Category Archives: Dock Design

Things To Keep In Mind When Buying a Waterfront Home

Buying a home on the water is a great investment that will provide great views and hours of fun. However, the process of finding the perfect property is difficult. There are several factors to consider when inspecting a waterfront home. You need to make sure that the waterfront is in good condition, and will fit your needs. Real estate agents have no problem selling someone barely passable marine equipment to make a quick buck. Today we’ll look at a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you aren’t getting duped into buying a home that isn’t the right fit.

Waterfront Home

Factors to Consider When Inspecting A Waterfront Home

The Water

When buying a home on the water, you’ll first want to make sure that you’d like to live on the lake you’re looking at. You’ll want to make sure the water quality is good, the traffic isn’t too crazy, and check to see what the water levels typically are at every year. This step requires the most research but it’s important to see if you are the right fit for the lake community. In housing divisions and coves, it’s a good idea to watch the traffic of the lake during the evening hours. If there’s a lot of boat traffic, it’ll prevent you from having a peaceful evening if that’s what you seek.

To make sure the water is up to your standard, don’t be afraid to take a quick dip to decide. If the water stinks, is very murky, and full of algae you probably wouldn’t to live there. Obviously it’s a lot easier said than done to find the perfect lake, but patience is always key. The main takeaway you’ll need to see no matter the quality of water is the depth. Make sure your water is deep enough for boats to drive through. This is usually around 5′ – 8′. If the water is too shallow you won’t be able to own a dock or boat lift.

The Dock

The main reason someone would want to pay a premium to live on the water is because they want to get out and enjoy it. Part of that equation requires a boat dock, which needs to be in good condition or you’ll spend thousands more to replace it. When looking into a waterfront property, make sure to inspect the dock. Look at the decking, frames, and floats. If the decking is starting to warp, wood is starting to splinter, or nails are sticking out, then the decking will need replaced. Floats are also going to need replaced if they are barely holding a dock above water. Having to replace the decking or re-float the dock is the thing you’ll have to worry the least about as they are small repairs. If the frames are rusted, you’ll need to replace the dock entirely.

The whole point is to make sure you’re not spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house to have to spend thousands more to get on the water. If you find a great house but inspect to see that it has a terrible dock, the price should reflect that. It shouldn’t be the same price as a fully operational waterfront.

The Seawall

The final factor to consider when buying a waterfront home is the shoreline. Over time, water will erode sand and dirt away causing a shoreline to recede. This might not sound like a big problem, but losing land on your property is going to hurt your investment. To help protect your investment, check if the property you are looking at has a seawall. If it does, make sure that the wall is in good condition by looking for gaps or warps. You obviously don’t want to pay full price for a property if the seawall is going to need replaced. There is another form of protection that is cheaper and more natural, rip-rap. By placing stone down along the shoreline, it provides an extra layer of protection to prevent erosion. So if you don’t see a wall but do see a layer of rock, you’ll be OK. For more information about shoreline protection, check out our page here.

Buying a home on the water is a difficult process that you need to be prepared for. If there are times when you feel overwhelmed during the process, just think about the beautiful payoff on the water. Make sure that everything on the property is in working order and in good condition. If you need any equipment inspected, our expert team will do so free of charge and recommend a plan to restore working condition. Feel free to contact us for a free quote, or give us a call at (317) 747-4933.

The ADA Kayak Launch: Getting More People on the Water

Living near a public or community dock is a great way for people who love the water to be able to get out and access it. It’s a great source of fun and entertainment that should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. However, if a dock isn’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards then a large portion of people aren’t going to be able to access the water with your dock. Making sure your dock follows all the guidelines set by the ADA will ensure that everyone can have fun out on the water.

Safely Getting on the Water with an ADA Kayak Launch

Among the many popular water activities, kayaking keeps increasing in popularity.  Many public parks and summer camps see this increase in kayaking popularity, and in turn they would like to increase the kayaking traffic on their water. While most able-bodied people can safely get into a kayak, there’s always a risk of falling into the water if the kayak isn’t supported.

