Floating or Fixed Docks: Boat Insurance Pro Tip

After purchasing a boat, many years ago, we began looking at marinas in the local New York areas. Several criteria went into choosing the right marina.

Certainly, the location had to be close to home. We wanted a marina with a well-maintained power supply, fresh water, satisfactory lighting, adequate natural protection from bad weather, and safe passage to the waterways we navigate. Most importantly, we wanted well-maintained floating docks.

Floating docks may not be the first thing many people think of when considering a marina. However, they absolutely should be near the top of your list when choosing a home for your boat. With a floating dock you will not be subject to tidal conditions that can restrict access to or from the boat. Furthermore, a boat at a floating dock will have a much better chance of surviving when it is hit with a tropical storm, hurricane, or nor’easter. (Notice I said “when” and not “if” the boat is hit with a storm.)

And then came Sandy…

Our marina is located on the Hudson River, just north of the Statue of Liberty. When Sandy hit New York, boats at any marina in the area with fixed docks sustained moderate to severe damage. Sandy’s storm surge also damaged thousands of boats that were hauled and blocked when the water level rose highly enough to displace the vessels from the blocks.

What about our boat located at Sandy’s ground zero? Along with the other boats at our marina, it was basically unscathed. The marina itself was under water, but the floating docks rose to just near the 18-foot level of the pylons and the boats rose with them.

Was it scary? You better believe it was, but I have no doubt that the high pylons and floating docks were a major reason our boat was not damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

Fixed docks certainly have their place on inland waterways that are not impacted by tidal conditions, but for my money, in virtually any coastal area, I’ll take floating docks over fixed.

Have a question about your dock?  Contact us at http://www.skisafe.com to share your thoughts or discuss it with a member of our team.

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