How to Connect a Floating Dock to Land


Tethering your floating dock to your property can pose some problems. As environmental factors such as tides or increased rain make the water rise and fall, your dock will do the same. Horizontal movements of the water, such as wind-driven lake currents, will try to pull your floating dock away from your property. The connection between your dock and the shore must have the same flexibility as the connection between a boat and a pier. With a bit of time and effort---and your boat building skills---you can connect your floating dock to your backyard in short order.

Things You'll Need

  • One-person gasoline-powered post-hole digger
  • Eight-by-thirty-inch earth-drilling auger,
  • Measuring tape
  • Concrete
  • Two dock cleats, twenty-four-inch bolt type
  • Dock cleat anchor bolts and nuts
  • Drill
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Two twelve-inch ship cleats
  • Bolts and nuts for ship cleats
  • Two-inch nylon line
  • With a measuring tape, determine the width of the dock segment that joins the shore.

  • Find solid earth as near to the shore as possible. Dig two holes into that solid earth, parallel to the shoreline, with the gasoline-powered post hole digger and auger, in accordance with the operating instructions for the post hole digger. Space the holes apart at least four feet greater than the width of the dock segment that joins the shore.

  • Fill the holes with concrete to form footings. Before the concrete sets completely, set a dock cleat in the middle of each concrete footing, then insert the anchor bolts through the bolt holes in the base of the cleats. Screw the nuts onto the anchor bolts, then push the anchor bolts into the concrete until the nuts touch the base of the cleat. Allow the concrete to cure completely before continuing.

  • Drill holes in the decking of the floating dock to accommodate the installation of the ship cleats. Use the base of the cleat as a template for drilling the holes. Place one cleat on each corner of the side of the dock nearest the shore. Attach the ship cleats to the dock, using the adjustable wrench to tighten the ship cleat bolts and nuts.

  • Cut two pieces of nylon line to a length twice that of the distance between a dock cleat and a ship cleat. Wrap one end of one length of nylon line three times around one ship cleat, then make one or two figure-eight turns around the horns of the cleat, tucking the end of the line under the last figure-eight turn. Secure the other end of the nylon line around the dock cleat in the same manner. Repeat this process with the second length of nylon line on the other ship cleat and dock cleat.

Tips & Warnings

  • For locations with extreme weather conditions, tie your dock with one-inch Kevlar woven with eyes spliced in either end, rather than nylon line. Remember that nylon line, when placed under a strain, will stretch up to 140 percent of its original length.
  • Kevlar line loses a large part of its strength when wrapped around a cleat multiple times. Although nylon line stretches, it also snaps back when it parts. A blow from a snapped-back nylon line can cause severe injury or death.

Related Searches


  • "The Dock Manual"; Max Burns; 1998
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Build Floating Docks with Barrels

    Building a floating dock with barrels is an economical way to gain access from that small pond or lake shore property. Using...

  • How to Build a Basic Dock

    Boat docks can be built in many sizes depending upon where they will be used and what type of floating craft will...

  • How to Build a Dock for a Pond

    Before you build a dock for a pond,determine the bottom conditions of the pond. A floating dock is recommended if the soil...

  • How to Anchor a Boat Dock

    Anchoring systems for boat docks vary. Several factors must be considered before deciding on a docking system. The water depth and distance...

  • Floating Dock Ideas

    When you need a dock for your favorite getaway to enjoy family, friends or the beauty of nature, you have a choice...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!