2024 Floating Jet Ski Docks: Ultimate Buying Guide
Jet skis are thrilling watercraft. While they are built to be tough, keeping them in the water constantly can damage them.
To ensure your personal watercraft is protected when not in use, look at installing a floating jet ski dock.
They are easy to set up and offer accessories like ladders, anchors, bumpers, railings etc. Once installed, you can simply drive your PWC right onto the dock.
They also feature walking space to board and launch your jet ski.
With a variety of options available, the process of finding the right floating jet ski dock can be overwhelming. Here, we dig into the key factors to consider when purchasing a floating PWC dock.
Types of Jet Ski Docks
Although there are a variety of dock types, they mostly fall into one of four categories. These include Floating docks, fixed docks, jet ski lifts, and inflatable docks.
Each type of dock has its advantages.
Floating Jet Ski Docks
Floating jet ski docks rest on the surface of the water and rise and fall with the water level. This makes them great for tidal areas. The best ones have rollers for easy driving on and pushing off.
Floating docks are typically made up of modular components that can be assembled and configured to create customized floating platforms.
Fixed Jet Ski Docks
Fixed jet ski docks are stationary, attach to a seawall or dock, and do not move with changing water levels. They work best in lakes or where the water level remains fairly constant.
Fixed docks can have space for entertaining and relaxing. Be aware that permitting for fixed docks can take longer. They also can be more expensive and difficult to repair.
Jet Ski Lifts
Jet Ski lifts or hoists raise your PWC out of the water. Using chains or cables your watercraft is lifted & stored above the water line.
There are a wide variety of jet ski lifts on the market. This is generally the most expensive option.
Inflatable Jet Ski Docks
Inflatable jet ski docks are the newest type of PWC dock. Drop-stitch technology now offers rigid stable platforms.
These PWC docks are available in different shapes and sizes. Many are a low-cost alternative.
This article focuses on floating jet ski docks because they are the most popular solution to protecting your personal watercraft.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Before buying a jet ski dock, you will want to consider a number of things. In this post, we will discuss type of water, stability, installation, anchoring, durability, budget, maintenance, safety, environmental factors, and local regulations.
Type of Water
Floating docks work in most types of water. They are ideal for lakes, rivers and even coastal areas with mild winds, tides, or wave conditions. They work in both salt water and freshwater.
A floating dock should have the capability to easily launch and dock your personal watercraft. It must be stable to provide a secure platform for boarding, launching, and maintaining the jet ski even in rough waters and winds.
Rocking or tipping can damage your dock and your jet ski. Dock floats or foam blocks underneath the dock can help with stability if your water environment is rough.
Anchors can cut down on sideways movement, which can make boarding and exiting difficult.
Additionally, corner bumpers and braces can also make a platform more secure for docking and boarding.
Installing a floating jet ski dock is easier and simpler than installing a fixed dock. It is important to have enough water to keep the jet ski dock afloat.
You will want to consider the shoreline. Make sure your floating dock doesn’t bump into boats or other objects that can damage it.
The easiest and cheapest way to install your dock is to position it close to a fixed dock or seawall and anchor it with long pipes. The pipes are threaded through preformed holes in the floating dock.
Consider using galvanized pipe because it is stronger than aluminum.
Use an auger to screw the pipe three to four feet into the waterbed.
In calm water conditions, it’s possible to use two pipes at the front of the dock. However, the safest bet is to use four pipes positioned at each corner of your dock.
Floating jet ski docks generally range from 9’-13’ in length and weigh approximately 300-400 pounds. That makes installation a two- or three-person job.
You will want to follow the specific instructions from the manufacturer to ensure your dock is properly installed, and that you don’t void the warranty.
In very strong tidal areas or locations with high winds, anchoring your dock is a second level of protection. If your dock were to break free in a storm, anchors can keep it from floating away.
Floating docks are simple to anchor. A good guideline is to use anchors that are two to three times the weight of the dock depending on tides or rough water.
There are multiple ways to anchor a floating dock. Many people use concrete blocks attached to galvanized steel chains. Crisscrossing the chains from one side of the dock to the concrete block stationed on the other side is best practice.
