New Year, New Dock: How to Plan the Dock of Your Dreams

How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? Are you going to the gym and eating more greens? We have one resolution that will bring you joy year-round and for years to come. It's time for that dock update you've been thinking about for years.

If you've resolved to improve your dock, here are essential things to consider before you invest. 

Should You Modify or Replace Your Dock?

Dock modifications can be challenging. If your dock is relatively new, or if you only need to make small changes, updating your current dock might be a good option. Otherwise, a new dock may be a better long-term investment. Some floating docks can accommodate modular additions, but that might not be an option if you need more covered space. 

Do You Need a Floating or Stationary Dock

There are 2 kinds of lakes—run-of-the-river lakes and flood-control lakes. It's important to know what kind of lake you are on before making a dock decision.

Run-of-the-river lakes usually maintain a consistent level. They generally have the same amount of water flowing in and flowing out. You can build structures closer to the waterline, and fixed docks are often appropriate. 

Flood control lakes are drawn down seasonally to prepare for heavy rains. Lake levels can fluctuate significantly, so a floating dock is usually a better option. 

If you are new to a lake, your realtor or a neighbor should be able to tell you how much lake levels fluctuate. Many rivers have a mix of run-of-the-river lakes and flood-control lakes. For example, on Alabama's Coosa River, Lay Lake, Lake Mitchell, and Lake Jordan are run-of-the-river lakes, while Weiss, Neely Henry, and Logan Martin Lakes are all flood-control lakes.

Inspect the Fleet

Once you've determined whether you need a floating or stationary dock, it's time to inspect the fleet. How many boats do you have? How many jet skis? How often do friends and family visit in their boats? 

And don't forget to measure your boats! Dock slips are made to fit, so measure bow to stern and starboard to port. 

We also recommend thinking 5-10 years into the future. Do you plan to add a fishing boat once the kids graduate from college? Your dock should accommodate your 10-year plans because, as discussed in the first section, some dock modifications can be challenging. 

Consider Your Ideal Day on the Dock

Imagining your ideal day on the dock might be the most important thing you do. Do you spend more time in the sun or the shade? Do you enjoy jumping into the lake from a height? Do you need room to store floats, a lake pad, and skis? Imagine how you will use the dock with friends and family, from a morning cup of coffee to an evening cocktail and everything in between. 

And while it might not be your ideal day, consider whether you will work remotely from the lake. Does our dock need wifi so you can work from your happy place?

Do You Like to Entertain on the Dock?

Some docks have a 2nd story or covered space that functions as an outdoor living space. Can you imagine watching a football game or playing your favorite party playlist when hosting friends? Consider making space for furniture, dining, and your preferred entertaining setup. 

Do You Need Electricity?

Would you like a refrigerator on your dock? Do you have a boat lift? Most modern docks have amenities that need electricity.

Electricity in water is dangerous, and it has been the cause of countless drownings. The electricity required to run a 60-watt bulb is more than enough to immobilize a swimmer. Running electricity to a dock is different from running electricity to a structure on land, and you should work with an electrician who has experience with docks. 

If you have electricity on your dock, get WaveLink. The WaveLink Hub monitors the swimming area around the dock so you can keep everyone safe. The Hub provides audible and visual alerts when electricity is detected and connects to the WaveLink App to deliver alerts to your phone, no matter where you are.

Learn more about how adding WaveLink to your dock is a smart decision for you and your family.

For more information on our product launch and how you can reserve a WaveLink Hub for your dock, fill out this form.