Tackling a DIY dock build can be intimidating. Few things are more frustrating than finally starting to work on your dock project, only to realize you don’t have all the necessary dock parts.
Thankfully, Tommy Docks makes DIY dock building as low-key and hassle-free as possible. From the inception of your dock plan, we help equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to create a custom, functional, and beautiful deck for your waterfront property.
So, what do you need to build a dock? Beyond the basic frame and panels, you need high-quality boat dock hardware. To help round out your shopping list and get on the water sooner, we’ve compiled a complete guide to all the hardware you’ll ever need to install your dock.
Let’s break down each item in our dock hardware catalog to explain what it’s for and help you decide what you need. First, we’ll talk a bit about hardware grades and how to choose the best dock hardware for your needs.
Normal Duty Dock Hardware vs. Heavy Duty Dock Hardware
Our entire line of dock hardware is specially designed for durability and convenient assembly. We offer both normal-duty and heavy-duty hardware to suit the conditions on your shoreline. Both options are non-corrosive and built for maximum security and longevity.
For example, our piping has a special galvanized coating for added corrosion resistance, strength, and sturdiness. “The reason for the extensive use of [galvanizing] is the three-fold protective nature of the coating. As a barrier coating, it provides a tough, metallurgically-bonded zinc coating that completely covers the steel surface and seals the steel from the corrosive action of the environment. Additionally, zinc's sacrificial behavior protects the steel, even where damage or a minor discontinuity in the coating occurs. Finally, the natural weathering of the coating results in the development of an additional layer of protection on the surface,” explains the American Galvanizers Association.
Here’s a closer look at the specs for each grade of dock hardware.
Normal-duty dock hardware has a 1.66” outside diameter and is best for:
- Light water currents and wave action
- Docking small to regular-sized watercraft
- Water depth under 7’
- Simple dock setups without a platform
Heavy-duty dock hardware has a 1.9” outside diameter and is best for:
- Strong currents and wave action
- Docking regular to large-sized watercraft
- Water depth over 7’
- Large platform dock sections
Please note that Tommy Docks hardware is not intended for use in brackish or salt waters.
Alright, it’s time to zoom in on each bit of hardware and help you compile a list of what you’ll need for your DIY dock build.
All the Dock Hardware You Need for Your DIY Tommy Docks Installation
Here’s a play-by-play of all the dock hardware you’d ever need to create a stable and stunning dock. As we go, we’ll link you to the different products, including the normal and heavy-duty versions, when available.
Fixed Dock Brackets
Dock post brackets stabilize your dock, reducing stress at key points throughout the structure, adding support so you can dock with confidence. Our brackets are designed so that the zinc-plated mounting hardware is conveniently and discreetly packed inside the pipe tube. The brackets have an attractive and rust-protective gray polyester powder coating. The stainless steel adjustment bolts allow for years of rust-free, easy adjustments.
Take a look at our fixed dock pipe brackets:
- “A” Outside Corner Brackets - You’ll need one for each outside corner of your dock.
- “B” Straight Brackets - You’ll need one at each joint of straight connecting dock sections, either from end to end or side to side.
- “C” Inside Corner Brackets (2-way) - You’ll need one for each two-way outside corner of your dock or anywhere you’re connecting two dock sections at right angles.
- “D” Inside Corner Brackets (3-way) - You’ll need a 3 way bracket at each perpendicular inside-corner connection of three dock sections.
- L-Pin Replacements - Keep a couple of replacement L-pins on hand since they are an integral part of the dock bracket system, locking two pieces together and allowing for easy installation and removal.
- Hook and Eye Seawall Bracket Set - Use a set of these to securely attach a dock section to a seawall or bulkhead. (Each set requires sixteen 7/16" diameter bolts to install, not included.)
Floating Dock Brackets, Anchor Brackets, & Hinges
Floating dock hardware requires a completely different design than stationery dock hardware since it needs to accommodate changes in the water level and allow for attachment to anchors.
Take a look at our floating dock hardware:
- Floating Dock Brackets - Use one of these polyethylene brackets to bolt two floating dock sections together at each connection point. These brackets also act as a bumper, protecting both the dock and watercraft when contact is made. (Requires four 7/16" diameter bolts to attach to your dock per bracket, not Included.)
- Floating Dock Corner Bracket Kits - Use these corner brackets to attach floating dock sections at corners. (Designed for use with ½” carriage bolts, not included.)
