6 Different Kinds of Floating Docks: Which is the Best? - hiseadock
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6 Different Kinds of Floating Docks: Which is the Best?

April 15, 2020
floating dock
Source: Pinterest

Getting a floating dock as an extension for your home property can be regarded as an additional investment. It can be a place where family and friends can bond and enjoy swimming, fishing, or boating.  Floating docks look great on ocean bays and lakes. They are versatile, customizable, cost-effective, and, most of all –can be installed and removed easily. However, there are several materials you have to choose from if you want this platform on your waterfront. Here is a list of 6 different kinds of floating docks along with the pros and cons of installing each of them.

Table of Contents

Perks of Choosing Floating Docks

Here are some advantage points of getting a floating dock:

Quick to Install

Building and installing a floating dock can be quick and easy since there are prebuilt docks available in the market. Also, they do not have to be fixed into the lake or seabed.

Easy to Remove

Almost all floating docks are handy and accessible. You can extend a floating dock’s lifespan by removing it from the water when not being used.

Versatile

Floating docks are flexible since they can ride the tide. They can adjust to the rising and dropping water levels, making them a handy tool when you need to get on and off your watercraft.

Cost-effective

Since floating docks only require fewer materials and less time to construct plus install, they cost considerably less than stationary docks.

Customizable

Modular floating docks can be rearranged as many times as you like. You can create a straight line, U-shape, or L-shape, depending on your preference.

Different Types of Floating Docks

In constructing a floating dock, there is no material that is generally best or worst than other types. This signifies that different materials simply offer different attributes. Here are the different kinds of floating docks, featuring their perks and drawbacks.

Plastic Floating Docks

This type of waterfront solution is basically made of plastic that is covered from chemically-derived tough components. This is the reason why they neither oxidize nor deteriorate.

Advantage

Plastic floating docks can be your most affordable option. What is more, they require lesser maintenance, do not rot nor develop rust. They are lightweight and modular so can be easily dismantled and stored. You can use them as docks for jet skis, lakes, swimming, and more!

Disadvantage

Even though plastic floating docks are made from UV-treated materials, they can eventually experience sun damage, discoloration, and get some cracks. Because of this, they will likely need a replacement.

A side view of a plastic floating bridge
Source: Hisea Dock
wooden floating dock
Source: Tiger Docks

Wooden Floating Docks

A wooden floating dock has a natural look that everyone likes. This dock can be made of different kinds of wood.

Advantage

Wood material naturally floats, is durable, and can be easily cut into shapes. There is a variety of choices available in terms of the type of wood and design.

Disadvantage

Wooden floating docks can be costly, depending on the type of wood. More than that, their maintenance needs extensive sanding, staining, and sealing for them to last several years.

Aluminum Floating Docks

Aluminum decking can be another option. The aluminum element is known to be lightweight but durable.

Advantage

Aluminum floating docks are generally known for their durability. They can tolerate an encounter from a boat or even a beating from the storm because they are more resilient than plastic and wood.

Disadvantage

Even though aluminum is resistant to corrosion, it is not immune to it. Therefore, an aluminum floating dock may rust over time. Also, aluminum decking is costly.

A wooden floating dock for ponds and lakes
Source: Pinterest
concrete floating dock
Source: Garland Marine

Concrete Floating Docks

Concrete floating docks have been widely used in the marine industry for decades. They are made of individual foam-filled concrete models associated with a wood whaler system. This method can produce any size or configuration.

Advantage

Concrete floating structures are famous in the residential market because they do not require high maintenance, yet they can last for more than 30 years. You may choose from a variety of colors and stamped textures.

Disadvantage

Concrete floating docks are challenging to connect and anchor, and they are corrosive, especially under saltwater. Also, you will need professional help to install these.

Fiberglass Floating Docks

Fiberglass floating docks are starting to rise in the decking trade. They are lightweight and aesthetically pleasing.

Advantage

Fiberglass material promises a non-skid surface of your dock and guarantees zero dock maintenance, aside from its clear, neat looking surface.

Disadvantage

Although it is becoming a trend, this structure is expensive.

fiberglass floating dock
Source: Marina Boca Chica
inflatable floating dock
Source: Aqua Marina

Inflatable Floating Docks

Inflatable docks are collapsible docks that are made of plastic. They need to be fully inflated to float on water.

Advantage

Inflatable floating docks are typically used for water recreational activities. They can be nearly durable to be used for docking small vessels like jet skis.

Disadvantage

They are generally not used for boarding platform. Large inflatable platforms, like floating islands, are not that stable to use for boat boarding since they are neither durable nor permanent.

Conclusion

Floating docks come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you choose one made of plastic or concrete depends on your preference, budget, and other factors. Hopefully, this guide was able to give you an idea of what to expect from each kind of floating dock. You can also check our floating dock buying guide to learn more. If you have any more questions reach out to us today. Also check out the top floating dock manufacturers to make the right choice. 

If you want to know more about floating docks, please check out our other articles:

Top 10 Floating Dock Construction Plans

How to Build a Plastic Floating Dock: Guidelines for Assembly

Top 10 Cool Floating Dock Designs for Different Applications

Customize a Floating Dock that Works Best for You.

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