How to build a wooden dock

Before you start

These examples are designed to guide you as much as possible in planning your project. But some regions may require more anchoring or a different method; we can't list everything here. We cannot be held responsible for any incidents or damage that would occur as a result of the application of the techniques presented on our website or on our documents. These drawings, plans and/or technical points are only general information and cannot at any time replace, in whole or in part, certified engineering drawings.

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Make sure you always wear and use the appropriate protective equipment to work safely.
Never use wired power tools near water.
Allow at least 2 adults to build and move your dock sections.

How to build a typical 3-section dock

  • 4' x 8' fixed section
  • 4' x 12' semi-floating section (or 4' x 16')
  • Floating section of 8' x 12' (or 8' x 16')
  • Hot galvanized steel hardware
  • Foamed or empty floats in multiple formats

List of material

Floats

Your use of the dock and your boats will guide you in choosing the model of floats you need:

  • For swimming, pedal boat, canoe or kayak: low freeboard
  • For a pontoon or large motorized boat: high freeboard
To calculate the amount of floats needed (for residential use) we recommend using ourcalculator.
Any time, you can do the calculation yourself:
  • Multiply the dock area (length x width) by 25 (for 25lb of floatability per square foot).
  • Divide this amount by the flotation capacity of the chosen float (e.g. the R-750 float has a capacity of 750lb).
  • Then round the result to the next even number.

Examples:

Freeboard lows
8′ x 12′ – 96 sq ft 96 x 25 – 2400lb 2400 / 370 – 6.4 floats so 8x the Model R-370

high freeboard
8′ x 12′ – 96 sq ft 96 x 25 – 2400lb 2400 / 750 – 3.2 floats so 4x the R-750 model

Make sure you have enough space to install all the floats under the dock.

Materials

See the table below for suggestions of materials and quantities.

Accessories complementary to a complete dock system:

  • Dock bumpers and boat tusks
  • Mooring cleats and moorings
  • Swimming ladders
  • And more!

Build a 4-step wooden dock

1

For a floating dock, start assembling the dock with the underside up so you can easily install the floats in step 3. Arrange the spars and ends of the base structure (and the interior reinforcements if necessary) and screw. The screws should not be aligned with the holes you will make for the hardware store a. Check the squeal by measuring the two diagonals. They must be less than 1/8" of length difference b. Attach to position by temporarily screwing a board on the c structure.

Comment bâtir la structure de quai
2

Starting at the corners, place the pieces and mark the holes in pencil d. Drill and install the hardware with the bolts. Note that the pieces may vary from the drawing. For a fixed dock, continue with step 4-B.

3

Arrange the float supports (2" x 6" boards) e and the floats on the structure f to determine their positions. Leave 6" spacing with the main structure to facilitate further manipulation g. Mark the locations of float supports on the structure and those of the floats on the supports. Remove floats, screw supports and secure floats with pull-downs and large flat washers. You can also use bolts with blocking washers and flat washers.

4

A For a floating dock, before installing the decking, you will need help to return the structure to the place, carefully, without injuring yourself.
B Check the squeal again (see step 1). Screw the deck inghand starting with one end of the section of the wharf and adjusting the width of the penultimate plank to the remaining space. Screw them into the outside and indoor spars h.

How to anchor a dock (on piles or floating)

  • DOCK ON PILES

There is no need to anchor a fixed dock unless you are in a basin with strong waves. The piles embedded in the ground ensure its stability. However, you should anchor your boat so that it cannot hit the docks. Some prefer to install a boat lift. Under difficult conditions, you can add one or more diagonal reinforcements between the piles.

  • FLOATING DOCK
A floating dock system absolutely requires an anchoring system at the end of the dock and at every 30 feet.
These are the anchor blocks that will keep the docks in place in waves and water movements because there are no piles. Chain attachments are required at each anchor point.
To install the anchor weights, place them on the floating dock section (we suggest putting a thick cardboard or piece of wood under the blocks to protect your decking), grouping the appropriate amount of blocks for each corner. The chain will then be attached with a shackle to the group of blocks required for each corner.
Move the dock over the desired anchorage area and tip the blocks to the water by holding the end of the chain that will attach to the dock. Keep some tension on the chain, hang it in the opposite corner and then cut it by keeping 2 extra feet for adjustments during the season.
Do the same steps on the opposite side.

ASSESS THE POSITIONING FOR AVOID
INTERFERE WITH DOCKING OR SWIMMING

EXAMPLES OF ANCHORING IN CALM WATERS:

  • Small boats under 15':
  • 200 lbs per chain on each side.
  • Pleasure boat under 19' (or about 2500 lbs):
  • 350 lbs per chain on each side.
  • Pleasure boat less than 23' or 4000 lbs (for water skiing or wake-boarding):
  • 500 lbs per chain on each side.
  • Pontoon with a canvas roof (which can take in the wind):
  • 650 lbs per chain on each side.