- Floating Dock Hinges Set - Use these 5” x 5” mounting plates with 2” x 6” lumber to attach floating dock sections and maintain an approximate 60-degree range of movement. (Hole size is 3/8", fasteners not included)
- Floating Dock Hinge Kit - Use these heavy-duty hinges for all floating dock applications. (Designed for use with ½” carriage bolts, not included.)
- 2” x 6” heavy-duty kit - Used for docks on a 2’ x 6’ frame.
- 2” x 8” heavy-duty kit - Used for docks on a 2’ x 8’ frame.
- Floating Dock Anchor Bracket Kits - Use one of these brackets to attach an anchor to your floating dock. The kit you buy should reflect the size of the dock. (Designed for use with ½” carriage bolts, not included.)
Rolling Dock Hardware
Tommy Docks offers an easy way for DIY dock builders to mobilize their dock by adding wheels. Our wheel system allows waterfront property owners to winterize or move the location of their dock conveniently.
Take a look at our rolling dock hardware:
- Roll-in Dock Wheel Kit - Use this kit to convert your dock into a roll-in dock. Suggested for use in hard or rocky bottom environments in water depths of 5’ or less with a max dock length of 16’.
Dock Footpads & Auger Feet
Dock footpads secure your dock supports to the lake or river bottom to mitigate settling and ensure a solid foundation. We offer various footpads for different types of lake bottoms. You can use a combination of feet if the lake bottom differs by depth. Opt for heavy-duty footpads in deeper water, rougher conditions, and larger docks.
Take a look at our footpads:
- Standard Footpads - Use these footpads on solid lake bottoms, attaching one to the bottom of each post pipe.
- Muck Footpads - Use these footpads on mucky lake bottoms, attaching one to the bottom of each post pipe.
- Auger Foot - Use auger feet on soft lake bottoms, attaching one to the bottom of each post pipe.
Support Braces, Pipe Guide Kits, & Pipes
Provide structure and stability for your dock by opting for the best dock posts and braces. Our top-notch pipes give you the hardware you need to secure your dock, even in rougher water conditions.
Take a look at our pipes and braces:
- 60” Support Braces - Use these braces to connect and support your dock’s posts below the waterline. We recommend using these anytime the water depth exceeds 60” or for any large platform sections.
- Fixed Dock Pipes - Use these pipes to create the vertical structure of your fixed dock. To calculate the needed length of your pipe, use the water depth plus 18” at the intended pipe location, plus extra if you plan on drilling and using auger feet.
Take a look at our bolts:
- 2” Stainless Steel Bolt - Use these ultra-strong bolts for firmly securing aluminum dock frame sections. Please note these bolts are not for use on any Tommy Docks Frame except for our aluminum frames.
- 4” Stainless Steel Bolt - Use these extra-long bolts to add stability when fastening your cedar frame dock sections together. Please note these bolts are not for use on any Tommy Docks Frame except for our cedar frames.
A winch is an irreplaceable dock-building tool, allowing you to level your dock without getting in the water. Our innovative dock leveling system can be used with one of our dock floats to make installation, adjustment, and removal of dock sections as smooth and seamless as possible.
Take a look at our winches:
- Winch Leveling System - Use this winch to level your dock. Fits over up to 2” dock post pipes.
- Leveling Hook - Buy a replacement leveling hook for your winch kit.
Having the right dock-building tools will make your dock come together much easier. Invest in our dock tools for a more convenient installation and maintenance.
Take a look at our tools:
- Drop-In “T” Handle - Use this T-shaped tool to quickly remove sections of dock out of the frame for removal, replacement, or maintenance.
- Auger Wrench - Use this auger wrench with our normal or heavy-duty components to easily break through the muck, clay, and other lake-bed materials for a secure dock installation.
Tommy Docks Dock Complete Dock Packages, Dock Hardware, & Accessories
At Tommy Docks, we have a sensible solution for all DIY dock builders. Our dock catalog and products are crafted with you in mind, offering you the option to easily design your own custom dock, opt for one of our complete dock packages, or buy the individual parts, panels, and hardware to upgrade your current setup. From floating dock parts and anchors to stationary dock frames and DIY kits – you can choose your own dock adventure.
Our complete dock packages come with the brackets, pipes, and other hardware needed to assemble the dock. That way, you don’t have to stress about wondering if you ordered the right hardware.
Tommy Docks is your partner in DIY dock building. Let us help you build the backyard of your dreams, giving you a platform for year-round shoreside fun.
Have questions? We’d be happy to hear from you and see how we can help. Get in touch!