Docks are stationary platforms that can be either floating or elevated and affixed to pilings. Docks can be built and utilized for both recreational and commercial purposes. Docks can be designed and built in many sizes, shapes and materials.
Various docks styles include stationary or floating platforms or a combination of both. Floating docks rise and fall with the level of the water and have multiple uses, including helicopter pads, fueling facilities, marinas, waste handling facilities, fishing lodges, and much more, the marine applications are endless. Those who spend a lot of time near the water probably get used to a lot of different sounds. But it’s good to keep in mind that floating docks tend to be much noisier than stationary ones.
Stationary docks (aka, fixed piers) are a great alternative docking system when there’s not a lot of water level fluctuation, and water levels are generally less than 10′ deep and never more than 30’ deep. The deeper the water the more costly it is to build a stationary dock. Stationary docks provide a great setting for gatherings and parties. They can be used to set up tables for buffets and other dining situations; a wet bar can even be added for special occasions. With a stationary dock there’s no need to worry about you and your guests to be jostled around every time a wave rolls in like they would on a floating dock.
Whenever a large dock is needed, whether for the extra space or the ability to tether multiple boats, stationary marine dock construction is the recommended way to go. Large floating docks tend to be unstable, damage more quickly and can be expensive to maintain. Otherwise, the amount of maintenance between a floating and stationary dock will be approximately the same. Of course the type and frequency of the maintenance required will depend on the material the dock is made of.
Although cost considerations may vary, floating docks and stationary docks generally run about the same price. Again however, this will vary depending on materials used. Wood is probably the most common choice because it’s quick and easy to install plus it’s cheap.
In the long term, a stationary dock is a wiser investment for the simple fact that they tend to last a bit longer than floating docks. The reason being a floating dock is in constant contact with the water and will therefore deteriorate more rapidly, especially in salt water. Properly maintained, a stationary dock can be expected to last anywhere from 25-35 years, whereas a floating dock will last approximately 20-30 years.
Chesterfield Associates designs and installs all types of docks made from pressure treated lumber to composite or aluminum grate decking. Whichever material is used, the element of style is always incorporated in design and suitable for any environment. Whether you are building or expanding a marina, developing a waterfront business, or simply seeking a private boat dock, contact us to discuss the aspects of dock building and dock restoration.
With offices in New York (Long Island) and New England (Maine) Chesterfield Associates has provided professional marine construction and specialty foundation services and for more than 40 years.