Boaters have a lot more options when it comes to building a dock, than they did in years past. The old standby, wood, has been joined by aluminum and now even plastics. Each has pros and cons affecting everything from immediate and long term costs, to aesthetic and style needs.
Wood docks are of course the original type that have been available for centuries. Aesthetically speaking, these docks have a rustic charm that can fit almost any setting. Wood is an affordable option that will last many years with proper care. That’s the key, though—proper care. Wood needs to be frequently repaired and treated with preservatives to maintain its usability and safety. Unfortunately some of these preservatives have been found to be problematic to marine life, leeching dangerous chemicals into the water. Wood will also eventually decay, and many docks are left in decay well past the time at which they are no longer safe.
Another option is aluminum. These metal docks are both durable and light, and offer an alternative look to wood. Aluminum must be well-maintained to prevent rust and decay, but the maintenance is generally far less involved than wood docks. Unfortunately for anyone leaning in the direction of aluminum as a choice, these metal docks can be significantly more expensive.
A newer option on the market is plastic docks, made of durable plastics. These modular blocks are designed with tread to prevent slipping, and additionally can be arranged in a wide array of configurations thanks to its modular nature. They’re easy to install and even significantly easier to remove when compared with wood or aluminum. Plastic floating docks can also be purchased in a variety of colors, from muted greys or browns to brighter colors like purple. When chosen with care and installed properly, plastic modular dock solutions can outlast any of the other varieties while remaining safe and attractive for a long time.
So while wood docks may have the charm of being a classic choice, the necessity for long term and proper upkeep can turn people on to the long term pros of metal docks. For others, the better option is definitely plastic docks, which are safe, relatively easy to care for, and easy to install or remove.