How to Build a Boat Dock

So you’ve built your own boat or just bought one and you trying to decide where to park it. Do you strap it onto a chassis, attach it to your pick-up and drive back and forth to the lake? Well, you could do that but why not make it easier on yourself and build a dock?

Docks can be very straightforward and practical, or stylish and intricate. A dock can also be transformed into a wonderful casual entertaining area where friends assemble to enjoy themselves.

While you are excited at the prospect of building your own dock, there are a few things that you must consider before “diving in head first”.

  • Your budgetary allowance for such a venture
  • The size of your boat (bigger boats require deeper waters)
  • The proposed size of the deck (will it include a lounge area? Or just a boarding area?)
  • The purpose of your dock (embarking, disembarking, or liming)
  • Water depth (see 2)
  • Soil characteristics ( ensure soil is suitable for dock building)
  • Type of dock (floating or dock with posts)
  • How far out you will need to go from land to access your boat?

Required Materials and Tool

  • treated lumber
  • treated posts
  • a handsaw
  • nails or screws
  • cordless drill or hammer
  • deck bumper
  • measurement tape
  • a ladder (in areas where water is shallow)


  1. firmly lodge two (2) rows of the desired number of posts starting from land out into the prescribed distance in the water (the posts should be in line with each other and no more than 4 feet apart). When you’re finished, the posts should take the form of a square or rectangle when viewed from above.
  2. nail or screw the lumber to join the top and bottom of the first post to the bottom and top of the second post respectively. (continue in that order for row one and proceed to row two until all the posts are finished) The end product should resemble sets of crosses when viewed from the side.
  3. nail or screw the lumber to join the top of the first post in row one to the top of the second post in row two and the top of the first post in row two to the top of the second post in row one (continue in this fashion until all posts are completely joined). When viewed from above, the result to look similar to a rectangle filled with crosses.
  4. nail or screw the lumber to join the round top of the corresponding post in row one to that of row two until finished.
  5. install the deck bumper


  • Check out your dock before allowing anyone to access it. Make sure it is safe and that it was built properly.
  • Once your dock is completed you can sit back unwind and take pleasure in the view. Hopefully, you will get many years of enjoyment from the careful planning you put into this project.
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