How to Make a Floating Dock

Floating dock in the works image by


A floating dock, used mainly in calm rivers or lakes, is the perfect floating device for diving off into the water or sunbathing and relaxing on, in the middle of the water. Making a floating dock will take time and effort. You can either have it made and shipped or build one yourself. Making one near the water is recommended since it will be difficult to move once it is finished. Follow these tips to make your own.

Step 1

Frame the dock. Cut four pieces of plywood 16 feet long. These will be 2x6 (2 inches thick and 6 inches wide). Cut 15 pieces of of 2x6 pieces shorter than 16 feet. An approximate length will be 15 feet and 9 inches. Measure the lumber's thickness and double it. Then deduct that number from 16 feet. Put 16 feet long planks on the outside of the frame. The shorter planks go on the inside.

Step 2

Drill two holes at each end of the planks. Screw the corner metal bracket at each end of floating dock. Use 9/16 bolts with nuts and washers on the inside of the frame. Be sure to tighten it.

Step 3

Put Styrofoam billets inside the frame. Lay them on the ground making three rows of two billets. Then mark where the floor joists will go with a pencil. This will be every 16 inches along top of the frame. Nail the floor joists with the galvanized nails. These will hold the billets in place. Place 16 short 2 x 6 retainers. There will be eight in the middle row and four on the other two rows to prevent the billets from moving sideways.

Step 4

Nail boards that are 1-inch thick, 6 inches wide and 16 inches long across the top of the floating dock. Then paint the plywood in order to preserve the wood from the water. You can also buy more expensive type wood in order to avoid painting.

Step 5

Measure each corner. Measure 6 feet one way and 8 feet the other way. Make marks at those spots. Then measure from the corner to each mark and you should get 10 feet. This will make a perfect 16x16 floating dock. Adjust if needed, by using a crowbar to pry the corners and move the boards.

Step 6

Add on tires for weight and decoration. These tires can be roped on or nailed on depending on what you want. There are a number of floating docks that have about two tires on each side.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Wrench
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • 9/16 wood bit
  • Tape measure
  • Six Styrofoam billets
  • Four pieces of corner metal brackets
  • 32 machine bolts/32 large washers
  • 4-inch galvanized spiral nails
  • 32 boards of 1-inch thick, 6 inches wide and 16 inches long
  • 16 retainers 2x6

Who Can Help

  • Information about different kinds of docks
  • Information about buying a floating dock
Keywords: dock

About this Author

Laura Hageman has written varied articles on real estate to entertainment topics for the past three years. Hageman wrote a romantic comedy novel entitled Her Desire listed on She has written for Web sites such as CurrentForeclosures and Triond over the course of 7 years. Hageman holds a Bachelor's degree in Arts.

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