Fortunately, there’s a solution available for everyone! With the EZ Launch system from EZ Dock, people of all body function are able to safely launch in and out of the water without every worrying about getting wet. The EZ Launch system provides a stable platform for people to place their kayak, and it comes with an ADA certified transfer bench station to safely transfer in and out of the vessel. This provides everyone an opportunity to safely and securely access the water. An EZ Launch system is a great investment because it will increase traffic for your park or waterfront.

If you’re interested in an ADA accessible kayak launch system, Deaton’s Waterfront Services is here to help! We specialize in making sure our docks meet all ADA guidelines to help get everyone on the water. For more information, reach out to us to request a free quote, or give our office a call at (317)747-4933. Our team of experts will work with you to design the dock that perfectly fits all your needs.

 

The Effects Weather Can Have On A Dock

Winter weather is known by many as a dock’s worst enemy. Harsh weather can have catastrophic effects on a dock such as rusted frames, rotten/destroyed decking, broken bolts, and more. Deaton’s Waterfront Services is luckily here to inform all about the negative effects weather will have on a dock, and ways to prevent them.

Factors of Weather That Affect Docks

There are several factors to take into consideration when a new dock is in the design phase. While it is easy to move quickly in the short term of getting a new dock, it could end up becoming very costly long term. Thankfully the experts at Deaton’s have 30 years of experience, and are trained to account for factors such as:

  • Wind Load
  • Snow Load
  • Earth Shifting
  • Sink Holes
  • Ice
  • Temperature
  • Water Fluctuation

These factors should not only be considered for just the dock, but also for any accessories that may go along with it. This includes lifts, PWC ports, launches, slides, ladders, and more. The team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services is equipped to ensure a worry-free installation. This includes anything related to the waterfront: docks, walls, and lifts. Now let’s take a look at how the weather will impact the different types of docks.

Weather Effects on a Floating Dock

Floating docks are better equipped to handle rougher weather, but not by much. The key difference between the two docks’ reaction to weather is that a floating dock will fluctuate with water.  A floating dock is just as susceptible to rotten decking and rusted frames as a stationary dock is. The ways to combat harsh weather in a floating dock is all in the quality of the build. A hot-dipped galvanized steel dock with a weather-resistant decking and thick-shelled floats will handle rough weather a lot better than a wooden dock with cheap floats.

Any floating dock will have a maximum weight capacity. The maximum weight that can be carried or supported will be rated by the buoyancy that is underneath the frame and decking. Typically we like to see at least a buoyancy of #25-95 pounds of live load per square foot. Live load is the optimal buoyancy you can maintain across the square footage of your floating platform that’s on the water. The floats are the largest factor you need to consider, most flotation over time will develop lack of optimal buoyancy. This contributes to the dock losing freeboard. “Freeboard “is the measurement from the water line to the top of the dock. Measured freeboard of a floating boat dock depends on the usage, or watercraft that will be using it. Typical freeboard is from 5”- 40”, Deaton’s Waterfront Services can help you measure the recommended proper freeboard.

Weather Effects on a Stationary Dock

Stationary dock structures are anchored by having poles, pilings, or supports being driven or anchored into the bottom of the lake bottom. This is a nice and stable way for installation that creates a solid platform. The biggest worry to this dock is ice / landshift. If the anchors or pilings settle or get shifted with ice or land movement this will cause the dock to be unlevel, and dangerous to use. There are ways to combat this by using bubblers, water attenuators, or have shoreline stabilization installed. A lot of this can be overcome by doing some core samplings of the soil, and making sure to take the necessary measures.

If the weather affects your dock in any way, or you are interested in designing a new dock feel free to request a quote from us. Our team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services will be happy to help. Give us a call at (317) 747-4933 or stop by our office located at 215 S. Madison St, Fortville, IN 46040.

Outdoor Education Ideas for Water Nature Trail Setups

Getting outside of the classroom and up close with nature is a great way to helps kids and young students ask new questions. Whether you’re organizing a classroom field trip or just looking for ways to give your own children a little adventure, these nature walk ideas can keep everyone engaged for a good time.

