dock on a river

What Size Floating Boat Dock Should I Have On A River?

A major advantage to boat docks these days is the ability to purchase a floating boat dock.  Floating docks are platforms that can be made from a variety of materials that float on the water’s surface.  They can come in multiple configurations that are very versatile and can be easily customized to suit your individual needs. Before we get into the average boat dock size, let’s look at the advantages of floating docks over traditional ones.

dock on a river


  • Floating docks can ride the waves, rising and falling as needed to accommodate a changing water level so they can virtually be used on almost any body of water.  
  • They are more practical than stationary docks, partly due to the fact that, during inclement weather, they can be easily removed and stored to help prevent any damage.
  • They typically have fewer permit requirements necessary because they are not anchored into a riverbed and, therefore, do not damage any sediment.
  • Because the dock floats, no matter the water fluctuations, the platform will always be the same level above the water.


While floating docks can vary in size greatly due to your anticipated needs of use, an average boat dock size considers that you should have at least 6 ft. x 30 ft. available.  For use on a river, often a semi-floating dock section is needed to allow a smooth transition between the land and the dock.  If water fluctuations are high in the area where your boat dock needs to be, fixed docks can be used at first on the shore, connecting and transitioning to a floating dock where water is deeper.  As well, if the river bottom of a lake falls away quickly, you can begin your dock with a semi-floating dock section to better absorb the movements of the water.  Floating docks stay in place by using a variety of attachment methods depending on your situation. 


Rivers provide a multitude of opportunities to enjoy nature at its best.  Having a floating dock on river means providing better means of access for you, your family, and your friends whom you will likely be entertaining.  Having your own private boat dock will also give you convenient and more flexible access to your boat, and there are no extra slip or docking fees you will have to pay.


While an average boat dock size can be considered at 6 x 30 feet, boats come in a range of sizes. Boat dock sizes can be very adjustable so that they can be made to fit whatever your boat needs.  With common boat sizes ranging from 15 to 25 feet, an average boat dock size needs to be able to accommodate more than that.  You will need to add at least a couple of feet for maneuvering room; you don’t want to damage your boat while trying to dock it in a space that’s too small.  Let’s look at some factors that play into finding the size of a boat dock.  You will need to look at:

  • Length
  • Draft
  • Beam
  • Clearance

The boat’s length is measured from bow to stern, but it’s often not as simple as that.  Any items or products that have been added to the boat that “stick out,” such as a swim ladder, need to be figured in the length as well.

Draft refers to the vertical measurements where the hull of the boat touches the water and, thus, lets you know how deep the water needs to be where you moor your boat.  

The beam of a boat is the distance across the boat at the widest point, such as measuring the distance from side to side in the middle of the boat.

Clearance refers to the height of the boat and is especially critical for watercraft with a fixed mast.

As you can see, several factors come into play when trying to determine boat dock size.  While an average boat dock size of 6 x 30 feet is often used as general guidance when it comes down to finalizing the area for your boat to fit in, the more specific you can be, the better – and then add a couple of feet extra for good measure.


Contact AccuDock at 1-954-785-7557 to speak with an expert about floating bock dock sizes, as well as a floating dock on river requirements.  AccuDock is a global leader in floating dock design and in the manufacturing process that allows the platforms to be so versatile.

AccuDock is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of Floating Docks
CALL 954.785.7557 OR EMAIL [email protected] FOR MORE INFORMATION

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