Floating or Sectional?

How to Choose the Best Dock System for Your Waterfront

January 2023 Multimedia ShoreMaster

So you have a waterfront and want to put a dock system on it. You probably want something that looks good on your shoreline, you feel good about standing on, and you trust to securely hold your boat lift, watercraft, equipment, and loved ones. No matter where your water is, a dock will likely be the centerpiece of your outdoor space. Before you make your purchase, though, it’s important to consider what qualities you’re looking for in a dock and whether a floating or sectional dock would be a better fit.


Your location will determine which dock system will work best. If your lake has an uneven or particularly muddy bottom, a floating dock is probably a better fit than a sectional one that relies on legs. Water conditions are also a big part of your location and dock system considerations: rough waters would probably require the greater stability of a sectional dock, while deep water would need a floating dock. Talk to your waterfront dealer about your location and water for more advice on what would work best for you.


You can’t go wrong with either approach when it comes to year-after-year changes. Both sectional docks and floating docks have modular options that give boat owners more choices if they want to add accessories or other modules as they acquire new waterfront passions or reassess what their needs are at the end of a season.

When it comes to mid-season flexibility, a floating dock is what you when your water levels fluctuate a lot.  Floating docks will make your life easier. A dock that changes levels with the water will keep any electronic equipment dry, keep your boat above water, and doesn’t require you to go out and level your dock legs.


Any well-made dock with high-quality materials is going to be stable and safe. Keep in mind that floating docks have undergone years of engineering. They’re safe to stand and walk on and they hold your accessories and boat on a lift. If you’re uncomfortable with having a dock that moves with the water, a sectional dock can offer steadier footing. Sectional docks are also probably a better choice for high-traffic areas like marinas or rough, windy waters that experience a lot of severe weather.

Installation and Removal

Again, floating or sectional docks are both fine choices when it comes to installation and removal. This is of particular concern to seasonal boaters who have to think about setting up and tearing down their waterfront each year. Floating docks can be easily tied to something solid on the shore to protect them from bad weather, and any sort of modular dock system can be taken apart and removed from the water piecemeal. If you buy your dock from a dealer, they can also help you with the installation and removal, which makes things even easier for you.

Whatever your plans are for your dream dock, make sure you’re buying a product you can trust. Choose a manufacturer or dealer with proven engineering prowess and a great reputation. For the greatest convenience and ease of ownership, choose durable materials that can withstand the elements you’ll see a lot of on the water. Above all else, ensure that your boat dock system is one you can see yourself enjoying for years to come! 

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