Water and Nature Walk Activities for Kids

While you don’t always need to do an activity when you’re enjoying your time in nature, it’s sometimes useful to give students a rough guide to direct their interests. Older students might have a specific curriculum to follow as part of their environmental sciences class, but for younger kids, the following nature walk activities can be a fun place to start:

    • Scavenger Hunt – a grid with pictures or icons can encourage students to find specific types of leaves, birds, or even spider webs
    • Sensory Worksheet – simply describing what you hear, see, smell, and feel while outside can be an interesting exercise for younger students
    • Map Drawing – practicing spatial thinking with custom maps can give kids a new perspective on their environment or where the trail starts and ends

Planning your nature walk around a water feature will provide even more options. Activities around the water could include building small boats out of foam board. Students can also look for minnows or other fish in the water while on a trail’s floating dock walkway. If it’s easy to get close to the water’s edge, kids can even take the water’s temperature, collect interesting rocks, or do simple tests to see what kind of objects float or sink. Sometimes it’s nice to do these types of experiments outdoors instead of in the classroom.

Other Questions for Outdoor Exploration

People of all ages can improve their nature walk experience by staying curious about their surroundings. Did the weather seem to change when you stepped on to the trail? Simply walking on a dirt path is a lot different than walking across a parking lot! Maybe you’re making your way across a floating dock. How does the water look around you? Does the air feel or smell different too?

Before you even head out on your walk, though, you’ll probably want to think about other items for your excursion. Apart from being dressed appropriately and grabbing a water bottle or some snacks, it might be helpful to have a few other supplies to make your nature walk even better:

    • Do you want to take pictures on your nature walk?
    • Will you bring art supplies to create something new?
    • Can you get a magnifying glass or binoculars for a close-up look?

It’s becomes easier to appreciate nature and the changing seasons and weather when we’re actively asking ourselves questions about how we’re feeling and what’s going on around us. These practices are great no matter how old or young you are!

Need Help with an EZ Dock Trail System?

Our crew at Deaton’s Waterfront Services designs, installs, and repairs nature trails, floating docks, and more. We’re big fans of all things related to water and the outdoors. If you have a project coming up for your school, park, or lake house, we’d love to help you out.

When your waterfront feature is planned correctly from the get go, you’ll be able to enjoy it worry-free for years or even decades to come. We routinely work with EZ Dock Trail Systems because they’re both non-invasive and extremely versatile for all types of environments. If you’d like to learn more or start talking about a quote, please feel free to send us a message.

Fun Waterfront Features for Summer Camps and Parks

Every recreational dock has a different setup. But there are some key waterfront features that you don’t want to miss. Whether you’re getting ready for a new dock build or just want to make some general repairs and improvements, consider adding these options!

3 Features for Your Camp or Park Dock

If you ask us, one of the best ways to enjoy sunny summer days is to head to the water. Public parks and kids’ summer camps can always benefit from a great dock layout. We love incorporating the following design elements into our work. Any of these features can help guests and campers enjoy more of what your waterfront has to offer.

1. Swim Platform

For most lakes, a swim platform is a must. A small floating dock can give swimmers a great place to rest or soak up the sun. People can have a fun time jumping or diving into the middle of your lake, and it’s all for a relatively low investment. Get your swim platform installed correctly, and it will last for years and years.

2. Low Profile Access

Another thing to think about for your dock is low profile access. When people want to use a kayak or canoe, a low profile dock section can be a helpful bonus. These designs make it easier to get in and out of your boat, on just about any body of water. They are great for rowing teams, too. Parks and camps looking to get a brand new dock should definitely look into these styles.

3. Fishing Pier

You also have to think about the people who enjoy the water, but don’t want to swim or go boating. Building a fishing pier (or improving the one your site already has) can help you cover all of your bases for the general public. If you don’t know where to start, talk with some experienced dock builders in your area. They can help you assess your site and determine what type of floating dock, walkway, or pier you need to accommodate your guests.

