Floating Dock Safety

floating dock safety

Dock owners seek to avoid damage to their floating boat docks for a myriad of important reasons. Any damage caused by a floating dock is the responsibility of the owner, and this can become a life-altering and financial distraction.

In high flood areas, a floating dock is a much higher risk than a fixed dock. Many times, the damage caused by floating docks stem from previous droughts. During a drought, a floating dock may end up sitting on a dry piece of land or sometimes be pushed out into the lake because of receding waters. Hiring a qualified boat dock contractor is a must for anyone wanting to build a floating dock, in order to lessen the chances of flood damage or faulty construction.

The Best Ways to Secure a Floating Dock:

Keep floating docks close to the shore:

Floating docks normally have four anchor points. Two anchors are positioned on-shore, while the other two are positioned off-shore. To prepare for a flood, floating dock owners should double-up on the anchor cables and anchor downstream towards the shoreline. When flood waters fall, the docks will pivot away from the rough waters, debris, and any other moving docks.

Keep your dock on your property:

Floating docks should always be kept on property owned by the dock owner. This eliminates the chances of floating dock owners accruing costs from damage done to someone else’s property. Owners should also be aware that the more you move a floating dock, due to receding waters or other circumstances, the more unstable the dock becomes, and is more susceptible to flood damage.

Keep your dock the maximum required distance from the shore:

There are safety standards for all residential docks. Check to see what your local area standards are for distance from the shore. It is wisest to keep your floating dock the maximum distance away from the shore. Floating boat docks should never be extended into the middle of a river channel or be in the way of other boaters. Depending upon which local body of water you are docked, the maximum shore distance can range from 35 to over 150 feet away from shore.

Floating docks should be properly and regularly maintained:

The dock’s structure should be examined for cracks or any defects that could make it unstable. All lighting should be solar-powered or battery operated and bright enough to be visible at night. The owner should also make sure that the anchor cables are not damaged, and if so, have them immediately replaced.

If there is a chance of a flood, remove all loose items from the floating dock, such as chairs, tables, toys, etc. These are items that can be swept away by wind and water. One of the best ways to diminish your chances of having to repair a damaged dock or damage caused by your dock to another person or property, is to keep up with weather alerts and ensure that your floating dock is in good condition, secure, and free of loose objects.