To Build a Floating Dock
Floating Dock Theory
The simple theory of dock floating is that more width, length,
and weight added to a floating dock, the more stable it becomes.
For example, 4' x 10' dock fingers are not as stable as a 10'x10'
The Term Freeboard for Boat Docks
The term freeboard means height deck above the waterline.
most residential designers aim 12" to 24" of freeboard.
Dock floats with 12" and 16" height will be within the
average freeboard range. If your prime use of the dock is to moor
a boat, then a dock freeboard height needs to be adequate for
loading and unloading a boat. An added benefit for a
lower freeboard is that it will increase the stability of the
Calculating buoyancy for Docks
The basic general rules for calculating buoyancy for a
residence floating dock is 30lbs per square foot and 40lbs per
square foot for commercial docks.
Length x Width = Square feet of dock
Square feet x 30 lbs (10lbs Materials & 20 People weight) =
Divide total Load by dock float model number
Example: 10' x 14' dock = 140 sq. feet
140 sq. feet x 30 lbs. = 4200 lbs.
4200 lbs./ 525 lb buoyancy dock float
= 8 floats
|You Can use the wizard below to calculate
the floats for you
Dock Drum Placement for Stability
Placing the dock floats around the perimeter (corners) of the
dock provides the best support and stability. Dock Fingers
generally require additional flotation at the end of the dock, to
reduce deflection. Encapsulated Dock Float placements are
also recommended on heavy load areas such as the back of the dock
where the gangway or dock ramp is placed
Dock construction in 3 easy steps
1) Build the dock as close as possible to the water and
construct the outer box (ALL HARDWARE needs to be hot dipped
2) Place the dock floats into the constructed outer box. This
is done before the floor joists are placed. Mark the places where
the floor joists will go.
3) Finishing the decking, Make sure all wood is treated