Plan for Waterfront Safety and ADA Docks

With any new public dock or fishing pier, you want to consider safety. The right measurements for your water depth, dock length, and slope all matter for new waterfront features. You don’t want a swim platform to be installed too close to the shore. You don’t want to miss any secure railings for your fishing pier either. These might sound like obvious details, but they’re worth double-checking. Find yourself a good contractor so your site stays safe.

Also, consider guests of different abilities. Designing with the ADA-compliant guidelines in mind can help you make your park or camp more accessible to everyone. A review of your existing layout could be a smart place to start. Then you can just make the upgrades you need, rather than redesigning your entire waterfront.

Give our team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services a call when you’re ready to talk through your options. We’re always happy to consult with you on your best options for your site, and more importantly—all of your visitors!

Complimentary Waterfront Designs for Architects, Engineers, and More

When we’re planning a new waterfront designs, we can’t always operate as a one-person show. Most of the time, a collaborative process is best. You just need to have the right team. Getting experience on your side—from a variety of sources—can help bring your vision to life.

That’s where our crew at Deaton’s Waterfront Services can come into play. We’re proud to offer complimentary design services for architects, engineers, and surveyors. It’s a seamless add-on for any project. Together, we can get the job done.

The Best Features for Your Waterfront Project

No matter what your waterfront project might be, you always need to get the design work squared away at the start. Whether you’re designing a new public park and want an ADA-compliant fishing platform, or you’re planning to build an expanded floating dock for a marina, a waterfront design team can help you think through all the details and options.

Some of the best features for your waterfront project might include a custom floating dock, kayak launch, or boardwalk. Working with a professional dock builder can be a great way to get your own design working as it should.

For example, do you know how much space you need for your dock? Have you considered added a convenience factor like a kayak launch of fishing pier to appeal to a wider audience? How will you know that your boardwalk and gangways are up to code for the ADA guidelines? Our team has a wide range of experience with all of these concerns and more.

A Seamless Process for Waterfront Designs

Even if you’ve worked on waterfront projects in the past, it’s nice to have a second set of eyes. Engineers and architects for waterfront properties appreciate our level of precision and attention to waterfront safety. The same goes for surveyors and managers—for any type of waterfront property. Whatever your needs might be, we’d be happy to discuss your options.

While you’re busy overseeing the entire design process, let us help with the logistics for your dock design, boardwalk, and specialty features. We can work with you to find the right placement for your kayak launches, fishing piers, other platforms, and more. Take advantage of our free designs (all done in-house) to have a truly seamless process for getting your total concepts approved.

Ready to Partner with Deaton’s?

Our goal is to help make your planning stage go as smoothly as possible. We know you’re putting a lot of thought into your new waterfront designs, and we want to support your process. Deaton’s Waterfront Services proudly partners with architects, engineers, and surveyors throughout the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, and Missouri.

Do you have other questions about our complimentary dock design process? Want more information on our designs for other waterfront features? Please give us a call at (317) 747-4933. Once we have the right information about your site, we’ll be able to dive right in to designing!

Planning ADA Fishing Piers with Your Dock Builder

When you’re in charge of a public dock, you want to make sure that visitors can enjoy their favorite waterfront activities in a safe and convenient way. That’s why the Accessibility Guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are so important. An ADA-compliant fishing pier gives everyone the chance to reel in a big catch!

ADA Checklist for Your Public Fishing Pier

Incorporating some practical features with your fishing pier design helps sites stay compliant with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). A good place to start is with an accessible route to the fishing pier or platform entrance. It’s not enough to have ramps for the fishing area itself. Visitors must first be able to reach the site. This is the first item on the ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities. From there, you can begin to assess some of your other features, including:

  • Gangway Slope and Length
  • Transition Plates/Ramp Landings
  • Handrails and Railings
  • Clear Floor Space
  • Edge Protection

If you don’t know what to watch for, following the guidelines can sometimes seem daunting. But when you’re working with an experienced team of dock builders, you’ll be able to include all of the ADA fishing pier features with a seamless design. You don’t have to figure out the details all on your own.

