Dock Installation: Tips for a Level and Straight Dock

Lead Image
  • 8-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 300-600
What You'll Need
12 inche diameter concrete forms
Tools- hammer, drill, measuring square, string line, stakes, power cords, 5-gal bucket
Ready mix concrete
Hardware- galvanized screws 3 inches, 16D galvanized nails

Boat dock installation is not an easy job. You have to be very careful while building a boat dock. Here are a few steps to build a straight, durable and useful boat dock.

Step 1- Plan the Layout

Designing and planning for docks is not an easy job, as there are many dock options and people have different needs. When you want to build a 3' x 24' boat dock, see to it that all your materials are in place. Start drawing a blue print, taking into account the different water levels, your boat and other things essential to make the material list and confirm that you are buying the correct sized boards.

Step 2- Set up the Perimeters

Set up your perimeters. Run all your stakes 2 inches past the total measurements of your dock. Fill up the gravel about half way in the 5-gal bucket. This will enable the bucket to float around with you in the water. Cut the height of the circle concrete forms perfectly to the required size as they should be 6 inches to 8 inches above the water level. Set the concrete forms at the point of about 4 inches past your string line, beginning with the corners. Cut the 4x4 post much longer than the required height, making sure that you broaden up the framing above. Position your post within your line.

Avoid touching the post to the line and fill each post form with bags of dry, ready-mix concrete. The concrete has to be dry because the forms will already be filled by water. Stir continuously and keep adding more concrete until it becomes thick.

Step 3- Set the Pitch

You might want to have a boat dock that has a 1/4 pitch sloping back. The best and simplest way of doing this is by marking each of the corners using chalk so you will be able to see the pitch line on all the posts. The starting height of the dock will depend on your requirements.

Step 4- Frame the Dock

In order to frame the dock, build three box frames to position them on the 4x4 posts of your dock. After setting them up on the posts, you will be able to see the outside border of your boat dock. Cut two 2x6 to 10', then using 16D nails, nail them up to the top of your center box frame, but avoid nailing into the part hanging over the middle box. Screw them in to make your boat dock removable during the winter.

Finish boarding up the exterior of the 2x4 box frames. Cut them to the full length so that you can use only one portion on each open box frame. When you look at it, the 2x6 should be on the side of the posts and the 2x4 should be above all the posts. Framing it this way makes it simple and removable.

Add the 1 ΒΌ inches deck boards to the top of the box frames. Screw the deck boards to frame. After all the deck boards are on, your work is done. Pull the center screw first when you want to remove the boat dock.