Fixed vs. Floating Boat Docks: Which Is Right for You?
Fixed vs. Floating Boat Docks: Which Is Right for You?


You’re about to get a new boat dock, but first, you need to answer an important question. Should you get a fixed or floating dock? Both will allow you to get to your boat, but which is right for you? The answer depends on different factors. Let’s dig in, so you’ll know which one you should purchase.

Depth of the Water

When choosing between a fixed or floating dock, you should consider the depth of the water. If the water line in the river or lake is over four feet high, you’ll want to choose a floating dock. However, if the water is less than four feet, a fixed dock is ideal. If you put a floating dock in water that’s less than four feet deep, it might get too close to the bottom of the lake or river. The bottom of the dock could get punctured, preventing it from floating.

4Water Fluctuations

You also need to consider water level fluctuations when choosing a boat dock. A floating dock is best if the water levels fluctuate often. This type of dock stays with the water level, so you can easily move from the dock to your boat.

On the other hand, a fixed dock stays in place, even if the water fluctuates. You might have to make a difficult transition from the dock to the boat or adjust the dock if the water level goes up or down. Both can be frustrating. Your local area likely keeps the information about water fluctuations you can use to determine the type of boat dock you need.

Severe Weather

If you live in an area that is prone to severe weather, a floating dock is the right choice. When bad weather such as a hurricane hits, the wind and waves will cause your boat to move back and forth. A floating dock will move with the boat. However, a fixed dock will remain in place while the boat moves. The boat can then crash into the dock, destroying it. Bad weather can also cause water levels to rise drastically, submerging, and damaging a fixed dock. Consider how many hurricanes and weather emergencies you have when deciding between a fixed or floating boat dock.

Water Traffic

You also need to think about water traffic when choosing between a fixed or floating boat dock. Floating docks move with the waves, so if a lot of boats pass you, your dock will move often. If that’s the case, a fixed dock might be better for you. Then, you can wave at the boaters that pass you by without floating along with them. That will make it much easier to enjoy your dock on a busy waterway.

Noise Levels

Did you know that you can also control your noise level when choosing a dock? Generally, floating docks tend to produce some noise when they move in the water. Since fixed docks are secure, they don’t move and produce noise. That’s ideal if you want to enjoy a quiet day on the dock with your family and friends.

Dock Use

You should also think about how you intend to use your dock when choosing between a fixed or floating option. If you want to hang out on your dock, a fixed dock will likely be the better choice. You will appreciate the boat dock’s stability while spending time with friends or relaxing. However, if you’re just using it for swimming and to get on your boat, a floating dock will handle your needs. You can easily walk across the floating dock to your boat or ladder.


Depending on where you shop, you might be confined to specific materials based on your dock type. Most manufacturers only offer wood fixed docks and then let you choose between wood and aluminum for floating docks. However, Tommy Docks allows you to choose between wood, aluminum, and composite fixed docks. Because of that, you can get what you want for your dock without compromising.

Choosing a Boat Dock

Tommy Docks offers multiple material options, but that’s not all. When you shop with us, you can pick up a do-it-yourself boat dock kit that makes it easy to set up your dock. Pick up a complete dock kit, get the components you need, and buy accessories. You will find everything you need right here, so start shopping for your boat dock and accessories today. Then, you can set everything up and have a boating season to remember. 

Tommy Docks is your source for boat dock hardware, accessories, and more. If you’re ready to take your dock to the next level for next season, contact us today.

Tommy Docks Podcast

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