what can i use instead of floating docks
what can i use instead of floating docks

Looking for alternatives to the traditional floating docks? Look no further! In this article, we explore a range of innovative alternatives that offer similar functionality and versatility. Whether you’re looking for something more unconventional or simply seeking a more cost-effective option, we’ve got you covered. Say goodbye to the limitations of floating docks and discover the exciting possibilities that await.

Piers and Wharves

Piers and wharves are sturdy structures that provide a stable platform for various activities, such as fishing, boating, and leisure. They are commonly found along the shoreline and offer a fixed extension into the water. There are different types of piers and wharves to consider, each with its own advantages and characteristics.

Fixed Piers

Fixed piers are immobile structures that are permanently attached to the shoreline. They offer excellent stability and durability, making them a reliable choice for long-term use. These piers are typically constructed using concrete or wood, and they provide a solid platform for docking boats and accessing the water. Fixed piers are ideal for areas with calm water conditions, as they are directly exposed to natural elements and can withstand the constant forces exerted by the waves.

Crib Docks

Crib docks are constructed by building crib-like structures, which consist of large wooden frames filled with stones or gravel. These frames are then placed in the water, forming a stable and reliable dock. Crib docks are versatile, as they can be customized to fit any shoreline configuration. They are great options for locations with fluctuating water levels, as they can adapt to these changes without compromising their stability. Additionally, crib docks allow water to flow freely through the structure, minimizing the impact of waves and tidal movements.

Pile Docks

Pile docks utilize vertical pilings that are driven into the seabed to create a solid foundation for the dock. These pilings can be made of wood, steel, or concrete, depending on the desired strength and durability. Pile docks are known for their stability and ability to withstand rough water conditions. They are suitable for both residential and commercial use, offering a reliable platform for various activities. Pile docks can also be easily adjusted to accommodate changes in water levels and maintain a consistent deck height.

Floating Piers

Floating piers, as the name suggests, are buoyant structures that sit on the surface of the water. They are typically composed of individual floating modules or pontoons that are connected to form a larger platform. Floating piers offer unique advantages, such as adaptability to changing water levels and the ability to dampen wave impact. They are a popular choice for areas with significant water fluctuations or coastal regions exposed to high wave energy. Floating piers also provide a comfortable and stable platform for boating and recreational activities.

Boat Lifts

Boat lifts are innovative systems designed to raise and lower boats, providing convenient and efficient access to the water. They are widely used in marinas, private docks, and waterfront properties to protect boats from water damage and facilitate easy launching. Boat lifts come in various types, each designed to accommodate different boat sizes and weight capacities.

Cradle Lifts

Cradle lifts are commonly used for smaller boats, typically under 5,000 pounds. They consist of a sturdy steel frame that supports the boat by cradling it from beneath the hull. Cradle lifts provide reliable and secure boat storage, keeping the vessel safely above the waterline when not in use. These lifts are easy to operate, usually requiring a simple push-button control to raise or lower the boat. Cradle lifts are suitable for personal use and can be installed in both residential and commercial settings.

Platform Lifts

Platform lifts are designed for larger boats, with weight capacities ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 pounds or more. They feature a spacious platform that supports the boat, allowing for easy boarding and disembarking. Platform lifts offer excellent stability and durability, ensuring the safe storage and protection of larger vessels. These lifts are commonly used in marinas and boatyards, where frequent boat handling is required. Platform lifts can be customized to accommodate various boat sizes and configurations, making them a versatile choice for boat owners.

Elevator Lifts

Elevator lifts are specifically designed for high-end, luxury boats and yachts. These lifts employ a hydraulic or electric system to smoothly raise and lower the boat from the water. Elevator lifts provide impeccable convenience and easy access, with the boat securely stored in a submersible platform. They are equipped with advanced features, such as remote control operation, automatic leveling, and anti-theft security systems. Elevator lifts are ideal for boat owners who prioritize luxury, convenience, and uncompromising protection for their valuable watercraft.


Seawalls are vital structures that protect shorelines from erosion caused by the constant force of waves and tides. They are designed to create a barrier between the water and the land, providing stability and preventing the loss of property. Seawalls come in different materials and designs, each offering unique advantages and durability.

Concrete Seawalls

Concrete seawalls are popular for their strength and longevity. They are constructed using reinforced concrete panels or poured concrete walls, providing a solid defense against wave energy. Concrete seawalls offer excellent protection and stability, making them suitable for areas with high wave action and coastal erosion. These seawalls can be customized to fit specific shoreline requirements and offer a clean, uniform appearance that complements the surrounding landscape.

Vinyl Seawalls

Vinyl seawalls are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional concrete seawalls. They are constructed using interlocking vinyl sheet piling panels, which provide exceptional durability and resistance to corrosion. Vinyl seawalls are lightweight yet sturdy, making them easy to install and maintain. They offer reliable protection against erosion and can withstand mild to moderate wave forces. Additionally, vinyl seawalls can be customized with various finishes and textures to suit different aesthetic preferences.

Rock Seawalls

Rock seawalls, also known as riprap seawalls, utilize large rocks or boulders to form a protective barrier along the shoreline. They are a natural and visually appealing option for coastal protection. Rock seawalls absorb wave energy and dissipate it through the gaps between the rocks, minimizing the impact on the shoreline. They offer excellent stability and can withstand strong wave action and currents. Rock seawalls require periodic maintenance to ensure the integrity of the structure, but they provide a long-lasting and environmentally friendly solution for erosion control.

Jet Ski and Kayak Ramps

Jet ski and kayak ramps are specially designed structures that provide easy access to the water for these smaller watercraft. They offer convenience and safety, allowing enthusiasts to quickly launch and retrieve their jet skis or kayaks without the need for a full-sized boat ramp.

Beach Ramps

Beach ramps are simple and cost-effective options for jet ski and kayak launching. They consist of an inclined ramp made of durable materials such as aluminum or polyethylene. Beach ramps can be easily transported and assembled, making them suitable for temporary or seasonal use. They provide a smooth transition from the land to the water, allowing for effortless launching and retrieval of watercraft. Beach ramps are versatile and can be used on various terrains, including sandy beaches and muddy shores.

Aluminum Ramps

Aluminum ramps are lightweight and durable options for jet ski and kayak launching. They are designed with aluminum frames and grating surfaces, providing excellent stability and traction. Aluminum ramps are corrosion-resistant, making them suitable for saltwater environments. They can be easily adjusted to accommodate different water levels and are relatively low maintenance. Aluminum ramps are commonly used in marinas, waterfront properties, and recreational areas to provide efficient access to the water for jet skis and kayaks.

Plastic Ramps

Plastic ramps, often made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are lightweight and portable options. They are easy to transport and assemble, making them popular for recreational use and temporary installations. Plastic ramps offer excellent stability and buoyancy, ensuring a secure launching platform for jet skis and kayaks. They are resistant to corrosion and can withstand exposure to sun, saltwater, and harsh weather conditions. Plastic ramps are a cost-effective and versatile solution for watercraft enthusiasts, providing hassle-free access to the water wherever needed.

David Wright
Hi, I'm David Wright and I'm the author behind DockG, a web site dedicated to inflatable dock floating platforms. I'm passionate about providing the best possible information on these revolutionary floating docks, and I'm constantly striving to provide up-to-date, accurate and helpful tips and advice on the subject to anyone who visits the site. As an avid outdoorsman and water enthusiast, I'm constantly in search of the best ways to enjoy time spent on the water, and I'm confident that the content I provide on DockG will help anyone looking to get the most out of their inflatable dock floating platform.