Tennessee Floating or Fixed Dock?

Published on  by tnlakelife

Fixed Docks versus Floating Docks

Many new lot owners considering building that dream Tennessee Lake Home have so many decisions to make. It is overwhelming! But one of the most important decisions you will need to make is:

Fixed Posted Dock

“Do I build a Tennessee Floating Dock or a Fixed Dock?”

Here are some advantages of a floating dock over a fixed dock:

  • Floats automatically adjusts to high and low water conditions – you’ll never be left high and dry or find your dock submerged.
  • Permitting is easier permitting (no damage to sediment, so less hassle).
  • Expandability is easier as a whole; some docks are modular and others aren’t.
  • Since power pedestals and the electrical systems float on the docks, they shouldn’t be submerged from storms or surges.  Fixed docks run the risk of submergence and potentially shorting out some of the electrical system.
  • There are tax advantages due to a shorter depreciation schedule.
  • Sometimes the docks are assessed as personal property.  The rates can be higher or lower than real property; however, so this is a case-by-case basis.
  • Many floating docks can simply be hauled away onto the site prior to major storms or during the cold weather season (think icing problems).
  • In a storm you just turn the power off to the floating dock.  After the storm you fix water pipes if busted (they’re typically rubber hoses).  That’s as easy as it gets.
Floating dock
Some of the additional and popular considerations to discuss with your dock builder before making a decision
  • Do you want a system that allows you to accommodate additional boats of friends and neighbors?
  • If your area of the lake has drastic water level changes, how will you ensure that half or ALL of your floating dock is not sitting on the lake bed during low lake level conditions?
  • Does you family swim or sunbath frequently?  If so, a floating swim platform is easy and fun for that type of use.
  • Will you include a floating walkway or will it be fixed?
A few comparisons to ponder are below:

………………………………………………………………Floating Docks………………………………………………………. Fixed Docks

Profile Rise and fall with water levels. Stationary which can mean a lot of exposed wood when waters are low.
Convenience Easier to get on and off of your boat. Can be challenging depending on water level.
Boat Lift Many options for boat lift. Must use cable style boat lift.
Maintenance Dock floats will need future maintenance. Needs winterization but otherwise limited maintenance.
Lake Activity Better suited to calmer lake conditions. More suited for high traffic or large fetch conditions.
Alternative Use Limited. Can be seen as an extension of your property for uses such as parties.
Noise Can be noisy due to the movement in the water. Minimal, if any.
Materials Can be made of either wood or steel. Usually made of wood or composite.
Floating Jet Ski Ramps and PWC Lifts Easily attached. Can have some difficulty in attaching, or more costly electronic applications are necessary.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the right price point for your budget, and a dock solution that is going to meet your needs for its use. We suggest you take your time, do some research and enjoy the exciting process of building a dock for your home! And of course, Call the Tennessee Lake Experts for any suggestions, comments or advice. We Live the Lakefront Lifestyle everyday!

Posted by Kody Millikan, Lakefront Living Realty