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How to Create a Residential Dock for Your Boat

If you have property that has a nice lake but that doesn't have a dock for your boat, you may want to create such a dock or have one installed. A dock makes it easier to embark and disembark, and to load and unload gear that's needed for a day on the water. Keeping your boat tied to a dock can also be more convenient than having to use a trailer to haul it around, and can also mean no storage fees for the boat as well. If you need to create a residential dock on your property, note a few pieces you'll need and details to consider, so you end up with a dock that works for you and the boat.


A pontoon is a type of floating dock; this piece will be outfitted with flotation modules that are filled with air, and then a flat deck on top of those modules. When purchasing a pontoon, note the size of the deck according to the size of your boat, and the movement of the water; for a lake with stronger waves, you'll want a larger and heavier pontoon. For very shallow waters and a lightweight fishing boat, a small and lightweight pontoon can suffice.

Pontoons will usually have hardware for tying the boat, so check that these are aluminium, as aluminium is naturally resistant to rust. The flotation modules should also be resistant to sun damage and osmosis, so they don't decay and rot over the years. A quality pontoon should also have large buffers on at least the three sides of the pontoon that face the water; the larger and heavier your boat, the larger the buffers you'll need, to absorb impact from any collision.


If your boat is too big for shallow water, you might want to have your pontoon installed several feet or meters away from the shore. A quality ramp can accommodate this distance; ramps can be attached to a walkway, or have a concrete pad poured for them so they stay affixed. Look for an aluminium ramp, and one with a mesh floor will allow more water and sand to fall away from a motor you might be carrying with you, fishing gear, and the like. This will reduce the damage done to the ramp itself, and also keep it drier and safer. However, if you want a wood ramp, be sure you choose one with a hardwood surface, as hardwoods will resist absorbing moisture and water, and will suffer less rot and corrosion over time.