However, there are a few accessories that are necessary for any custom boat dock, boat, vessel, kayak or other type of craft docking or undocking at your dock. Certain accessories are necessary to ensure the safety of all.
Below are my top 3 accessories that you will find as tips for every dock builder:
Cleats – cleats are by far the most important accessory for any dock. The cleats, made of different materials and styles, ensure that watercraft and their passengers are safely in their dock. Cleats not only ensure safe maneuvering of docking and undocking, but also ensure that the vessel remains as calm as possible when passengers board and disembark. A loose dock line can swing the vessel further away from the dock and create an unsafe situation for boarding. A dock without studs could make you find an object to tie to while the craft stumbles around on your dock. They also risk loosening the lines if they are not properly attached to a cleat.
The most common types of studs are:
Galvanized Steel – With two holes cast for installation with hex bolts, it’s an easy installation for any do-it-yourself project. They are available in different sizes with the most common sizes from 4 “to 12”.
Fold Up or Fold Down – The mounting holes on these terminals are recessed to keep the screws clear of the attached leads. Simply flip up the cleat to be used and fold the cleat into the low profile base when not in use. They are also available in many colors and sizes and can be used practically for any area.
Angled Aluminum Rail Dock Cleats (Dock Builders Cleats) – Fits easily in the right place and fits most dock builder docks with aluminum profile.
Solar Illuminated – Attractive and functional with powerful solar charging power and mooring power. Lights are built into the cleat, are waterproof and automatically turned on – at dusk.
Lighting – Once again there are thousands of products to choose from and as many ways you can enhance your dock with light. But at least you need to have enough lighting, in the right places and at the right time. The MUST have enough light for safe footing for all pedestrians while on the dock and for safe boarding and access to the dock. If your dock sticks out into the waterway, you should consider a light to warn other boaters farthest away.
Here are some simple lighting tips that help to create the safe environment:
Solar motion detectors can be mounted virtually anywhere. Test them before installation to make sure the movement is detected at a distance. Some may be on piles, posts, walls and some have their pedestals. You can choose the height and distance to place from the area you want to illuminate.
Solar cleats are a great way to easily provide lighting in the right areas. Use solar powered studs in the area where you need to light, or use more to enhance the character of your docks.
Flexible strip or rope lighting is a very inexpensive way to provide lighting in any area. They are flexible and can be shaped and positioned virtually anywhere. Select solar charging to avoid tripping hazards such as cables and plugs.
Ladders – Make sure there is a way to get to the dock from the water. Nobody wants to think about an incident in which a small child or an animal falls into the water and can not climb out. Ladders are available in a variety of materials, lengths and price.
Fixed ladders are firmly attached to the dock surface and remain stationary for a safe ascent.
Flip-up ladders are securely attached to the dock surface, but swing up and out of the way and snap into place when not in use.
Slide-up ladders securely attach to the dock surface and have convenient cables to raise and lower the steps.
Now that you’ve got the three modules you need, and you’re convinced your dock is safe, you can think about how to personalize your docking space based on your lifestyle. You can use your dock space as your outdoor social space, and you may need extra lighting, some additional perimeter dock protection, and your dock piles or dock box to store your boat products. Whatever your needs are you are sure to find the product of your choice.