What Type of Boat Dock is Best for Me?

Living in Florida, especially around the Bradenton, Tampa, and St. Petersburg areas, means there are a lot of ways for homeowners to benefit from boat docks. We have every type of waterway: from easy access to the open ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, to lakes, rivers, mangrove forests, and even marshy wetlands. So whether your interests lie in boating, fishing, diving, nature watching, parasailing, water skiing, airboats, jet skiing, or relaxing by the water, you have your options open.

All those activities listed above means that if you live on the water in Bradenton, Tampa, or St. Petersburg, then there is no excuse to not be reaping the advantages boat docks can afford you.

But how do you decide what type is best for you? Well, to start, there are two main categories:

Stationary or Standing

With a frame constructed of sturdy pylons driven deep into the seabed using heavy machinery, stationary models are suited for a wide variety of aquatic environments and shore types. These hold up especially well in areas of large wakes or rough waters, because the waves can pass between the legs without problem. Wooden pilings work best for both salt and freshwater areas. Standing docks are also ideal for adding boat lifts to store your vessel out of the water, or for entertaining guests, as they can be constructed to easily accommodate seating for a few or for many.


Unlike with standing boat docks, this style works perfectly in areas in Bradenton, Tampa, or St. Petersburg with deep water, heavy water-level fluctuations, or locations with a sludgy or unstable sea floor. If your property experiences rough water conditions, consider a stationary design instead. Different options include the “U” shape for secure docking; “L” for easier parallel tie-offs; or “T” shaped for storing more than one vessel at your location.

Making A Decision

If you have the option of a stationary design, you’ll need to decide what is you would like to do with it. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to get your started.

  • Do you plan to use it for fishing, boating, entertainment, or something else?
  • Does it need room to fit a single table, or seat 20?
  • Will you want a gazebo or built in bar?
  • How long do you want it to last and how ornate do you need it?
  • What’s your budget?

After finding out the answers to at least some of these questions, the best way to determine which of the different styles of boat docks best suits you is to contact a professional marine construction company that services Bradenton, Tampa, and St. Petersburg to tell you about your options. To get help through every step of the planning and design process, call Priority Marine at 727-447-1373.


Expert Dock Builders Opinion: Fixed or Floating?

So you live in or around Bradenton and are looking for advice on fixed and floating options from experienced dock builders? Well this is the place to find your answers.

Boats bring us joy, plain and simple. There is nothing quite like getting out on the open water and (check all that apply):

  • Opening the throttle and cutting through the open ocean in a light chop (or zero chop)
  • Sitting out in the middle of the water early in the morning before sunrise, or in the middle of the afternoon, with your fishing pole, cooler, and with or without friends.
  • Getting pulled behind the boat at the end of a rope on a raft, skis, or parasailing up in the air
  • Competitive, big fish, or deep sea fishing
  • Other

But the thing that could make all of these easier to do is to be able to launch from your own backyard on a whim. So which style is best for you, fixed or floating? Here’s what Bradenton’s best dock builders have to say about each:


Also known as standing or stationary boat docks, these utilize wood pilings to support them high above the water level. These are ideal for a variety of shore types and aquatic environs, as well as for areas with rough waters. If you want the ability to store your vessel out of the water, this design allows for the addition of a boat lift. Additionally if you intend to use your deck out over the water for entertainment, a stationary design can be constructed with room to seat only a few or many, as well as provide you with the option for additions such as a gazebo, custom bar, or a boat house.


This easy to install model can be very useful in some situations. If your property is up against water that is very deep, has high water level fluctuations, or has an unstable sea bottom, you might benefit from a floating dock. Dock builders can also easily install this option versus the fixed alternatives. These typically come in 3 shapes for different docking options: “U”, “L”, and “T”. If the water is too rough in your area of Bradenton, or you live in a high wake zone, consider fixed instead.

Ultimately you will need to speak with trusted Bradenton dock builders to make your final decision. They will come out to perform a property inspection, and give you a breakdown of your best options, and help you decide which will best suit your needs. For additional information, call Priority Marine at 727-447-1373.

Best Decking Materials for Tampa Bay

The varied landscape around Tampa Bay means our waterways can range from saltwater, to fresh, to brackish. Private residences and businesses might be built: beachfront, lakefront, along a canal, on the river, or even in marshy wetland areas. With so much water around, the best deck builders are also the best dock companies! This is because the only significant difference between a deck and a dock is its foundation, which means the materials they are constructed out of are the same.

So what are the best decking materials for Tampa Bay properties?

When you want durability and beauty, you want to ensure the company constructing your backyard addition is using the right stuff:

Wood – There are many types of wood to choose from, but pressure treated pine is the standard decking material used for most Tampa Bay homes. This wood is resistant to rot and termite damage and can be sealed to prevent weathering. If the color ever does start to fade, it can be refinished and sealed to restore that brand new look.

Composite – Composite decking materials are made from recycled plastics and are guaranteed for longer because they do not degrade over time from mold, rot, or insects. Composite does a good job mimicking the look of real wood and comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes. You also have no need to fear splinters when walking on it barefoot, or slipping on it when it is wet.

Cellular PVC – This synthetic style is newer to the market and offers many similar benefits to composites. This easy to clean wood replacement is resistant to mold growth and can handle UV, freezing, insects, and rot. On top of all this, it is also scratch and stain resistant which means it’s great for hosting parties. Cellular PVC also comes in several different colors that won’t fade, and will match your tastes perfectly.

Ultimately the decision is yours to make, but speaking with a professional about your options is a great way to work out what decking materials best fit your individual needs. If you’re thinking about a new backyard installation for your Tampa home, call Priority Marine today at 727-447-1373.