For example, dock builders can help confirm that the gangway slope is no more than 1:12. Or, they can work with you to redesign the route for a longer length. They can also help you add a transition plate and a landing, as needed, to make your fishing pier’s ramps more accessible. Paying attention to floating platform or pier movement from wind and waves is another key part of an ADA-compliant site, as this can affect the slope. You’ll also need to make sure you’re providing plenty of fishing opportunities with lowered railings. All of these details should be factored in to your overall design.

Fishing Pier ADA Guidelines for Railing Dispersion

The easiest thing to notice on an ADA-compliant fishing pier is probably the guards. The railings should include sections of a 34” maximum height to give easy fishing access to individuals in wheelchairs. We all want to have the right railings for casting our line, so you’ll need to measure appropriately.

When you look around your fishing pier, at least 25 percent of the handrails and guards in the fishing area need to be below that 34” height. To give enough variety for fishing, these sections should also be dispersed throughout the pier or platform. Different locations can offer varying water depth, shade, and vegetation. Some might be closer to the shoreline, and others could be farther away. That way, there will be lots of fishing choices for each visitor.

Public dock managers should also look at the clear space near these sections. There should be at least one maneuvering space of 30” by 48” inches for wheelchairs to easily turn around. That, plus a 2” curb or barrier will help keep these areas compliant. It takes a lot of measuring, but again, the right dock builders can work with you to get the job done.

Existing Dock Alterations vs. New Dock Builds

Your public fishing pier should be a safe and welcoming environment for people of all abilities. Knowing how to follow the ADAAG can help your community thrive. Whether you’re ready to upgrade your existing facility with an ADA fishing pier or platform, or you’re looking to build a ADA-compliant waterfront feature from the ground up, it always helps to have experience on your side.

Our crew at Deaton’s Waterfront Services is passionate about building docks and fishing piers that are up to code for all types of public waterfront sites. If you aren’t sure where to begin, feel free to give us a call at (317) 747-4933. Our service area covers Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. We’ve worked on a variety of ADAAG projects over the years, and we’d be happy to help you out too!

Beginner Kayak Features to Get You Out on the Water

You don’t have to stick to boating to enjoy your time on the water. Learning how to kayak can be a great hobby to pick up at any age. If you aren’t a fan of swimming, or it’s not safe to swim around your waterfront site, then kayaking can be a fun way to exercise—you just need to know how to start out.

Using a Kayak Launch on the Dock

The first thing to practice when you’re beginning to kayak is how to get in and out of the kayak. Some areas will only give you the option to get into your kayak from the shore. In that case, move the kayak as close to the water as possible. Then just climb in, sit down, and you should be able to push yourself into the water with your arms. Once you’re floating, you’ll be able to start paddling.

The other way to get into your kayak is from a dock. When your dock has a designated kayak launch, sitting down is usually much easier. Otherwise, you have to carefully balance your kayak as you step into it. Depending on the dock and water level, you might have quite a drop into the water!

A kayak launch is usually more convenient, especially for beginners. These setups let you ease yourself into the kayak in a secure, stable way. We like the EZ Kayak Launch because it’s durable and slip-resistant. It also goes above and beyond the ADA requirements, so pretty much anyone can use it to safely enter and exit their kayak. If you have questions about installing this feature for your waterfront, we’d be happy to help.

Learning How to Paddle a Kayak

There are four basic paddle strokes for navigating your kayak. Even as a beginner kayaker, it’s pretty simple to master these movements. The first one is the forward stroke. You start with one end of the paddle in the water, down by your toes. Then you pull back so the paddle’s blade ends up near your hip. Next, slightly twist your body forward as you put the other end of the paddle into the water on the opposite side. Soon you’ll get into a rhythm and be moving right along.

