Custom Dock Systems for Private Boat Owners

Private floating dock

The homeowners of this custom boat dock in California incorporated an access panel in the deck of the dock for their lobster traps.

Over the past 20 years we’ve seen a major advancement in the marina industry from off the shelf dock systems to custom engineered designs that are suited for a specific site and its users.  This shift has taken a little longer to trickle down to the residential market but is now gaining momentum.  Homeowners are realizing that they don’t have to settle for a one size fits all dock system for their home.  They can have a boat dock that caters to the specific needs of their location, their family and their guests.

Following a trend seen among large scale marina projects, homeowners are incorporating decorative concrete and hardwood or composite trim packages on their concrete floating docks to create an upscale and personalized look.  These upgrades are gaining attention in the market but are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customization of private docks.

One of the most unique projects currently under construction is for a homeowner in the Bahamas.  For this project Bellingham Marine designed and fabricated a 54’ floating timber dock complete with utilities, boat lift, gazebo platform and gangway.  Additional design details included a timber handrail system, decorative rafters and bracing components, and a custom roof structure that doubles as a rain collection system.  The rain collection system stores and treats up to 60 gallons of water for use on the dock. The system can be operated by gravity feed or pump for greater pressure.

Another unique feature recently included on a residential dock was a lobster trap.  For this homeowner, Bellingham Marine designed a concrete floating dock with gaps between the modules of the float system to accommodate the homeowner’s desire to be able to place his lobster traps under the dock.  The gaps between the float modules were fitted with hardwood decking and a trap door was placed in one of the covers to provide the homeowner with easy access to his traps.

Underwater lighting and LED accent lights are other features making their way into residential dock projects.  With the cost to incorporate custom lighting becoming more feasible, private dock owners are joining upscale marinas in this growing trend.  Bellingham Marine recently completed a residential dock equipped with underwater lights and is in the process of completing another with recessed LED runway lighting with clamshell covers installed along the deck.

Accessories on private docks are also becoming more personalized.  Big power, personalized dock boxes, custom gates, custom concrete finishes, and kayak storage racks are just a few of the examples of the types of options homeowners are incorporating into their projects.

A residential dock project in Mexico exemplifies this trend towards greater customization in the residential dock market.  Along with choosing layout and finishes for their new home, homeowners will be given the opportunity to select from a range of options including dock size, deck finish, gangway style and more to build a truly custom dock to complement their custom home.

The ability to design a dock that is unique and reflects one’s personal taste gives private home owners great flexibility in creating a space on the water that perfectly suits their individual needs. If you are planning a dock or marina project and would like more information about the many different options available for your project, we’d love the opportunity to talk with you and explore the range of possibilities.

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