July 11, 2024

When to Use Each Boat Dock Frame

When to Use Each Boat Dock Frame

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

Boat Dock Frame Styles: Discover the RS4 vs RS7 Dock Options

ShoreMaster has pioneered designs and technologies for over four decades, setting the industry standard for docking solutions that look great and perform even better. Below, we take a closer look at two of the most versatile dock systems available — the Infinity RS4 and the Infinity RS7 — to help you choose the perfect dock setup for your needs.  

ShoreMaster Infinity RS4 Dock with Gray Woodgrain Vertical Lift Furniture

Introduction to RS4 and RS7 Dock Frames  

Both the Infinity RS4 and the Infinity RS7 dock frames feature ShoreMaster’s signature dime-welded, all-aluminum construction for unparalleled strength, stability, and durability. As noted by Welder Stream, in addition to producing aesthetically pleasing weld beads, the dime-welding technique ensures a strong and seamless bond, which is crucial for structural integrity (Steven, n.d.).  

Strength and stability are a consistent focus across the different parts of ShoreMaster’s Infinity Dock Systems. Aluminum-welded stringers run across individual dock frame sections, adding structural rigidity regardless of the dock configuration. Whereas you might see other dock systems rely on decking panels for stability, the RS4 and the RS7 do not. 

To support the frames, ShoreMaster uses Infinity leg pockets and five-sided dock legs. This innovative design features two-way bracing for each leg pocket, which provides three points of contact for added stability. ShoreMaster also uses T-handle set screws, which you can easily turn using any wrench. You’ll find these QuickConnect screws across the dock frame, allowing you to make all the necessary adjustments easily. 

Key Features of the RS4 Dock Frame  

With a range of dock section shapes and sizes, nine premium decking options, and the InfinityTrack accessory system, the Infinity RS4 is a docking solution that can be anything and everything you need it to be. This modular dock system will change your perspective on dock design and shoreline space utilization, available in 4’- and 6’-wide sections, lengths up to 12’, and exclusive 45- and 90-degree curves. 

Infinity RS4 dock frames come in the following sizes:

  • 4’ x 4’
  • 4’ x 10’
  • 4’ x 12’
  • 6’ x 8’
  • 3’ corner
  • 45-degree curve
  • 90-degree curve

Aside from boasting incredible versatility and configurability, one of the standout features of the RS4 is its four-inch aluminum railing, which makes it extremely strong yet lightweight. With its standard cross-brace and center stringer, the RS4’s tubular dock rail adds strength and stability to each dock section, eliminating bounce on the dock and creating a solid walking platform. 

Key Features of the RS7 Dock Frame 

Just like the RS4, the Infinity RS7 features a modular design that lets you choose from a range of dock section shapes and sizes, decking options, and accessories (like the traditional boat dock canopy frame) to create a docking system that accommodates and enhances all your waterfront activities. Moreover, you can set up the RS7 as a freestanding or wheel-in dock system, allowing it to adapt to different shorelines and waterfront conditions. 

Infinity RS7 dock frames come in the following sizes:

  • 4’ x 8’
  • 4’ x 16’
  • 6’ x 8’
  • 6’ x 16’
  • 3’ corner

What truly sets the RS7 apart is its industry-leading 6.75-inch aluminum side rails. It’s one of the strongest dock frames you can find, making it perfect for mooring larger vessels, rough water environments, and commercial settings. 

Comparing RS4 vs RS7: Which is Right for You?  

Choosing between the Infinity RS4 and the Infinity RS7 depends on your specific docking requirements. Both Infinity Dock models are exceptionally versatile solutions that redefine dock design, functionality, and aesthetics. The different frame section shapes and sizes enable unique boat dock design ideas and allow owners to optimize their shoreline and dock space. 

Additionally, the RS4 and the RS7 are both very easy to own. The QuickConnect screws make it easy to set up, adjust, and remove dock sections with minimal tools. The decking panels snap into place while the InfinityTrack accessory system makes adding (and removing) dock enhancements, like a boat dock canopy frame, as seamless as can be. Adds At The Lake Distributing, “What’s great about this is there’s no drilling required. It’s very easy to set and take down if you want to change the configuration, add boats, or make any other changes (ATL, 2021).”

The primary difference between the RS4 and the RS7 is their railside thickness. The RS7’s more robust aluminum side rails allow it to support heavier loads and withstand more demanding conditions. However, they’re also significantly heavier than RS4 frames, making them more challenging to carry and move around during installation, removal, and storage. Regardless of which model you choose, you’ll enjoy the most versatile docking system on the market. 

Visit your local ShoreMaster dealer today to walk on the RS4 and the RS7 to get a real feel for which one is right for you. 

Installation and Maintenance Tips  

When you order an RS4 dock frame bundle, it includes two Infinity leg pockets, two footpads, and the hardware bag with all the fasteners, connector clips, and protective caps needed for assembly. Legs posts and decking panels are sold separately. Meanwhile, the RS7 frame bundle only comes with the hardware bag. This is because you can configure the RS7 as a standing or wheel-in dock. 

While all ShoreMaster products come with detailed assembly and installation instructions, here are some tips to ensure you have everything you need:

  • You need to order one leg for each Infinity leg pocket.
  • Decking panels are interchangeable with all Infinity Dock Systems. For reference, you will need five decking panels for a 4’ x 10’ frame section.
  • Depending on the configuration, you may need to add a single or double leg pocket, leg posts, footpads, and decking panels for curved sections.  
  • In areas closer to the shore or with shallow water, ShoreMaster offers a shorter, 8” single-leg pocket. 

You will need a 9/16” wrench, a measuring tape, and a level for assembling the dock. Here’s a general outline of assembly instructions for the RS4 and RS7:

  • Step 1: After determining the layout of your dock system, install all leg pockets according to their instructions. The number and location of leg pockets will depend on the specific layout and the type of leg posts. 
  • Step 2: Attach one footpad to each leg post. Secure the leg posts with one 1/2 x 1-1/4 set screw and one 1/2 square nut per leg. 
  • Step 3: Determine which side of the dock frame will be connected to other sections. Insert one 3/8 nut into each connector clip, and thread the 3/8 x 1-1/2 T-handle through it. 
  • Step 4: Attach the connector clips to the rail. Secure them with one 3/8 x 1 carriage bolt and one 3/8 flange nut. The carriage bolt head inserts into the opening in the bottom slot of the rail and attaches to the connector clip. Place the connector clip six inches or less in from the corner. 
  • Step 5: With the first frame in place, attach the second frame’s connector clips and secure them by tightening the 3/8 x 1-1/2 T-handle. Repeat for all the subsequent frames. 
  • Step 6: When all the dock frames are in place, adjust the level of the dock sections as needed using the adjustable leg posts. 

Following installation, observe the following maintenance practices to ensure your Infinity Dock System is the last dock you purchase:

  • Seasonal Maintenance: ShoreMaster recommends removing the dock system from the water during the winter months. The applicable warranties may become void if it’s exposed to damaging ice conditions. You may remove each frame with the decking panels in place or remove them before detaching the frame. Store the dock sections in a dry area to preserve their lifespan. 
  • Regular Inspection: Inspect frames, decking panels, connections, nuts, and bolts once every six months for damage, wear, or loose connections. Tighten or replace parts as needed. 
  • Cleaning: Keep your dock clean by removing debris and washing it with mild soap and water. This helps maintain its appearance and prevents the buildup of harmful substances.

Most ShoreMaster dealers offer service visits to help maintain your Infinity Dock System. Contact them if you’re unable to perform preventive maintenance services or repairs.