Even if your home or business sits on a lake, river, or oceanfront, owning a private dock gives several perks to property owners. Some of these include increasing the real estate value of your place, convenient access to the water, additional usage for water leisure activities, and getting extra security for your personal watercraft (PWC).
Nevertheless, before you install a docking system, several factors must be considered first. You have to contemplate the location, dock materials required, costings, durability, effects on the environment, and the likes. Are you interested to know more? Then let us discuss further!
Permanent and Removable Docks
There are many influences you have to consider in determining what type of dock do you need. For example, where do you plan to place your dock? Then you need to check the tides or bottom conditions as an additional factor to come up with an excellent decision in choosing the best dock for your waterfront.
Although there are various types of docks, each can be categorized as a removable or permanent dock. So if you are planning to place a dock in a residential or commercial area, you need to consider how your dock needs may vary.
Permanent or stationary docks are installed safely into the ground, and the built is intended to remain permanently. If you prefer to get a permanent dock, then you have two primary choices:
- Crib Docks - Crib docks are structured from wooden frames or crates that are called cribs, put at the water bottom. These fixed, customized wooden frames are filled with huge rocks and covered with decking.
They should last for decades since they are stable, yet pricey. However, crib docks may cause a long-term environmental concern like affecting the natural flow of water along the shoreline and disrupting nearby wildlife.
- Suspension Docks - Suspension docks are the exact opposite of crib docks as they hang over the water through cables and anchorage. Because of this, they have a modern presence and have much less impact on the environment. However, because of the engineering requirement in installation, suspension docks are time-consuming and very costly.
Like crib docks, installing suspension docks should not be constructed until all factors have been reflected carefully. This is because of some drawbacks that may not be immediately anticipated. For example, since suspension docks are fixed, they are forced to endure any potential harmful winds or water swells. So if the dock is composed of aluminum or wood, damaged parts may cost a lot.
They are generally proposed to be semi-permanent that can be expanded, reconstruct, or removed if needed. There are several kinds of removable docks, including these three:
- Piling Docks - They are built by injecting a large wooden beam called pilings deep into the waterbed. The dock is then attached to the piling that will allow the dock to rise and fall on the changing water levels. Piling docks are sturdy and can withstand strong currents, but they are costly to construct and maintain.
Hence, when selecting a piling dock, it is essential that you plan out its construction carefully. The success of this dock relies on structural integrity, so any cut corners could entirely cause huge worth of damage.
- Floating Docks - These docks are large platforms that float on the water’s surface. Floating docks are versatile since they can adapt to the water level’s condition. Because of this, they are the ideal waterfront solutions for lake, river, or seabeds that cannot support permanent docks.
What is more, they are more practical than other types since they usually have lesser permitting requirements. Moreover, in situations of severe weather, floating docks can be pulled away for a safer storage location and easily placed back when necessary.
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- Pipe Docks - Pipe docks are alike with piling docks but are commonly constructed with an aluminum frame with a removable docking system. However, they are less stable than piling docks but less expensive too. Pipe docks function well in shallow water that is not more than eight feet. Also, they are needed to be removed in the fall to avoid any damages to the pipes.
Selecting the Suitable Dock Material
Selecting the type of dock material is another consideration you need to think of, and it may take more time than you imagine. There are many features of both removable and permanent docks that will make each suitable for specific usages. Wood, plastic, and aluminum are three accessible docking materials you will surely consider. Even though all can provide a stable and reliable platform for launching watercraft, not all types have similar advantages.
Wooden docks are ideal for owners that seek for a natural, conventional look – and wood is aesthetically delightful to the eyes. Although wood is a popular boat decking component, it has disadvantages such as intensive maintenance, limited life shell, and safety hazards, plus it may be costly depending on the type of wood material.
Plastic decking is perfect for you if you prefer a durable and innovative docking system. This type of material is easy to install, has a longer life span, and can definitely go with your budget. Nowadays, plastic docks are the most preferred docking material because they don’t rust or rot, and has minor drawbacks compared to wood and aluminum materials.
Aluminum docks are known to be resilient, robust, stable, and some are lightweight. They can tolerate any beating from the storm or even an encounter from a boat. However, they are generally expensive, like wood, and need better upkeeping to avoid rusting.
To sum it up, selecting the perfect dock for your place may take much thinking. By narrowing it down through factors that you need to consider, like the location, type of dock, material composition, and cost, you will surely reach a better decision. If you are still skeptical about your choice, feel free to consult dock builders and professionals that can help you get more insight into the docking system.