Designing And Building A Boat Dock

What You'll Need
5 Gallon Bucket
Tape Measure
Measuring Square
String Line
Power Cords
Concrete Forms, 12" Circular
Ready Mixing Concrete
Hardware including galvanized nails and screws

You can learn the process of designing and building a boat dock quickly and easily, as long as you have the right tools.

Step #1: Design Dock, Gather Materials
The first thing that you are going to want to do is to design your boat dock. Then, gather the materials, making sure that you have everything that you need before you get started on this project. A simple dock is always a good way to go, but you can get more intricate if you choose to do so, just make sure that you have the right tool to finish the job. Gather all of the tools and materials beforehand so that you do not have to stop mid-project to run to the hardware store for a missing material.

Step #2: Set Up Perimeters
Run your stakes by stringing your perimeters out to approximately 2 feet past the measurements of your actual dock. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with gravel and cut your circle concrete forms to the right size. Keep in mind that your forms should be between 6 inches and 8 inches higher than the water level set. Level these forms up properly and then fill them with gravel so that they are kept in the proper place.

You should also begin filling posts with dry ready mix concrete, but do not bother adding water since the concrete forms are already going to have water in them. You can stir things together and then continue to add the concrete mix until it has thickened up nicely according to the manufacturer recommendations.

Step #3: Set Pitch
Now you are going to want to give your boat dock a sloping back pitch of approximately ¼, sloping back to the shore. The best way to achieve this is with the use of a chalk line, and you can snap it from one corner to the next to see what pitch line you have going on for each of the posts running along the center to get the right pitch.

Step #4: Frame Dock
Next, you are going to want to frame up the dock and get the rest of the building process started. This is where the instructions differ based on your own plans and depending on what type of dock you want to achieve.

If you are unsure about what you want to achieve in terms of designing and building your own boat dock, then you should consult a professional or purchase plans from a home building store.  You can also find building plans online, but should be careful to have the expertise to build. Make sure that you are following the building instructions, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Your safety, and the integrity of your boat, will depend on a precise execution of instructions.