If you think about the environmental stresses present in a marina environment, you realize the benefits of a stable structure that floats on top of the water. Marina owners throughout the country recognize the elements which make concrete floating docks the most practical, cost-effective choice.
What’s under the water?
When you first begin to plan your new dock, it’s important to consider what’s under the water. What type of floor does this body of water have? If it’s very soft and muddy at the bottom, the pilings for a fixed dock would be difficult to secure. Likewise, if you have a hard rock shelf at the bottom, it would also be a challenge to set the pilings in place. Next, you need to know how deep the water is; if the depth at high tide is greater than 20 feet, fixing pilings becomes very complicated. It’s obvious why the largest cost of a wooden dock results from planting the pilings.
Floating docks, however, can be secured in various ways depending on the layout and the direction of the weather. The anchoring system for your dock will be custom-designed to prevent any horizontal movement in response to the forces of wind and wave, while allowing natural vertical movement with the tide.
Flotation: why not wood?
Have you wondered why floating docks aren’t simply made with wood? It turns out that, over time, wood is actually not very buoyant. Its cells eventually become entirely saturated with water and it sinks. Furthermore, wood is susceptible to the action of many different marine creatures that bore into it (as any owner of a wooden boat will attest.) Treating wood against these biological attackers causes it to lose buoyancy.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is commonly used for durable, heavy-duty flotation in houseboats and docks. It’s composed of 97% air, and one cubic foot of EPS can support sixty pounds of weight. This mostly-air material is sealed inside the core of each section of Nordidock’s floating concrete dock, making it permanently buoyant. The terrific buoyancy of the EPS supports the weight of the concrete, and the combination of the two materials results in a floating dock which is so heavy that it won’t respond readily to wave chop or moving loads.
Life cycle cost
When budgeting for a new dock, you’re committing yourself to all the upkeep it will need throughout its lifetime. Concrete and foam, both of which are inert environmentally friendly materials, require virtually no maintenance. Utility conduits are safely sealed within the core of the dock sections, protected from all corrosive elements.
Concrete docks valued nationwide
While NordiDock serves the residents of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, and Massachusetts, concrete floating docks are increasingly valued in other regions of the country as well. According to the Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative, “When a wooden floating dock in the Port of San Diego had deteriorated to the point of having to be torn down, the owners chose to replace it with a floating dock assembled from precast concrete modules. The durability offered by the precast dock was a key consideration, and the modular design allowed a few standard-sized sections to be used in the creation of a variety of configurations.”
A discussion of a local dock in the Martha’s Vineyard Times includes this comment: “The reason concrete floating docks were recommended are; concrete floating docks are safer for the boaters as they rise and fall with the tide and keep the stern of the boat at dock level, they require less maintenance than wood, are far more fire resistant, and are less expensive to install.”
The Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida has a new system of concrete floating docks. Their Public Works Construction Manager announced: “Recreational boaters at NAS Jacksonville will soon enjoy safe haven thanks to a new concrete floating dock system with quality boating amenities.”