Avoid making the chains too tight. They need some slack to allow for movement and avoid constant tension.
Your dock needs to be able to handle exposure to water, sun & harsh conditions without decaying. You’ve invested a lot of hard-earned money in your jet ski, so you will want a high-quality floating dock system.
Make sure your dock is made of high-grade materials like polyethylene or polypropylene. These docks are entirely made of plastic which makes them lighter than composite docks and durable.
Floating jet ski docks start around $2,000. Accessories & platforms can be added at additional cost. The average price of a single jet ski dock is about $2,700.
Inspect your jet ski dock regularly for wear, damage, and corrosion. Check the bottom of the dock for barnacles, algae & mold. Buildup of these materials can permanently damage your dock.
Use a brush with an eco-friendly cleaning agent to clean the dock as necessary. Also, check to make sure that your anchoring system and fasteners are secure.
When buying a jet ski dock, you want to protect the jet ski, the dock itself, and the person boarding or exiting your PWC.
Non-Slip Surfaces ensure people can safely walk on the dock, especially when it’s wet.
Rollers or bunks with padding protect the hull of your PWC from scratches and damage. You will want adjustable rollers to best match and adjust your jet ski.
Tie downs like cleats, ropes or straps secure your PWC from shifting or moving on the dock.
The materials used in the construction of floating docks can impact the environment. Look for docks that are made from non-toxic and recyclable materials. Choose cleaning agents that are environmentally friendly.
Docks can block sunlight, that can affect aquatic plants and creatures.
Make sure docks are not clustered so that the sun can reach the plant life below.
When purchasing a jet ski dock, it's important to be aware of regulations. Regulations can vary by location. Check local zoning regulations and obtain required permits before buying.
Some ordinances restrict size, materials, and placement of the dock. Make sure the dock will not be in the way of watercraft or violate buoy restrictions.
Homeowners’ associations often have specific regulations or restrictions concerning floating docks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Floating Jet Ski Docks worth the price?
Floating docks usually cost less than a fixed dock and are the best choice for fluctuating water levels. They make boarding and launching safe and simple. And, with today’s materials they can last for many years.
How much is a floating jet ski dock?
Figure on a minimum of $2,000 for a floating jet ski dock. The addition of bumpers, jet ski tie downs and other accessories make for an investment closer to $3,000.
Are floating docks better than fixed docks?
Floating docks are more popular than fixed jet ski docks because they require less maintenance. They will rise with the water in a storm while a fixed dock can become submerged and damaged.
They are also portable. They can be stored in the winter or in the event of a storm.
Most floating docks are modular. This allows you to connect multiple units to accommodate more jet skis or create bigger platforms.
What are the disadvantages of a floating jet ski dock.
The biggest disadvantage of floating PWC docks is that they can be expensive in areas with deep water because they will need longer poles.
They also can be somewhat noisy as they slide up and down on the poles with changes in the water level.
Although they can last 20-30 years, a fixed dock will typically last about 5 years longer.
How do they work?
Floating jet ski docks use buoyancy and platforms to store and launch jet skis. Plastic pontoons or chambers filled with foam make the platform float on top of the water rising and falling with the water levels.
How to secure it.
Securing a floating jet ski dock is essential to ensure its stability and prevent damage caused by waves, currents, or other environmental factors.
Use a strong anchoring system that allows the dock to move with the water level. Strong pipes driven into the waterbed far enough to not be submerged with rising water levels are necessary to anchor the dock.
Make sure that your dock will not be sitting on the ground when the tide is out. Utilize shock absorbing accessories to protect your dock and jet ski. Install cleats or docking hardware to secure your jet ski when it is not in use.
When purchasing a floating jet ski dock, it's important to consider many factors.
Look for a dock that can accommodate your specific jet ski model and is equipped with features such as non-slip surfaces, and strong construction materials.
Consider the environmental conditions of the location where the dock will be installed. Check on regulations for your area and ensure you can properly anchor the dock. Additionally, check user reviews to gauge the overall satisfaction of other jet ski owners with the product.
By carefully evaluating all of these factors, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a new floating jet ski dock. One that will meet your specific needs and provide long-term reliability for your watercraft.
See you on the water!
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