The Best Materials for Building a Boat Dock

The Best Materials for Building a Boat Dock
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    Whether your waterfront property is near an ocean or a lake, you probably have a boat.

    If you don’t have a dock, you should consider building one to protect your boat and boost your property’s resale value.


Before proceeding with dock construction, you need to find out the best materials for building a boat dock. With this in mind, here is your guide on which materials will help you build your dream dock.


Most boat docks you’ve seen have probably been made out of wood or a material that looks like it. Wooden boat docks are practical and give your property a more natural appearance.

They require some maintenance to preserve the finish and structural integrity of the wood. To prevent decay, power wash your deck annually, and give it a new stain or finish about every three years.

There are two types of wood you can choose for a dock: hardwood and softwood. Hardwood materials tend to be more costly than softwood because they’re heavier, take longer to grow, and are denser than softwood, making them more durable in oceanic conditions.

For these reasons, dock builders prefer hardwood for marine-grade decking, but softwood is still an adequate docking material.


Wooden docks look great but require a bit more maintenance than other materials. If you want something less labor-intensive, you should look at other kinds of docks.

One of these types is composite docks, which come from various materials.

For docks, composite material usually contains a mixture of plastic and organic matter like wood fibers. Manufacturers will bond these materials using adhesives, then mold them into boards you can use for a deck.

You should know that the plastics used in the production of composite materials are typically recycled, so you don’t have to worry about harming the environment if you choose to go this route.

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Plastic decking boards come from polymers such as polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, and polyethylene. High-density polyethylene is a strong plastic material that manufacturers use for various products other than decking boards, including shampoo bottles, milk cartons, and pipes.

Plastic is lighter than composite materials, so it’s more prone to cracking. However, since composite materials contain organic matter, they are more susceptible to mold or mildew.


Aluminum requires the least maintenance out of all these options because it’s a strong metal. No matter the waterfront conditions, it won’t decay or rot even after many years.

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That said, aluminum is more costly than wood, making it the most expensive option. Also, the metal might feel uncomfortable to bare feet on a hot day.

Overall, there are pros and cons to each type of dock material. Now that you know the best materials for building a boat dock, it’s time to decide which one you want to use to build your dream dock.

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