Rowing centers on the East Coast and across the United States want to ensure safety for their athletes and longevity in their rowing center investments. Not all floating docks perform well in varying situations, especially under the heavy use of a rowing season. There are several factors to be considered when a rowing club, school, college or association designs or purchases docks for their rowing center. Board Safe is an expert in designing and manufacturing floating docks for rowing centers. The below characteristics are built into the unparalleled design and construction of each Board Safe dock.


The first question for any rowing center project is where is the rowing center located? Floating docks manufactured for lakes, which have little variation in water levels, are much different from floating docks built for tidal waters, like bays and marshes, which see dramatic fluctuations in water levels. Sometimes lakes see elevation changes in water, as they are river fed or have floodgates. The same applies for floating docks on a river that have constant downstream force and vertical movements with the change in seasons and weather patterns. These factors are calculated into the production of the docks not only their long term durability but also factors like stability and integration. Integrating a floating dock into a rowing center includes many calculations the size and location of the bulks heads, pilings (internal pilings guides or external pilings guides) and gangways.


As mentioned above, stability is an important factor for floating docks in rowing centers as crewmembers board and exit their boats. Additionally, rowers must carry and remove their boats from the water. Board Safe has a proprietary calculation for floating docks to adequately support many people, accommodate point loads, and maintain a consistent position above the water level. This includes the exact placement, size and types of floating on the floating dock. Board Safe rowing docks also have 5-inch free board. This coupled with the dock’s overall stability give rowers confidence as they enter and exit their rowing shells.


Rowing centers and rowing docks are obviously used for rowing. The real question is how are they used? How many crews, staff and others will be using the floating docks. What are the ideal dimensions for the floating docks, finger docks and gangways? Where are the boats stored and loaded. What is the configuration of the rowing center, floating docks, finger docks, gangways, etc.? Are the boats parallel or perpendicular to the main floating docks when they are boarded?

ConrowSafe Surfaces

Board Safe specializes in manufacturing aluminum docks with composite or synthetic lumber. Specifically, Board Safe uses NyloDeck, a composite lumber made out of recycled carpet fibers and contains no wood flour or PVC. This means that NyloDeck is ground rated and is resistant to rot, inspect damage and other wood afflictions. NyloBoard has a slip safe surface and the decking is held in place by the proprietary TimberStrong hidden fastening system. There is no face nailing, splinters or nail pops and boards stay consistently in place overtime.


All Board Safe docks use the highest quality materials. This includes marine grade 6160 aluminum, a proprietary extruded aluminum frame, and plastic encapsulated foam floats.  The NyloDeck composite lumber decking on the floating docksis the only 1-inch composite deck board rated to span joists at 24 inches on center and at 16 inches on diagonals. It is twice as strong as other leading decking materials. Lightweight and easy to work with, NyloDeck is impervious to moisture, mold, mildew and insects. The NyloDeck boards are fastened with a unique hidden fastener system developed by Timberstrong. Additionally, the hinges on the floating docks are mechanically attached to the dock. This means that they are stronger. There is no welded connection holding the floating docks like on competitors’ docks, which can compromise the integrity of the dock. It also means that dock sizes can easily be increased by connecting additional floating docks together.


Board Safe docks are built smart. They are environmentally friendly offering a float through float design allowing light to pass through to vegetation and water, debris and plant and wild life to pass underneath unhindered. It is recommended that rowing centers work with experienced dock manufacturers that can anticipate needs and issues as well as offer solutions to make the rowing center the best it can be.

Board Safe manufactures aluminum floating docks, piers, and gangways. They have designed and manufactured numerous specialty projects like rowing centers and ADA docks and boat launches. For more information on your rowing center project, marina, commercial or residential docks, call 610-899-0286 or visit

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