The reverse stroke is simply the backwards motion of the forward stroke. Instead of pulling back on the blade, you push the paddle away from your chest so it goes toward your toes. As you back up, just remember to watch where you’re headed so you don’t run into anything.

If you’re trying to move alongside another kayak, then you’ll need to use the draw stroke. This is where you stick a paddle blade in the water and pull yourself over. You’ll want to reach over far enough so both of your hands are hovering over the water in the direction where you want to move. Rotate your body toward the blade and pull to draw your kayak to that side.

Finally, there’s the sweep stroke. This helps you turn your kayak quickly. You just need to make a half-moon or arc shape . To turn forward, put the blade in the front of your kayak and draw a curve in the water towards the back. Moving your body with the paddle makes this easier. To go backward, just start with your paddle in the back of the boat, then draw your arc toward your toes in the front.

Practice those four types of strokes, and you’ll quickly build your confidence on the water. You can also check the diagrams for these kayak stroke patterns to get a better idea of how to use your paddle.

Kayak Safety Tips and Reminders

Whether you’re planning to rent kayaks for the day or you’re ready to invest in some kayaks to keep, brushing up on a few of the basics is a smart move. This article’s kayak buying guide can be a helpful resource as you sort through your options. Once you have your gear collected, you might be ready to get a kayak launch of your own. When you waterfront has a kayak launch, your transition from the dock to the water can go much smoother and safer. Being able to carefully enter and exit your kayak puts you in a better position to enjoy your time on the water.

It’s also important to wear a personal flotation device whenever you’re enjoying a watersport. Grab some sunscreen and snacks, and you should have a nice time with some good weather. Stick to areas that match your skill level, and have fun on the water!

Our Favorite Community Dock Projects of 2018

As we get into another year, we like to look back on past success. We completed a lot of waterfront projects in 2018, but a couple stand out. Our two favorite public dock projects are unique because they each have special features that make them a “first” for the state of Indiana.

Because both of these Indiana docks are on public sites, you can go check them out for yourself. They’ll be sure to get a lot of traffic in the years ahead. We’re always honored to help with community dock projects. These two installations are definitely great park additions!

Cicero Kayak Launch on Morse Lake

Deaton’s Waterfront Services had the privilege of working on a new kayak launch located in Cicero, Indiana on Morse Lake in the first half of 2018. Located in Charlie’s Landing inside Red Bridge Park, the kayak launch is now a major focal point and an extremely popular attraction for the area. We celebrated the ribbon cutting on June 20, 2018 with over 300 people in attendance, including politicians and dignitaries from the surrounding area.

Red Bridge Park

697 W Jackson Street

Cicero, IN 46034

This public dock kayak launch was made possible through a grant process guided by Cicero Park Director Charlie Cambre, along with donations from numerous Cicero Park enthusiasts. It’s always nice to involve the community with these park upgrades.

What makes this project unique is that it’s the very first ADA kayak launch in all of Central Indiana. Special features make it safe and convenient for visitors of all abilities. The gangway that leads to the main dock measures 5’ x 32’ and has aluminum railing on both sides of the walkway. The gangway leading to the floating dock portion also has plenty of room for users. Multiple paddlers can now access the launch simultaneously.

With a 15’ x 20’ area and two accessible kayak/canoe launches, this is a new must-see destination for paddling enthusiasts, as well as first-time kayakers and canoers.

Laporte EZ Trail System on Little Calumet River

Our other favorite project of 2018 was an EZ Trail System for Red Mill County Park, located on the Little Calumet River in LaPorte, Indiana. Deaton’s Waterfront Services was hired to connect the Cattail Loop Trail with the Nature Preserve Trail. This new floating walkway is now called the Margaret Buerger Bridge.

Red Mill County Park

0185 South Holmesville Road

LaPorte, IN 46350

This EZ Trail System was also made possible through a grant. LaPorte County Parks Director Jeremy Sobecki worked to guide the application process. The result is something that the entire community can be proud of!

