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Types of Permanent and Temporary Docks for Your Business

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Table of contents:
  1. Permanent Docks
  2. Temporary Docks
Featured image for Types of Permanent and Temporary Docks for Your Business

Whether you own a property located at an oceanfront, harbor, river, or lake, having your own dock provides a lot of advantages. Some of these are convenient water access, no storage fees, personalized construction, and additional space for leisure activities like swimming and fishing.

Types of Permanent and Temporary Docks

If you are planning to build your private dock but are not sure which one you should go for, then you have come to the right place! This short guide will discuss the common types of both permanent and removable docks. Let us start with the types of permanent docks first.

Permanent Docks

Temporary Docks

You will have two choices if you want to build a permanent dock: a suspension dock or a crib dock.

#1 Suspension Docks

Suspension docks are docks hanged above the water through anchorages and cables. They produce a modernized look and cause less impact on the environment, unlike crib docks. Though their unique design can be visually attractive, building suspension docks can be very time-consuming and expensive. This is because their installation requires complicated engineering.

Do not decide to install a suspension dock if you have not considered all of the factors associated with them first. You should be aware of the unanticipated drawbacks of using suspension docks.

Suspension docks are permanent, unlike floating docks. This means that you cannot remove suspension docks during the occurrence of severe weather conditions. They need to endure damaging water swells and winds. Moreover, if you plan to build your suspension dock using aluminum or wood, you will incur more cost for replacing the damaged pieces compared to plastic materials.

#2 Crib Docks

These docks are made of wooden frames or cribs (crates) that are placed at the bottom of the water. The custom-built frames are filled with rocks and then covered with decking.

Cribs docks are more stable compared to suspension docks but are very expensive. Moreover, since crib docks widen the shoreline, they can affect the water’s natural flow which can disrupt wildlife. This is the reason why some areas are not allowing the construction of crib docks. Crib docks also last for a few decades, making them great docking choices for permanent structures.

But, note that you are sacrificing convenience over stability when you choose these types of docks. Crib docks are meant for long-term applications. Meaning, you cannot easily extend or remove them. Plus, crib docks can result in long-term problems in the environment such as the disruption of water flow along the coastline. This affects nearby wildlife which can cause further issues in the occurrence of floods.

Temporary Docks

Types of Permanent

Below are the most common types of temporary docks.

#1 Piling Docks

These docks are tough and stable allowing them to withstand strong currents. But, building and maintaining them is expensive. Plus, they cannot adjust to water level changes. Piling docks are more suitable as fishing docks or for large boats.

When building piling docks, you need to plan the construction thoroughly because your dock’s success will depend on the integrity of its structure. So, any cut corners can ultimately result in very expensive damage repairs.

#2 Floating Docks

Floating docks are made of large platforms with decking often placed on top of airtight drums floating on the surface of the water. They are also available in pre-built components which you can attach in various shapes and configurations.

Since floating docks can rise and fall with the water level, floating docks can adapt to almost any condition. Plus, the electrical systems connected to the dock’s surface will not be submerged. This makes them suitable for river beds, lakes, or seas that cannot support fixed docks.

Lastly, you can haul floating docks away during severe weather conditions or when you are not using them. You can easily install them again when you need them. Hiseadock offers plastic floating dock systems if you are looking for a reliable manufacturer.

#3 Pipe Docks

These docks are like piling docks but are less stable. They are more affordable though, making them the best choices if you are looking for docking systems that are cost-effective and easy to build. They are recommended for shallow water. One disadvantage of pipe docks is you need to remove them in the fall because the pipes can be damaged due to freezing.

Moreover, pipe docks are stationary. They can easily become submerged, unlike floating docks that rise and fall with the water level. It is true that pipe docks are less expensive in the beginning. But in the long run, rough currents and ice can damage the surface or piping. So, you should anticipate occasional repairs and replacements of the surface sections and pipes.


There are other types of docks you can choose from but the ones we have discussed here are only the basic ones. Aside from the installation type, docks can either be made of wood, plastic, or aluminum materials. Each of these has its own pros and cons especially when it comes to their endurance during severe weather conditions as well as repair costs.

In relation to our discussion, here is a guide you can read on what type of dock is right for your shoreline. Hopefully, this short guide was able to help you a bit with your dock installation decisions.

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