Introduction: Build Your Own Floating Dock

Picture of Build Your Own Floating Dock

My friend Bruce built this wood floating dock from a floating dock kit by www.dockaccents.com. It was easy to build and he saved a lot of money doing it himself. Now he has easier access to the water from his standing dock and can use the floating dock for swimming, launching kayaks, canoes or accessing his boat.

Tools Required: Hammer or Nail Gun, Impact Wrench or Socket Ratchet, Measuring Tape, Pencil, Square, Chop Saw or Skill Saw, Drill if needed.

Materials Required:

FLOATING DOCK FLOATS & HARDWARE:

9 – Dock Floats – Polyflanged foam filled floats.

4 – Inside Corners – Galvanized Heavy-duty

6 – Angles

110 – SS 5/16 x 1 ½” lag bolt sets (bolt and washer)

LUMBER:

Pressure-treated Lumber- For Frame/Bracing:

2 – 2 x 6 x 12” Side Stringers

7 – 2 x 6 x 10’ - for Float Supports

4 – 2 x 6 x 12’ Cross Stringers

2 – 2 x 6 x 10’ End Stringers

Pressure-treated Lumber– For Decking

(May substitute a composite or other decking material if desired)

27 – 2 x 6 x 10’ Decking Boards OR

20 – 2 x 8 x 10’ Decking Boards

Nails – 5-10 lbs #16 Penny Ring Shank Nails or your choice.

Step 1: STEP 1: Cut Lumber and Build Frame for Wood Floating Dock

Picture of STEP 1:  Cut Lumber and Build Frame for Wood Floating Dock

Assembly all necessary tools and materials required.

Using chop saw or skill saw, cut all lumber to appropriate lengths per material list for construction of a 10 x 12’ floating dock.

Construct frame for floating dock using end stringers (2”x6”x 10’) and side stringers (2”x6”x 12’). Cross Stringers (2”x6”x 12’) to be placed 2 foot on center to support frame. Square frame by cross measuring. Secure framing with nails using hammer or nail gun. (Note: Lumber will need to be measured and cut to appropriate lengths. Length of stringers will need to be cut approximately 3” (accommodating for end stringers- 1 ½” each) to assure accurate length of 12’ for the frame.) Otherwise, the frame will measure 12’ and 3” long, which is okay…you won’t need additional floats or hardware but may need an additional deck board.) If using composite board, stringers are to be placed 18” on center.

Insert inside corners in each corner of the frame centered vertically. Using impact wrench or socket ratchet, secure with 5/16” x 1 ½” lag bolt sets (8 lag bolt sets per inside corner or may substitute carriage bolts)

Step 2: STEP 2: Placing Dock Floats on Frame for Wood Floating Dock

Picture of STEP 2:  Placing Dock Floats on Frame for Wood Floating Dock


(Keep in mind that the floating dock is being built upside down at this point). Place support boards (2”x6”x 10’) for floats on top of frame (flat) so that the floats will have a left edge, center and right edge support for mounting. These boards should be running perpendicular to stringers and spaced so that there is 1 board at each end of the float and 1 board in the center so flanged edge of float can be mounted.

Secure support boards with nails using hammer or nail gun. Place floats (flat side down with flanged edge against frame) per float placement in diagram on the support boards. Using impact wrench or socket ratchet, secure each float to the support boards using 5/16” x 1 ½” lag bolt sets: (6 lag bolts per float: Attach to support boards securing along the flanged edge of the float).

Step 3: Step 3: Attaching Inside Dock Hardware and Decking Wood Floating Dock

Picture of Step 3:  Attaching Inside Dock Hardware and Decking Wood Floating Dock

Once floats are secured, you will need 2-4 strong persons to flip the floating dock over or if you have a tractor like Bruce, you may be able to flip it over by yourself.

Position angles and secure with 5/16” x 1 ½” lag bolt sets using impact wrench or socket ratchet. (4 lag bolt sets per angle). NOTE: Alternate positioning of angles may be appropriate for your situation. In such case, alternate
placement of angles should accommodate anticipated high stress areas.

Deck boards can now be nailed to the frame at this point. (Decking screws may be substituted for nails if desired). Once decking is complete, additional trimming of edges with skill or chop saw may be necessary to even edges.

Once construction is complete, push floating dock into water and secure to appropriate pilings or poles using connecting hardware.

If using hinge sets to adjoin floating dock sections, mark placement with a pencil prior to putting docks in the water to assure appropriate alignment of male and female connectors. Secure corresponding male and female connectors with ½” x 2” SS lag bolt sets using impact wrench or socket ratchet. Once floating docks are placed in water, align floating docks and secure hinge sets with connector pins provided.

If using piling hoops or other connecting hardware,position floating dock in the water along side the appropriate piling, etc.,prior to securing hardware. Once appropriate placement of floating dock is obtained, secure piling hoops and/or connecting hardware with ½” x 2” SS lag bolt sets provided.

NOTE: Carriage bolts (1/2” x 3”) can be substituted for lag bolts in connecting hardware (angles, inside corners, hinge sets, hoops, etc) if desired. If so, you will need additional hardware - backing plates, washer plates and end corners.

Additional Accessories: Rub Rail or Dock Bumper and Dock Corners can be used to provide a nice protective edge to your floating dock. Cleats, eye bolts, and other accessories are great dock accents as well. Check out more pics at www.dockaccents.com/floating-dock-gallery.html.

Comments

ProFloat (author)2016-10-31

We’ve been in the dock business for over ten years and this is a well-done DIY piece and product. For anyone who might not have the time or inclination to build their own dock, this video shows how we developed our own floating dock system over the last decade: http://www.profloat.com/video/

zenfunk (author)2015-09-04

How did you get the pilings in the bottom of the lake? Huge sledgehammer?

We built a similar floating dock but used recycled galvanized fence posts for the piers. We were able to drive these into the lake bottom just using a post driving tool which can be found at any hardware store. Clearly not as heavy duty as this but we have gone through a lot of winter storms and they have done well.

Atchljr (author)zenfunk2016-02-18

The pilings that are around the outside of the pier are usually done by a private contractor that uses a counter weighted pile driver on a floating barge to drive the pilings into the lake or riverbed.

tomatoskins (author)2015-07-24

That looks great! Thanks for sharing!

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