Low Profile Floating Docks for Rowing Shells

BoardSafe rowing docks are low profile and ideal for rowing shells.

Cleveland Rowing CenterRowing dock manufacturer, BoardSafe Docks, makes aluminum floating docks that offer 5" freeboard. Freeboard is the distance between the waterline and the main deck. With only 5" of freeboard, that is considered to be a low profile floating dock. A low profile floating dock is ideal for rowing docks where rowers must enter and exit their boats at a height similar to their racing shell.

What makes the BoardSafe rowing docks great for rowers is not only the 5" of freeboard, but the stability that the rower feels while they maneuver on the dock. This is for various reasons. First, the frame of the rowing dock is a commercial grade, heavy-duty, 6160 marine aluminum. Second, BoardSafe uses the highest quality floatation and has engineered their docks to support various situations including to sustain point loads of the gangway, crew members as they enter/exit a rowing shell, and even environmental factors like the movement of water. The size and location of floatation is crucial to meet the balance of a low profile while offering uncompromised stability. The third element to the BoardSafe rowing dock's stability is the choice of synthetic lumber as the decking surface. The surface is slip resistant and ground rated so it will not accrue mold, swell, or have its structure otherwise comprised.

For more information by USRowing on low profile docks click here

Board Safe manufactures aluminum floating dockspiersand gangwaysThey have designed and manufactured numerous specialty projects like rowing centers and ADA docks and boat launchesFor more information on your rowing center project, marina, commercial or residential docks, call 610-899-0286 or visit http://boardsafedocks.com/.

ADA Accessible Kayak Boat Launch Installed at 5 Rivers State Park in Alabama

ada-adaptive-kayak-launch-5-riversFew places in the world have the confluence of five separate rivers coming together. A state park in Alabama has that coveted area and made it into a state park – appropriately named 5 Rivers. There is a lot of exploration to be done on the rivers and the State of Alabama wanted to make the area more accessible with ADA access for adaptive paddlers, rowers and others. 5 Rivers State Park has installed a BoardSafe ADA accessible kayak boat launch.

5 Rivers includes 250,000 acres of scenic waterways, woods and wetlands. There is much to explore and much to do in and around the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee and Blakeley rivers flowing into Mobile Bay. The State of Alabama ordered two ADA accessible docks from floating dock and marina applications manufacturer BoardSafe. One accessible dock was installed at the 5 Rivers Bartram Landing, where visitors can launch for during regular business hours (8am-5pm). The Landing is the newest addition to the Bartram Canoe Trail

The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is the nation's second largest river delta. It encompasses a 10 mile-wide marsh, cypress-tupelo swamp and bottomland hardwood ecosystem. The Delta has over 50 rare and endangered plant and animal species known to inhabit its wetlands and waterways. The Bartram Canoe Trail system provides opportunities for recreational boaters, specifically canoes and kayakers, to enjoy the rivers, streams, lakes sloughs and bayous of the Delta. Currently the Alabama Department of Conservation State Lands Division maintains day use and overnight trails as well as two land-based and four floating platform campsites.

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Accessible Kayak and Canoe Launch Design Guidelines

Whether you are evaluating a manufacturer for an accessible kayak canoe launch or looking to build an adaptive paddling launch yourself, here are some tips provided by the U.S. National Park Service's Rivers, Trails & Conversation Assistance Program

The Basic of Designing an Accessible Kayak and Canoe Launch

It is important to consider a variety of factors when developing an adaptive launch design.

Consider the following goals:
• Accessible
• Best-suited
• Cost-effective and Durable
• Environment-friendly
• Accessible to all paddlers

Paddlers of all abilities want to launch and land smoothly without capsizing or damaging their boats. They need firm surfaces that support their movements and sufficient space to accommodate the length of their boats during put-in and take-out. Paddlers must be able to stabilize their boats during transition to and from the water. Climbing in and out of boats can be especially challenging when there is significant height difference between seat levels and shoreline. Additionally, federal law requires that all boating facilities provide access to paddlers with disabilities whenever possible.

General recommendations for designing an accessible launch:
ADA image

• Height above water: Between 9" and 2' from highest expected water level
• Width: At least 5' wide, preferably 6' to 12'
• Length: At least 25' to allow paddlers "dry" access to entire length of their boats
• Slope: ADA Accessibility Guidelines require that slopes not exceed 8.33% whenever possible; A slope exceeding 15% will make transition from land to water difficult for any paddler
• Support: Handrails or other support structures, including step-down designs or ropes, help paddlers balance their weight during put-in and take-out
• Location: Ideally in areas without heavy flow, erosion, exposure to elements, heavy boat traffic, or fragile riparian habitats


The type of launch chosen should be suitable for a particular access location, meaning that it should be the most sensible choice considering the characteristics of the water body, as well as relevant climatic and ecological factors.


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Resources for Adaptive Kayaking, Canoeing and ADA Accessible Facilities

For those who are new or veterans to adaptive kayaking, canoeing or boating, we have assembled a list of resources to help on a range of topics from designing an adaptive paddling facility or boat launch to staying safe in the water. If you are designing, renovating or constructing a new marina, rowing center, park or water access and you need help in selecting ADA piers, gangways, floating docks and other applications like ADA kayak boat launches, then call the experts at BoardsSafe.

American Canoe Association’s Adaptive Paddlesport Manual

Canoeing & Kayaking For People With Disabilities


Guidelines for Creating Adaptive Outdoor Facilities:

Accessible Boating Facilities (PDF / website)

WaterTrail Design Development (website)

ADA Standards for Accessible Design (website)

USFS Accessibility Guidebook (website)

USFS Accessibility Guidebook for Outfitters & Guides (PDF)

Architectural Barriers Act: Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas (PDF/ website)

Prepare to Launch - Guidelines for Assessing, Designing & Building Access Sites for Carry-In Watercraft (website)

Universal Design of Launches/Landings for Carry-down Craft (PDF)

Paddling and People with Disabilities (PDF)

The ADA and Outdoor Programs (PDF)

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