Posted on October 13, 2022
If you’ve decided to transition from renting a boat slip to buying one, or you have some waterfront property and a boat you can’t wait to launch, buying and installing a boat dock is an excellent option. Boat docks add value to waterfront property, create a perfect place to moor your boat, and extend your home living and entertaining space into the outdoors during nice weather. Before you run out and buy any old boat dock, you’ll need to keep a few considerations in mind based on your property and personal watercraft.
The place you’re installing your dock is one of the biggest factors to consider. Are you on open water or in one of many boat slips in a marina? Is the water rough and choppy or smooth and calm? How graded is the shoreline, and what is the bed like? Does the water level stay consistent throughout the year, or does it fluctuate? How deep is it? Questions like these will help you figure out whether a standing or floating dock system is better for you and which materials you should use.
How much room do you have to work within your slip? Are there any local requirements for how big your boat dock can get or how far out you can build? These factors limit how big you can build and what kind of shape you can use. Also, consider what you’ll be using your dock for. If you’re using it as a walkway to get to your boat, then a simple, straight path might be all you need. If you’re planning to get a dockside grill, a rack for your water sports accessories, or furniture and other boat dock accessories, look into something that can build out into platforms—something that you can add to and change.
Your boat dock is going to face a lot of potential wear and tear, especially in brackish or saltwater, so it’s best to choose one that’s durable and well made. If your dock is made of low-maintenance material, even better—aluminum might be more expensive up front, but it’s worth it when you consider that it can stand up to just about anything nature can throw at it and only needs a good power-washing once in a while.
If you’re a seasonal boater, especially one in an area with a lot of ice, you’ll need to consider how easy your dock is to remove in the fall and install in the spring. Sectional docks, which can come in standing, wheel-in, and floating configurations, are a great option for the seasonal boater because of how simple it is to attach and detach sections and accessories. Docks that can’t be removed very easily in the winter will require bubbling or de-icing to protect them from damage from ice.
No matter what kind of boat dock you’re thinking of getting, you need to buy one from a great dealer. A dealer that treats you well and answers all of your questions from the start is going to make your entire purchase experience better. A local boat dock dealer is an even better asset; someone local to your water will be more familiar with it than anyone else and can give you advice that’s truly tailored for your waterfront property.
ShoreMaster has an extensive dealer network, and we’re likely to have a local dealer in your area. Get in touch with a ShoreMaster dealer near you to learn more about our premium dock and boat lift waterfront systems.