Does Your Dock Match Your Home?

Many docks lack the same beauty as the high-end homes they belong to


Board Safe manufactures aluminum docks and piers for many second homes and vacation properties. The homes are often luxury properties owned by affluent families in beautiful areas of the country including many shore points in the Northeast. Most of these multi-million dollar homes have water access, but unfortunately the docks in the back of these properties are not as beautiful as the properties they are located on. In fact, most of the docks are pressure treated lumber and are in rough shape. While homeowners take pride in the elegance of their home, they do not give the same consideration to their docks. Here’s the story of one client.

 When I first met Mr. Smith over a year ago he said to me, “my dock does not match my house”.  I asked him what he meant by that and he shared, “my wife and I have a beautiful home on the bay.  My dock looks like an old fisherman’s wharf rather than an inviting place to relax with my family on a summer day.”  Obviously Mr. Smith’s graphic description created a “not so pretty picture” in my mind’s eye.  I envisioned a gorgeous home along the NJ coast with a beat-up, old dock hanging off the bulkhead. I smiled to myself as I thought this was an exaggeration.  I agreed to meet Mr. Smith and his wife the following week to see this “monstrosity” as he called it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 1.30.15 PMAs I pulled up to their property the Smith’s truly had an absolutely stunning home on the bay.  Everything about the property was tastefully done.  As we made our way out to the water much to my surprise Mr. Smith had not exaggerated.  His dock was indeed in disrepair and in no way did it reflect or compliment the beauty of their home.  It was a “mismatch”.

Over the next month our team at Board Safe designed and developed a beautiful dock and deck system for the Smith family.  Below are some pictures of the finished product with some highlights of the materials used as well as the accessories that are part of this beautiful dock system:

  • Boat lift
  • PWC lift
  • Kayak garage
  • 4’ x 25’Gangway
  • 15’ x 19’ deck
  • 6’ x 40’ pier
  • Aluminum Framed Floating Docks
  • Plugged, Ipe decking
  • Fiberglass Pearson Pilings
  • Custom Railing
  • Underwater LED lighting

If you are considering a custom dock system our Board-Safe team would be happy to speak with you.  Board-Safe docks and gangways are manufactured with pride in Topton, Pa, 610.899.0286 or fillout the contact form on our web site.

Considerations When Designing and Selecting Floating Docks for Rowing Centers

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

Composite Decking vs. Pressure Treated Lumber for Docks and Piers

Composite Decking is Superior over Pressure Treated Lumber for Floating Docks and Piers in performance and total cost of ownernship

Board Safe has manufactured millions of square feet of aluminum floating docks, piers and gangways. The goal of Board Safe is to provide the highest quality product to the owners of rowing centers, marinas and other commercial and resident dock owners. When building these products, composite decking is superior.

Many purchase pressure treated lumber due to the perceived cost savings. If the application is in a warm climate the sun will destroy the wood in less than 8 years. If the application is in the northern part of the United States, then the wood is subjected to freezing temperatures and ice, making its lifespan approximately 8 -9 years. Manufacturers of composite lumber confidently state that its synthetic wood product will last over 20 years. This being the case, the total cost of ownership for a composite wood dock is less than a dock made of pressure treated lumber.

West WildwoodTreated Lumber Today

Recently the process and chemicals used in creating pressure treated lumber has changed to become more environmentally friendly. The new chemicals have created an inferior treated lumber product that is not as durable than the pressure treated lumber of yesteryear. Additionally, the pressure treated lumber is more corrosive to fasteners. It is recommended to use stainless steel screws and bolts in lieu of the traditional galvanized steel. To jack up costs even more, the environmentally friendly pressure treated lumber is now more expensive to produce than ever before.  

Consider Composite Decking

Composite lumber is unanimously stronger and longer lasting. Within the family of composite wood, one product leaves the others in the dust – NyloDeck. NyloDeck is the only composite deckboard that Board Safe uses to manufacture their floating docks and piers. NyloDeck contains no wood particles; it is made out of recycled carpet fibers, essentially fiberglass. For these reasons NyloDeck is rated for ground contact as it is resistant to moisture, mold and mildew.  It is also 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 and lighter too. On Board Safe docks, the NyloDeck boards are fastened with a unique hidden fastener system developed by Timberstrong. This means no nail pops or face nailing.

The last feature that makes a composite wood superior is the frame. Board Safe manufactures floating docks, gangways and piers out of 6160 marine grade aluminum with their proprietary extruded aluminum frame. When looking at quality for the overall investment, aluminum frame docks with synthetic wood deckboards are the way to go.

When it comes to building floating docks and piers, composite lumber is best. When it comes to manufacturing aluminum floating docks, Board Safe is the best.

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

ADA Boat Launch, Floating Dock and Fishing Pier

Leaser LageLeaser Lake in Pennsylvania created an accessibility park for those who are disabled or have limited mobility. The accessibility area includes paved walkways, and a wheelchair accessible boat launch and fishing pier. Board Safe was contracted to build and install the floating docks, gangways, and ADA boat launch for handicapped access to the 117-acre lake. Board Safe was selected due to their reputation as a high-end dock builder and their proximity to the lake. They also specialized in Americans with Disability Act-featured accessible commercial aluminum floating docks, boat launches and fishing piers. The project included a ADA-accessible kayak launching ramp.


Providing equal access to all is important. If you are in need of ADA featured commercial aluminum products for your marina or home dock, contact Board Safe below and see our selection of ADA featured applications. 


Board Safe specializes in manufacturing aluminum docks, gangways, and rowing centers. They offer both standard and ADA featured products. If you have a rowing center or marina project and you would like to learn more visit or call 610-899-0286. 

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