It is an oasis in the water – a perfect place to rest or launch from. A floating dock is a great addition to a private pond or waterway. Understanding the makeup of a pontoon play place can assist in how you buy, locate, install or build your own floating dock.

Pleasure Beach in Blackpool
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About Floating Docks

Basic Concept, Design and Construction

A good floating dock rises and falls with the tide or boat and jet ski wakes. The lightweight quay is positioned on pontoons and is portable to a degree. It can be towed in place and secured with a series of anchors.

Position the anchors at least every 30 feet. Anchor chain plates are installed where the anchor chain connects to the dock. Chains should be 5/16-inch galvanized grade 30. Anchors should weigh in at around 125 pounds apiece. Concrete square anchors limit movement and drag along the bottom in windy weather.

Always put a floating dry dock in place during calm weather. A muddy bottom is the best surface to hold an anchor. Clay bottom waterways require more weight to keep the floating dock in place while in use and during stormy weather.

Material Options

There are many materials that can make a durable dry dock that will float well without collapsing. They need to be flexible and lightweight in order to be moved as needed. They are put together in pieces so that they can be moved easily and expanded.

The dock starts with the frame, which can be made of wood and fiber-reinforced concrete, aluminum or composite materials. The floats, usually pontoons, should be snug in the frame when its complete. For the deck, choose material that won't swell in the water or heat up to unsafe temperatures in the sun and aren't too slippery when wet. Modified wood makes a non-slip surface that can soak up heat without transferring it to bare feet, shoulders and thighs. Fresh water docks need a minimum of .60 pcf pressure-treated wood and saltwater 2.5 or higher pcf.

Prefab or DIY?

Prefab floating docks are abundant on the market and come in a variety of sizes for any type of use, such as I-shaped docks for multi-water craft use or L-shaped for both water craft and swimmers to use at the same time safely.

If you plan to make your own dock, consider how many people or water crafts will need to use the dock as well as what its main purpose will be when you design the dock. Design ideas and materials are plentiful. Consider the soil, weather and water conditions in order to build a dock that is best suited for the area's environment.