Floating docks are great places to dock boats and other watercraft. Because they float, they are always at the same height relative to the watercraft, making getting on and off easier. Floating docks are used for a variety of purposes from docks to bridges to platforms for small buildings.
Floating docks generally consist of drums or floats made of aluminum or plastic (often filled with polystyrene) topped with a deck of aluminum, plastic, or wood. Floating docks are generally easy to install, with more complex structures sometimes requiring poles or pilings or cables. A gangplank connects the dock to land and is usually hinged and rests on rollers to accommodate for water level changes.
How to Install a Floating Dock
For a dock that has a gangway anchored to land:
Step 1: Install the floating dock platform(s)
Step 2: Anchor the floating docks with pilings or poles driven into the seafloor or lake bed. With low current, docks can be anchored with cables to anchors or land.
Step 3: Anchor the gangplank on a hinged foundation on land. The other end of the gangplank rests on rollers on the dock. Make sure the gangplank is long enough that it can be used at extremely low tides.
Installing a Floating Dock on a Mooring
Floating docks can be anchored to a mooring by a single loop of rope that is attached to an anchor post on the beach. The dock can be pulled to shore to access the watercraft. To install a floating dock on a mooring:
Step 1: Set an anchor above the high-water line on land.
Step 2: Use a single loop of rope that will reach (tautly) between the anchor on land and the mooring.
Step 3: Attach the loop through a pulley to the mooring.
Step 4: Attach the other end of the loop through a pulley to the anchor on land. A small pool float on one of the lines will help you know which end to pull to retrieve the dock.
Step 5: Attach the floating dock fore and aft to one length of the loop.