- Ladders: While a ladder allows for easier access, consider assessing the ladder material as some are more prone to rust and corrosion than others.
- Gangways: Gangways are ramps that lead to and from the shore. These structures typically include handrails to provide balance when accessing your floating dock.
Our docks include a polyethylene outer shell and an internal foam core to ensure extended longevity and dependability during use.
Consider the Body of Water You’re On
Believe it or not, the body of water you’re on and your floating dock’s placement on the waterfront affect the intensity of waves. Waves and storms can have more power in vast bodies of water as opposed to smaller bays.
You’ll want to assess the dock’s protection from large waves and intense winds. Protected bays typically have land in their vicinity to safeguard them from weather effects that could significantly shift a floating dock.
Lastly, you need to know the water depth of your bay or lake to ensure you have enough chain to reach the bottom. It is best to attach anchoring chains to the furthest part of the floating dock and adjust the weight according to the water levels.
Grab Your Anchoring Essentials
You may have an easier time securing a floating dock than fixing a standing one into the seabed. However, you’ll need specific tools and accessories to facilitate the stabilization process.
- Concrete Anchor: Concrete anchors are necessary to stabilize freestanding platforms. Remember to double the weight of the anchor according to the weight of the dock.
- Galvanized Chain: Galvanized chains connect to the concrete anchors and support the anchoring system. For most waterfront properties, it’s best to utilize a 1/4″ chain. Meanwhile, floating docks in larger bodies of water benefit from a 3/8″ version.
- Eyebolts: Eyebolts are threaded mechanical fasteners with a head forming a ring. These parts attach to a chain quick link that bolts to the main structure.
- Chain Quick Link: These links are valuable components that connect the chain to the anchor’s rebar or the floating dock’s eyebolts.
Identify the Weight Amount You’ll Need
Once you acquire the essentials, you’ll want to begin outlining your process and identifying the amount of weight needed to anchor your floating dock.
Keep in mind that having more weight than necessary is better than not having enough. These anchors will remain in the water once you drop them in, so consider their placement beforehand.
Floating docks often require a minimum of 600 lb. at each of their furthest corners. Suppose they sit closer to the shore; in that case, it’s best to anchor the platform with 450 lb. at each side. Free platforms often require an anchoring method every 30 feet for maximum stabilization.
Assess Your Anchor Layout
It is best to assess your potential layout before anchoring to make any necessary adjustments. Start by running the chains through the rebar of each anchor and tying them together. Consider placing the concrete weights on long, wood planks to avoid damage to your decking and to facilitate their descent in the water.
- The Crisscross Layout: The crisscross layout places the anchors on either side of the platform. The chains travel through each rebar, securing the anchors in a group, then attaches to the opposite corner’s eyebolt. If executed correctly, chains on both corners of the floating dock will cross one another, forming an X-shaped configuration.
- Cutting and Adjusting Chain Length: When cutting and attaching chains to your floating dock, it’s best to leave 1 to 2 inches of extra material. Having additional chain length available allows for slack during varying weather conditions. Restricting chains often cause a floating platform to sit lower into the water and may place unnecessary stress on its components. We recommend adjusting your chain tension as the water levels fluctuate throughout the year.
- Using Chain Tension Chords: If you notice drastic water level changes near your property, consider including an anchor chain tension chord prior to the initial anchoring. Tension chords allow you to leave slack in your chains while maintaining enough tension to promote additional stability. As levels rise and waves come in, chain tension cords will expand and allow the floating dock to utilize the total slack on the chain without creating stress.