Perhaps the most unusual feature and benefit of floating docks are their drive-on mooring solutions for boats from PWC to 30-footers. As in any docking situation, it takes a bit of practice to get the approach speed correct, but we tested drive-on capabilities of all these brands and found them to offer secure dry storage that’s easy to master in just two or three attempts. Some docks require installation of a winch for a single individual to relaunch larger boats, but for boats under 20 feet, two average teenagers or an adult could lean into the bow and slide the boat back. Personal watercraft are even easier.
Yet Another Advantage
Permitting agencies range from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to state, county or municipal government, and lake or even homeowners’ associations. In Florida, most floating drive-on docks are considered, by law, temporary, and therefore don’t need permits. Dock size and complexity and how permanently they are anchored to the bottom all weigh into permitting requirements.
Wherever you live, modular docks offer benefits worth looking into. Wood docks won’t be going away anytime soon — but it’s always nice to have choices.
|Candock cubes are fitted with keel channels. Use more for longer boats. “Planks” molded in give the dock a more traditional look.|
Add Some Accessories
Available accessories vary noticeably among manufacturers. Look at diving boards, slides, ladders, canopies, storage and seating options when choosing a system. Kayak and canoe docking accessories have become popular too.
Fenders, cleats and other accessories all attach differently — for example, Candock’s standard cleats mount low, on the dock’s side. This gives an uncluttered appearance and won’t catch toes but also might be harder to use.
|ShoreMaster’s dock sections feature a stylish brick paver finish for a more permanent finished appearance.|
How utilities run along the dock also varies. EZ Dock, for instance, offers narrow floating modules with two hollow tubes, keeping power and water runs hidden and protected while increasing the dock’s width by 20 inches.