If you own lakefront property, you probably spend plenty of time on the dock. Improve your boat dock to make it safer and more attractive. Use these tips to make a better functioning dock and enjoy your time near the water.

Replacing the Decking

If the lumber on the dock is rotting, warping, or splitting, it’s probably time to replace it. Depending on the condition of the structure, you may be able to simply replace the top decking boards.

You can choose to refurbish the dock with wood, aluminum, or composite decking. Wood has a classic, traditional look but is more prone to damage and deterioration from the elements. Aluminum is a great choice because it doesn’t warp, rot, or splinter. However, aluminum tends to be a more costly option. Composite decking is also a good material for your dock. Composites last longer than wood, but still need more maintenance than aluminum.

Use LED Lighting to Improve Your Boat Dock

Better lighting improves safety and visibility on the dock. Install deck lighting along the edges of the dock to illuminate the perimeter. Underwater lights boost safety and attract marine life.

Get creative with your use of light. You could install solar-powered lights on top of pilings. Add green recessed lighting to the edge of the dock on the side where the boat should be parked. Use red on the opposite side.

Because most boat docks sit in full sun all day, solar-powered lighting is a perfect option. They charge during the day and power on automatically at night. Choose lights with sturdy housing. Plastic is usually a better option because metal can corrode.

Install a Dock Box

A dock box is a great accessory because you can store almost anything you need right by the boat. These boxes are designed to withstand the elements, be sturdy and durable, and protect your belongings. This type of storage can be bolted to the dock and provides a place for supplies and safety equipment: extra life jackets, ropes, pool noodles, a speaker system, and cleaning products for your boat.

Improve Your Boat Dock by Inspecting the Bumpers

A bumper protects the dock and boat in case of a collision. Inspect the bumpers to make sure they’re still in good condition. If the bumper has seen better days, it’s fairly easy to install a new one; you’ll only need a screwdriver, stainless steel screws, and a bit of time. Bumpers should be installed at any potential points of impact. Depending on your preference and your budget, you can find dock bumpers made from PVC, vinyl, rubber, and foam. The best materials for a bumper are UV and weather-resistant.

Blackbird Home Inspections offers inspection services, including boat dock inspections, in Central Arkansas. Contact us to request an appointment.