Types Of Floating Docks: How To Choose The Right One

Multiple Musoka chairs lined up on NyDock Floating dock

If you’re in the market for a floating dock, we’re excited for you! 

Floating docks are a great option for many cottage and waterfront owners because they can save you a lot of installation and dismantling effort (not to mention cost) every season. 

What To Consider When Choosing Your Floating Dock

Wondering which dock is for you? We’ve taken the liberty of outlining a number of qualifying questions to help you prepare to select the right dock for your needs. 

Dock Location

Where your dock is located will play a large part in what materials should be used, as well as the size of your dock. Consider the following when it comes to your dock location:

  • What kinds of materials are present where the dock will be located? 
  • Is the location sandy, or rocky? 
  • Is there a lot of loose soil or gravel? 

NyDock floating dock showing ramp hinge attachment

Lifestyle Requirements

Cottagers have different needs when it comes to their lifestyles. While some spend a lot of time entertaining, others may simply need docks for functionality. Be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How wide is the dock access area?
  • How much space will you need to entertain?
  • Will you be docking multiple boats?
  • Will guests be accessing your dock?

People sitting out on a NyDock floating dock

Water Conditions

Water depth, terrain, and lake traffic can all impact which type of dock will best suit your needs. Be sure to consider the following:

  • What is the depth of the water where your dock will be located?
  • Is the water extremely shallow or overly deep? 
  • What is the terrain like under the water? 
  • Will the dock be situated on a really busy waterway that has a lot of boat traffic? 
  • Does the water tend to be consistently choppy in windy conditions? 

Weather Conditions

Next, you’ll need to consider the common weather conditions in your cottage area.

  • Is your dock on a lake or body of water that freezes in the wintertime? 
  • Does the ice tend to shift a lot in the springtime? 

Dock Building Logistics 

You also need to think about logistics for the configuration of the dock layout itself:

  • How many boats will you need to connect to your dock? 
  • Will you require space for people to sit and have a meal? 
  • Have you considered building your docking configurations in stages? 
  • What if you’re only looking for a tie-off point for one boat for now, but next year you plan on adding a whole other section? 

Local Building Permits

Researching local building permits is essential to ensure that your property is eligible to accommodate your vision. It is important to understand what types of permits are required for the size and scope of the dock you are looking to construct, as well as any additional restrictions or requirements from your locality. Furthermore, the research could provide any insight into fees or taxes that may be associated with installing a floating dock, which will help you plan and budget accordingly. Doing your due diligence in advance can help ensure that your dream dock becomes a reality.

Types Of Floating Docks To Choose From 

When you’re thinking about the possibilities regarding floating dock layouts and options, the sky is the limit. Take a look at our most popular NyDock options and their unique benefits:


L-shaped docks are one of our bestselling dock configurations. The long edge provides easy access for mooring a boat, while the inside of the L creates a sheltered area perfect for swimming. You get both of these advantages without ever obstructing your view of the entire lake while sitting at the end.

This dock set up is ideal for family gatherings and overall waterfront enjoyment.

NyDock the Lounge floating dock configuration


The Classic is our popular, timeless dock design that will get you out to deep water, allow you to park boats on both sides, and be the most enjoyable space on your waterfront property. 

The Classic can be as long and as wide as you desire. The 12’ width is the most popular size for providing you with maximum space to enjoy your waterfront.

NyDock The Classic floating dock configuration


The “Big T” 

This configuration offers many advantages: it can shelter your boat from oncoming waves, it has a great seating area, and it can get you out far enough from shore to get a few extra hours of sunlight. 

You can achieve this stunning look with just a ramp or with a series of docks.

NyDock The Big T configuration of floating dock.


We recognize that often our customers desire something uniquely their own. As manufacturers, we are able to build custom docks to suit the needs of individual customers. Our team of designers will work with you to create a custom build dock that is an extension of your lifestyle to enhance your enjoyment of your waterfront.

Ready To Choose Your Perfect Dock?

Over the years at NyDock, we have adapted several different floating dock designs based on our customer’s needs. 

In terms of making a selection, it really comes down to what you envision. 

There doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all solution. 

What kind of floating dock layout will meet your needs today, leave room for future expansion, and solve some of the issues of having a traditional fixed dock?

Give us a call to learn more about your options!