Fixed Docks Versus Floating Docks: Which is Better?

Fixed docks, floating docks, or no dock? What exactly are your boat dock options, and how do you decide which type of dock is best for your needs?

Well, right away, we can eliminate no dock! If you’re reading this article, then you are likely a boat owner who needs a boat dock. Not only do docks store your boat and keep it safe, but they also provide a great way to enjoy the water — from fishing off the dock to watching the sunset from your lakeside bench.    

ShoreMaster TS9 Wheel-In Dock

Fixed docks are the conventional dock structure used across waterfronts. Their solid dock structure helps keep your boat in place. If you purchase a property that already has a fixed dock, it’s likely that you have maintenance dock plans to keep up with and the dock will remain a focal point of your waterfront property. However, if you don’t have a property with a dock already in place, many fixed docks allow for easy installation, disassembly, and movement. At ShoreMaster, our aluminum fixed dock (Infinity TS9 and RS4 model) systems make this possible with welded aluminum frames and QuickConnect section attachments.

Our sectional standing docks will destroy the notion that fixed docks are cumbersome, immovable objects. ShoreMaster fixed docks even allow for easy height adjustments: with our 18” leg pockets, you can move the height of your dock up or down based on fluctuating water levels. It’s important to note that when installing a fixed dock, you need to be aware of local ordinances. You may have to file for a permit in order to place your dock in the below sediment, which can be a time-consuming process.  

Depending on your dock plans and needs, a floating dock may be more beneficial. Floating docks can be placed in both shallow and deep water, as well as on shore fronts that have fluctuating water levels based on tides. Floating docks give owners the freedom to design their dock in many different configurations — allowing your inner dock artist to come out! They’re user-friendly and can be adjusted and added to quickly and easily. If you have floating dock plans in mind, you’ll be happy to hear that permitting is a simpler process because they don’t impact the sediment.   

PolyDock Floating System

At ShoreMaster, our floating dock systems (FTS9 and PolyDock) are the leading docks of their kind based on industry standards. We stand by our floating docks and ensure that they are able to withstand varying elements based on the Hunt Absorption Test. In periods of stormy weather, for example, floating docks require less maintenance compared to fixed docks. In fact, fixed docks may be damaged and need replacement parts or may even become submerged due to changing water levels, which leads to electrical malfunctions. Most of those costing repair scenarios can be avoided with floating docks. Our floating dock systems can easily be moved prior to storms or the winter season, providing you with peace of mind and less boat dock stress.

Whether you have fixed or floating dock plans, we have dock systems that will work for you. Please contact us for a quote, or to locate a ShoreMaster dealer near you.

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