How to Install a Floating Dock
Floating docks are a great option for your waterfront. They have several advantages over fixed docks, in that:
- They will rise and fall with fluctuations in water level , which makes embarking and disembarking your watercraft much easier and safer
- They are more customizable because you are not restricted by where you connect to the lake bed; you can add sections to fit the layout of your waterfront and be more creative with your dock design.
- They can be easier to maintain than fixed docks and often require less maintenance.
Having said that, there are some important considerations for proper installation of a floating dock that you should be aware of.
- You can’t connect a floating dock directly to a fixed dock. If you’re adding modular pieces to your dock configuration, you need to make sure the pieces can move together and adapt to the characteristics of the water. A floating dock attached to a fixed dock can cause major damage and will cost a lot of money to fix. You need to ensure that you place a ramp between the floating dock and the fixed dock to allow your floating dock to move independent of your fixed portion. Trust us.
- You should know your waterfront. It pays to do your research ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of your waterfront. Is your shoreline sand, soil, or rocky? Each of these scenarios will be handled differently upon installation. How deep is the water where your dock will be placed? How much does the water level change year to year?
- You should plan for the future. Make sure to build out your dock to accommodate for future growth. It can save a lot of headache and money if you put the planning in place now, instead of realizing down the line that you should have done it differently. How many watercraft will you be accommodating? Will you want a place for guests to tie off? Are you planning a boathouse? Take all these things into consideration during your planning process. If you decide that you're going to add on later, ensure to leave the dock in a position that makes it easy to hinge another section down the road.
Floating dock configurations will of course need an access route from shore. In NyDock’s case, we install a ramp that is fastened to a shore platform that remains on the shore. This ramp will rise and fall with fluctuations of water level. It can also be easily removed and stored for the winter.
The ramp itself is outfitted with NyDock’s proprietary Pipefusion HDPE pontoons so that it also remains at the same level as the dock (see note above about not attaching a floating dock to a fixed dock in the water!).
The ramp is hinged to the shore in a manner that provides easy access to disconnect when the cottage season is over. Standard configuration includes a section of the dock that remains fixed to the shore, while the ramp itself can rise and fall with changing water level in line with the floating dock.
The floating dock is also tethered to concrete weights that remain fixed to the lake bed. This 5/8th marine grade floating rope gives the floating dock some flexibility of movement, but also prevents the dock from floating away.
When it is time to close up the cottage for the season, it makes your life a whole lot easier if you can leave the main section of your dock in the water. Unfortunately, this is where many fixed docks can get damaged by shifting ice as the water freezes and thaws in the springtime.
NyDock applies “Freeze in Ice Technology” that provides resistance to ice damage Because the pontoons are fabricated from high-density polyethylene pipe, they can be left in the water over winter and will not be susceptible to damage the way a standard fixed dock is.
With our standard configurations, the ramp is disconnected and placed on the main deck, but the dock itself can remain in the water over the winter season. The tethers and concrete weights remain in place and lines to shore are added for additional safety and security. This makes it a lot easier than having to take your entire dock apart before the snow flies.
Floating docks are a fantastic option for any waterfront property. But proper installation is key to ensure all the possible angles have been considered. It is important to remember that nothing is impervious to damage and choosing the correct location to store your NyDock during the winter is vital to it successfully going through a freeze in cycle without sustaining damage from ice. If you’re considering a floating dock configuration for your waterfront, please reach out to us! We’d love to discuss your project and see how we can help.