General Article

What Is the Purpose of Marine Docks?

When building your dock, consider the location and weather conditions. For example, if you’re located on a lake, consider wood for the pilings of your Palm Beach County docks. Wood is a natural material and blends well with the surrounding environment. Wood that is not treated will rot when exposed to water. However, hardwood stands up to this test. If you’re considering a wood dock for your home, consider the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Floating docks

Floating docks are a popular addition to waterfront homes, but they serve a purpose beyond just getting in the water. These floating structures are durable, easy to install, and customizable to suit your tastes. 

Floating docks are not always directly attached to the land. They may even stand apart in open water near the shore. They are made of different materials and may be foldable or fabricated from modular units that can be stuck together to make various shapes. Floating docks are best suited for places where the water level fluctuates, so they’re more stable. Some of these structures even feature right and left-side walls, which support their platforms.

Floating docks are often made of composite lumber, a combination of a hardy synthetic core and a natural wood cap. Composite lumber has a realistic wood-grain texture and a tough shell, and it’s available in almost any color. In addition, composite lumber is highly durable, and there are fewer risks of rot with these materials. Floating docks also serve a purpose because they’re much easier to remove when the weather turns colder. Unlike fixed docks, floating docks are more stable and can be moved in the summer months and easily removed during the winter.


Marine docks should have handrails on both sides of the walkway. Handrails should be sturdy and secure, and the walkways should be wide enough to accommodate a person without compromising safety. The main walkway should be four feet wide for safety purposes, and the minimum distance between berthing slips should be three feet. Ideally, the walkways should be free of grease, ice, snow, and other debris.

Depending on their purpose, handrails should be installed around the perimeter of shore-to-dock walkways, including office and service docks. In addition, they should be installed where they are exposed to public areas, such as where walkways terminate. In addition, handrails are needed at the main walkway ends of boat storage stalls and anywhere shore visitors must pass through openings. Finally, handrails should be installed in both boat slips and marinas.

Wind resistance

A marine dock is an excellent option to consider in terms of wind resistance. Wind resistance is a critical factor in constructing marine structures, particularly docks, because they are so close to the sea. Wind loads on docks increase exponentially with wind speed – at 20 mph, they’re four times as large as the load at ten mph, and at 40 mph, 16 times as large. It is because the sea reacts to atmospheric pressure, a weather metric. Its effect on docks is felt in the form of changing tide levels.

Winds can severely damage fixed permanent docks, causing them to become submerged. In addition, heavy rains and winds can loosen the nails or screws that hold the dock together, leading it to crumble. On the other hand, a floating dock can withstand heavy wind and water pressure and can even float with the tide. It means that it’s more resilient to storm damage than a fixed dock.


Marine docks are designed for protection, but what exactly is their purpose? It’s easy to see why they’re so popular – and you may be wondering if yours needs protection, too. They’re also great for slowing erosion and protecting the dock piers from physical damage. 

Dock covers help protect docks by lowering maintenance. The stainless steel ring shank nails used to fasten dock covers prevent corrosion and are tough enough to stand up to the elements. Unlike wooden docks, they’re also resistant to wood borers. Although they’re usually only suited for larger commercial piers, Snap jackets are another option. Essentially, snap jackets consist of two large pieces of fiberglass that snap onto a pole. You then fill the space between the “jacket” and the pole with concrete.