How To Make A Floating Dock

Posted on: 19 January 2017

Floating docks are great to have if you own a pond or have a house on the lake. You can leave your dock out in the lake for use, then take it out when you no longer need it, such as in the off season. You can place chairs on your floating dock, or attach a slide to it for the kids to play with. You can also add a small cradle on one side to hold a kayak. You can also just use it as a point for your kids to swim out to and jump off into the lake. See below for instructions on how to make a floating dock to add to your pond or lake.

Here's What You Need For The Job:

  • 4 30-gallon plastic drums
  • Silicone
  • Rope
  • 6 - 2x6 pieces of treated wood
  • 3" coated screws
  • Power drill
  • Tape measure
  • 12- 6' treated deck boards

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Start by filling in the barrel drain holes with silicone to prevent them from filling up with water.
  2. Then, using the 2x6 pieces of wood and 3" screws, create a square frame. Using your tape measure, measure 2 feet from the outside and install another piece of wood using the screws. Repeat on the other side. You should be left with a square frame with three sections. The two outer sections will serve as a holding place for the barrels.
  3. Next, drill holes through the end pieces and inside pieces of wood to help hold the rope and barrels securely in place. Drill a hole on either side where your barrels will sit. Run the rope through the holes, then set the barrels in place. Run the rope around the barrels and tie them so they are secure.
  4. Flip the entire dock over and check to be sure the barrels are snug, make any necessary adjustments to your rope/knots. When you're sure they are snug, you can begin installing the decking.
  5. Screw the deck boards onto the top of the frame, leaving about 5/8" gap in between the boards to help prevent warping and rotting.
  6. You can stain your deck boards, paint them, or apply a protective clear coating if you prefer. 
  7. Attach eye-bolts to the sides to enable you to attach anchors to your dock. You can make your own anchors out of concrete, or purchase anchors to help hold your dock in place.

Once finished with your floating dock, add your extras to make it even more useful. If using it to dock a boat, be sure to add bumpers to the sides to keep the sides of your boat from rubbing the dock.

This floating dock will prove to be quite useful, and doesn't cost much to make. If looking for a dock for a large boat, or a dock that you can use for entertaining, such as a fixed dock, you may want to contact a professional dock building company.


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