Designing the Ultimate Dock

November 2021 Multimedia

Your dock doesn’t have to be wooden planks on pilings anymore. Innovations and engineering in the waterfront industry have made boat docks from a variety of materials possible, and there are so many accessories and options available. This is especially true if you choose a dealer that sells complete, easy-to-use systems that make additions and changes easy.

Of course, every shoreline and dock owner is unique, so every dock will be too. The ultimate dock design is the one that reflects you and lets you do more of what you love. So when it’s time to create a new dock or upgrade your existing one, start brainstorming and note these areas in particular.

Design and Layout

Your first step will be your dock design and layout. You need to know what your waterfront is like to build your ideal dock from the ground up. Consider whether you’ll need to start with a sectional, wheel-in, or floating dock, which is highly dependent on your shoreline conditions. Will you need a ramp or gangway to access your dock? Make sure to incorporate that into your plans. Will you be using your dock to get out to your boat, or will you also need to think about your jet skis, kayaks, favorite swimming spot, and place to have coffee while you watch the sunrise? Think about what kinds of things you’ll want your dock to do when you lay it out—and, where possible, see if you can get options that let you reconfigure your dock as your needs change.


Your dock needs a frame, but it is incomplete without decking. Put some thought into the surface you’re going to be standing and walking on. There is a range of high-quality decking options available on the market that allow you to get the look, feel, and level of maintenance you’re looking for.

Wood decking is traditional and looks and feels good, but it’s heavy and requires a lot more maintenance than other materials to keep it from warping, molding, and otherwise getting damaged. Composite decking made of wood and plastic alleviates some of the wood issues but still requires more maintenance than some of the alternatives. Aluminum is pricey but durable, and it is also stable, feels good, and comes in many color options (including woodgrain!).


Docks are no longer just a place to store your boat: some accessories allow you to do what you love on the dock. Whether you enjoy swimming, watersports, fishing, or just sitting and talking late into the night, there are accessories that will fit your needs. Look for furniture, storage racks, lighting solutions, even grills and fire pits that can be mounted directly on your dock.


With all of the options available on the market, your dock can perform well while fitting a perfect aesthetic. There are many vibrant colors of canopy covers, furniture, and even dock decking available so that you can create your ideal look. Investing in high-quality accessories means that your look will last for years, even as your dock changes.

Once you have an idea of what you want, it’s time to talk to a local dealer and take your next steps toward the dock of your dreams!

For more information:
ShoreMaster, LLC
1025 International Drive
Fergus Falls, MN 56537

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