We are especially proud of this public dock project because it’s the very first floating observation walkway in Indiana. The environmentally-friendly structure allows the wetlands water to fluctuate during every season. So even though the water levels are different in the spring/summer to the fall/winter, the walkway will be able to rise and fall without disrupting the habitat.

The floating trail is 80” wide and stretches 240’ in length. Railing was installed on both sides. There are also benches on either side so visitors can stop to enjoy the views.

Got a Floating Dock Question? We Can Help!

Moving forward with a new dock for your public dock, local park, or commercial site can be a big undertaking. But at Deaton’s Waterfront Services, we’re here to simplify the process. From the initial consultation and design stage, right through the installation and until opening day, our team can help make your new dock project a success.

If you’d like to learn more about our process, be sure to send us a message or call our office at (317) 747-4933. We’re always happy to talk through your options, and we work all throughout Indiana and the surrounding states. Let’s talk!

Pros and Cons of a Stationary Dock vs. Floating Dock

A stable dock allows you to enjoy the water—whether you’re entering your watercraft or just hanging out by the waterfront. Yet these structures aren’t indestructible. Normal wear and tear might mean your stationary dock isn’t holding up like it used to. Is it time to upgrade your dock with repairs? Or do you need to spring for a total dock replacement?

The Difference Between Dock Types

Many dock owners have been satisfied with their stationary dock for years. But the newer dock options on the market might cause you to change your tune. Depending on your waterfront, a floating dock could be a better setup. Knowing the pros and cons of the two main dock types will help you make an informed decision.

Stationary Dock

Areas with high traffic tend to do well with stationary docks because these structures are less affected by watercraft activity and movement. Stationary docks also tend to work well for areas that tend to have a consistent water level. Plus, they can help give you a sturdy footing when you get in and out of your boat.

The problem with these systems, though, is that they can be difficult to repair. Issues with the pilings—especially in deep water—can be expensive to fix, and problems with warping or breaking are almost unavoidable. Dramatic shifts in the water tide can also make it tricky to enter the water or reach your watercraft safely.

Floating Dock

Swimming platforms and waterfronts with fluctuating water levels utilize floating docks because these systems can rise and fall with you water depth. This feature makes floating docks incredibly versatile for a variety of sites. Floating docks also tend to be more affordable to install and maintain.

On the flip side, a floating dock may not be your best option in areas with a lot of water traffic. Because these docks follow the ebb and flow of water, a busy area might make these types of systems uncomfortable for your needs.

Typical Stationary Dock Repairs

Being exposed to the elements can make it impossible for a stationary dock to last forever. Factors such as snow load and ice can wear down on your equipment. Then there’s the matter of sink holes or shifting earth. If you start to notice that your dock isn’t quite level, or that certain sections aren’t as stable as they used to be, it’s probably time to make some dock repairs.

Below the surface, your dock might be in need of piling replacements. Pilings are often the weak point of the structure, especially when ice and land shift come into play. Although repairs can be costly, they are necessary for a stationary dock. Ignore them, and you might be dealing with an incredibly unstable and unsafe dock—or even one that starts to slip under water!

Floating Dock Replacement Benefits

If you need a dock to support a boat lift, then you’ll have to stick with a stationary dock setup. But for other sites, a floating dock might be a better alternative. Unlike stationary docks, these structures adjust to where you boat is sitting in the water. That’s why it can be easier to enter and exit your boat from a floating dock, because these structures move with the water level. Some manufacturers even offer unique launch setups to make it even easier to enjoy your watercraft. EZ Dock products, for example, include low profile docks and canoe and kayak launches. These pieces can be great add-ons for a variety of dock layouts.

The other benefit of a floating dock is that it’s completely customizable. If you aren’t satisfied with your layout or need to expand, it’s relatively easy to make adjustments. Modular builds give you unlimited versatility with your design. Simply choose the pieces you’d like to add to your dock, install, and enjoy.

If you’d like a free estimate for a new boat dock, please contact our team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services. We’re always happy to collaborate on new designs. Let’s schedule a time to talk about your waterfront’s setup to find the dock that’s right for you!