A Complete Guide on Floating Piers and Their Types - Hiseadock



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There are many things that one can do if they happen to own waterfront property, and the most popular one is setting up floating piers and docks. There are many types of floating piers that exist, and each choice is guided by a number of factors, both external and personal. 

This is going to be a detailed look at floating piers, the types that exist, the way it functions and how it is constructed, how each unique material operates when used and the many challenges that come with owning one on your property. If you have been entertaining dock building plans on your waterfront property with floating piers, then this is for you.

What Is Floating Pier

Floating Dock
Source: Unsplash

This is a ramp supported by modular cube pontoons that are joined to the shore by the use of a dock gangway or a walkway that people can use to walk from one end to the other. The pier is usually held in place by a series of vertical poles called pilings that are further embedded in the waterbed for anchorage. 

Floating piers are mostly found on the marina, and they are used for providing anchorage for the water vessel someone may have. There are some types of floating piers that are flexible and can move with the waves, while others are fixed and cannot rise and fall with water fluctuation.

Types of Floating Piers

There are many types of floating piers in use, both for domestic and commercial purposes. Deeng on their premise and usage, they can vary in size and design, and we are going to look at the most notable ones that you can check out if you have been planning to set up one on your property.

Stationary Docks

Source: Pinterest

These are the type of boat docking systems that are fixed at the bottom of the waterbed using firm poles that could either be made of concrete, wood, or metal. They are built using a fixed height, and this means that, depending on the water fluctuation, they may be submerged at times, making them unusable. For this reason, if you do choose to go with this design, make sure you construct it in an area where water levels are constant or never rise too much. At the same time, if the water level goes down too much, it may make the dock unusable as it will be too high for people to reach.

On the positive side, they are one of the stable piers around as they can withstand even the roughest of weather. You are at least assured of strong anchorage for your boat if the dock is built properly.

Floating Dock

A Floating Dock
Source: Pinterest

The most common floating pier you will come across due to the fact that it is easy to make is more flexible and can be modified on the go at any time. In a nutshell, this is a type of floating pier that floats on water, thanks to being attached to buoyant material that makes it possible for them to rise and fall with the water level. This feature makes them ideal for deeper waters where sinking piles into the bottom of the lake is impossible.

However, despite all their suitability, they tend to sway too much, and this is not only dangerous to the people using them, but it can also cause damage to the boat by crashing it against the pier itself. If you do choose to go with this type of pier, then make sure you set it up in an area that doesn’t experience rough waters or extreme weather.

Combination Docks

Combination Dock
Source: Pinterest

When you want the best parts of a stationary dock and floating dock, a combination dock is what you go for. This is a type of floating pier that combines parts of a stationary dock with parts of a floating dock that brings out their best potential. This way, you will have a lock that can keep up with water fluctuation and, at the same time, be stable enough to deal with waves and splashes.

The one drawback of this type of floating pier is that it takes more resources and time to set it up. The construction process is complicated and has to be done right for it to work; otherwise, you will end up with a faulty contraption that would end up being a burden instead of a convenient tool. Combination docks come in many designs, and the choice comes down to personal preference, the budget available, and the space that you have on your waterfront.

Lift-Up Docks

Lift-Up Dock
Source: Pinterest

These are advanced types of pipers that are able to stand on legs and are ideal for areas that suffer freezing temperatures that solidify lakes and other water bodies. Ice is very destructive, and it can seep into structures, destroying them from the inside. Having a dock in this kind of climate will make it hard for any activity to take place on a pier. 

The lift-up dock for boats solves all these issues by having the ability to be lifted into the air by being hooked to a winch strong enough to lift and lower the dock up and down. To be able to set this type of dock up, you need to have a waterbed that is firm enough to secure the dock well because this type of dock requires all the support it needs from all directions for it to be able to work.

Permanent Docks

Source: Pinterest

Permanent docks are ideal for people who are sure of their future, knowing that they will not be moving any time soon as they are not cheap to construct, but are the best floating pier you will ever come across. They are a type of concrete floating docks that are very durable and usually last for many years without sustaining any damage. They have great stability, thanks to the use of great materials like metal and, most times, concrete that are well anchored to the seabed for extra support.

However formidable permanent docks may be, they cannot escape the ice because that has the ability to destroy the dock from the inside once the water has seeped in and solidified. Therefore, you should forgo building this type of dock if you live in a cold climate area. The dock also requires stable waters without any rough or extreme weather as that may end up bumping your boat against the solid dock, and that means instant damage.

Why Do You Need a Plastic Floating Pier?

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Floating docks come with a number of benefits that make it necessary for boat and waterfront property owners to own. They come in varying designs and shapes, and they may cost a lot but having one is necessary because of the following reasons.

Floating piers offer platforms for anchoring your boats and other water vessels like jet skis. These are expensive things that could get damaged easily if they are left at the mercy of the water. Some can even sink. But a floating pier provides a solid footing for them to be anchored to keep them grounded in one place even when the weather becomes rough.

Floating piers increase the value of the property significantly, owing to how much investment it takes to set them up. When you transform your property by adding a floating pier, the price value goes up immediately, and if you choose to sell at some point in the future, you will make more than what you paid for in the first place.

They make access to the property easier and more convenient. Living near water bodies is not an easy thing since water is a force of nature that can go rogue at any moment. Therefore, adding a pier makes access to what you own easier. For instance, having a floating gangway connecting the pier to the house makes it easy for you to walk from your house to the boat anytime you want.

It provides a hangout place, an extension to your property that gives you more ways of making the most of your property. You can add a gazebo, for instance, where your friends and family can come around to enjoy some good times during summer. With the right licenses, you can even start a business that can bring you extra income.

It is much safer and cheaper to have a floating pier if you own water vessels. Safe because a floating pier is what separates you from the eater every time you try to access the boat, for instance. Without a pier, you will be reduced to taking risks like wading or using other means to reach the boat. It is cheaper because the cost of renting drive-on boat dock space in another palace can be quite high.

How to Install Your Own Plastic Floating Pier

As we have established, there are many types of floating piers, some too advanced and some simple enough for you to quickly make from the comfort of your property. The following are some quick steps that you can use to set up a functioning plastic floating pier.

Start by assembling the dock materials, and in this case, you would be making a simple floating dock that only requires some wood, buoyant plastic tanks, and ropes/chains for anchorage to the shore.

Begin by constructing the frame to create the skeleton that will house the decking and, at the same time, be placed over the plastic tanks to form a floating platform.

Add the plastic tanks/barrels under the frame and add more supports like ropes and other agents for securing it safely. Ensures that everything is tight to avoid any movement.

Secure the corners of the barrels with ropes, chains, or brackets, creating blockades that will stop water from seeping in. There’s no limit to the number of restraints that you can use; the aim here is to limit the chances of water getting into the barrels to ensure they remain buoyant.

Launch the structure into the water with the barrels below. Make sure the structure is anchored to the shore by a rope so that it doesn’t float away accidentally. Use this tag to check for any faults. For example, if it sinks, then you will have to pull it out and investigate the source of that.

If everything is okay, then drill the planks in to form the decking, and you will have a floating pier ready for use. This is not a one-man job, so get a few friends over or just hire professionals to handle it for you.


A floating pier is the best thing you can ever get for your waterfront property; they are economical and necessary if you ever want to have a successful boating life. There are many other types of exhaust that are worth your attention, and you can always check them out online. For more information, check out our website and have all the questions you may have answered.

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