What are floating platforms?
Water occupies approximately 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, and the vast majority of this space remains unutilized.
Thankfully, today with better equipment and improved engineering tools, engineers are now able to build floating work platforms. These floating platforms, also referred to as floating docks, can be used for:
- Floating passage
- Holding tools and equipment
Floating platforms or docks can be of any size, and besides commercial applications, they can also be used by homeowners residing near waterways for relaxing, docking their boat, or fishing.
Floating platforms can be permanent or temporary, depending on why they are being installed. With better engineering techniques and improved material, floating platform construction has become relatively easy to help with installation.
The other feature of floating platforms is that they are not embedded into the waterbed and hence do not cause any environmental issues. They can also be more easily and readily maintained.
Floating Platforms 101
In simple terms, a floating platform remains buoyant on water because it is built on encapsulated foam and/or supported by airtight drums.
In most scenarios, a gangway will link the floating platform to the seashore. Floating work platforms usually follow the motion of the waves, making them adaptable in all types of water.
To prevent the platform from floating away, it is held in place by cables or chains that are connected to poles embedded in the soil. Floating docks are frequently found in boat marinas and often used to secure watercraft.
Benefits of a Floating Platform
- Provides you with extra space for personal activities, like relaxing, fishing, and docking your boat.
- Allows you to store light equipment, such as beach furniture, barbecue grills, and associated equipment (but these need to be firmly strapped down, or they may fall into the water with the motion of the waves).
- Most modular designs do not split, crack, or rot and withstand both fresh and saline water for long periods of time.
- They are relatively easy to construct within a short time frame.
- You can order customized docks from the manufacturer to suit your needs. Floating work platforms are available in many styles, designs, colors, height, and other accessories.
- Most of the newer floating platform construction has an anti-slip surface that lets you walk on them without fear of slipping on the wet platform.
- Floating platforms are also designed with materials that do not transfer heat to your feet on a hot day.
- You can even have floating platforms that have a side rope railing to help you walk without fear of falling into the water.
How Do Floating Docks Work?
Floating platforms are designed in such a way that they do not sink but remain buoyant. However, they do move synchronously with the natural movements of the water.
Therefore, the floating work platform will rise and fall as the tide changes. In all cases, the floating platform construction is linked to the seashore via a gangway. When doing maintenance, each segment can be removed and put back without any hassles.
In areas where the waters tend to be rough, the floating platform may have airtight pontoons that permit the complete floating platform to remain suspended on the surface of the water.
The pontoons are durable, stable, and sturdy, and even when the drum is damaged/punctured, the entire platform will stay afloat.
How is a Floating Platform Established?
There are four choices for building a floating platform:
- You can buy a used floating platform. They are often for sale by a homeowner, or you can check out marinas. However, before you buy a used platform, you should make sure it meets your needs, is not damaged, and is functional.
- You can have a professional construct one for you. By doing this, you can have one made that meets all your needs, including the shape, size, color, and any other applicable accessories.
- You can make one yourself if you are good with your hands. Today, floating platform construction can be easily built from modular parts, but you still must have some idea of what you are doing.
- You can order a factory-made floating platform, and either the company can either have it installed on the water for you or do the rest yourself. This eliminates a significant amount of labor and cost. Putting up a modular floating platform is not that difficult as long as you have some basic tools. The only disadvantage of purchasing a pre-built floating platform is that you cannot have it customized according to your needs.
Should I hire a professional platform installer?
For most people, hiring a professional installer is the best way to build a floating work platform. This allows you to customize the platform, and you will not have to worry about the equipment, tools, and colors. An experienced installer will take care of all the issues and even offer you advice on maintenance.
The cost of installing a floating dock depends on the size, number of drums, type of material, and other accessories, like the gangway.
How Long Will a Floating Platform Last?
The longevity depends on the material, type of maintenance, and climate. In general, if you maintain the platform well, there is no reason why it should not last a couple of decades.
One of the things you need to consider when having floating platform construction is the type of material. Selecting the right material is important as it will impact the longevity of the platform and the maintenance that goes with it.
The materials used to construct floating platforms include wood, plastic, and aluminum. Plastic is the best choice as it is durable, easy to install, and inexpensive.
While it may not have the aesthetics of wood, plastic will last a lot longer than wood and is not easily damaged by water, sun, or insects.
Finally, before you start constructing a floating platform, check to see if a permit is required. Check with the Local Chamber of Commerce on what type of permit you will need.
If you are considering having a floating platform installed at your home, the best advice is to speak to a dock expert.
There are several types of floating docks and the design principle is different for all of them. What you want is something that will last, is easy to maintain, and affordable.
Call AccuDock at 954-785-7557 to get all your questions answered. AccuDock is the leading manufacturer of floating docks worldwide.