safety requirements. To find a ShoreMaster dealer near you, visit our website and use the dealer locator tool.