A floating boat dock is one of the best ways to secure your boat while you are not using it. A floating dock is a mooring system for your boat where a floating raft-like structure is anchored to pilings on the sea floor with flexible post tension cables. But floating boat docks are not always the best solution for your docking needs. The following will provide the pros and cons of floating boat docks.
Floating Boat Dock Pros
- They are more buoyant and flexible.
- Easy to step on to and off of from your boat.
- They do not submerge during storms.
- Floating docks move with your boat.
- Pricing is equivalent between stationary docks and floating boat docks.
- They are most suited for significant vertical water movement.
- Easy installation is inherent with floating boat docks.
- They are recommended by the navy and coast guard in hurricane territory.
Floating boat docks are buoyant and considerably more flexible than stationary boat docks. This enables them to ride the waves with your boat better than stationary docks. If there is a storm and your boat is dancing around a stationary dock, it can slam into the dock damaging your boat, the dock or both. A floating dock avoids this problem. The flexibility also puts less stress on your lines and cleats.
Stepping on and off a floating boat dock is much easier because the distance between your boat and the dock stay about the same, regardless of varying water level conditions.
During a storm surge, a stationary dock could submerge, tearing off decking and creating under water debris. This loose debris could damage your hull, outdrive, or cause other problems.
Floating docks are ideal if your location has significant vertical water movement because the floating dock will ride up and down with the changes in sea level. Floating docks are very easy to install and in some cases can be installed without even getting in the water.
Floating Boat Dock Cons
- They tend to be heavier than stationary docks.
- Not good for heavy loading or unloading.
- Not good for strong current or tidal flows.
Floating docks tend to be heavier than their stationary counterparts because, ironically, the floatation devices add considerable weight to them. Because floating docks float, they are not useful for heavy loading or unloading as they can tip if a lot of weight is applied to one side of them. Floating docks are also not useful if there are strong tidal flows or currents. The constant lateral forces will eventually undermine the piling system causing drift.
Pricing is about equivalent between stationary and floating docks. The navy and the coast guard recommend floating boat docks as safest and most dependable in hurricane territories.