Whether you’re talking about building a seaside hotel, a beachfront fish joint or a floating dock, marine construction of any kind requires careful planning and consideration — especially when it comes to materials. Though building a floating dock may seem like a minor project, the truth is that docks may require more forethought than land-based buildings. Though there are several reasons this is true, the number one reason is that floating docks sit on the water and are constantly subject to the ocean’s whimsy. If you are part of a floating dock project, keep these top considerations in mind at every stage.
Select Materials Based on Their Durability
The ocean air and saltwater will be hard on docking materials from day one. Add to the elements the fact that your dock will be subject to a lot of foot traffic — especially if you build it for tourist purposes — and it’s understandable that your dock can only be made of the most durable materials available. Concrete used in marine construction should be non-porous, and you should encase every square inch of it in a water-proof material so that it never comes into contact with saltwater. The materials that do encounter the sea should also be non-porous, virtually waterproof and of the highest quality available.
Stability Is of Utmost Importance
In addition to being durable, your floating dock must be stable. The planks should not creak and the timber should not wobble. Your dock will be subject to a myriad of weather conditions, many of which may be less than ideal. For the duration of its use — whether that’s for one year or 100 — your dock should be safe enough for people to walk upon and use without the threat of falling apart.
Maintenance Should Always Be Top-of-Mind
Despite how durable and stable your dock is in the beginning, the elements and foot traffic will constantly wear it down. You should have a plan in place for how you plan to address weak areas as they arise.
Marine construction comes with several special considerations. Keep the above three at the top of your mind when constructing your floating dock.