Almost every riparian property owner has a boat dock in Michigan. Numerous riparian property owners also own floating rafts or their equivalent. This has been made possible by the Michigan common law, which allows waterfront property owners to install a dock, swimming raft, and boat hoist.
Having a Dock Is A Win-Win For Serious Boaters and Fishermen
Owning a waterfront property provides a lot of adventure and activities that you and your loved ones can enjoy whenever you want, such as swimming, boating, fishing, and more. If you have a boat, building or purchasing a dock can help with its maintenance routines and storage. Installing a dock on your property has multiple rewards. This article discusses five benefits of owning a boat dock in Michigan.
Boat Docks Result in Increased property value
While the worth of a waterfront home is already high, adding a boat dock can raise it even further. Installing the best dock type on your property is an excellent way to boost your return on investment, mainly when selling it. Adding a boat dock to your home makes it attractive and desirable to most waterfront home buyers. This is because potential buyers don’t need to get permits since there’s already passable boat access.
In addition, they don’t need to pay for costly boat slips. The boat dock provides safe and easy water access and is crucial for boating, swimming, launching kayaks, lounging, and more. Docks have become an essential leveraging element when selling. You can find docks for sale that align with your property’s needs and requirements.
It’s convenient To Have a Boat Dock On Michigan Lakes
Private docks are convenient. You walk outside and into your boat whenever you want to go into the water. You don’t have to tow the vessel to a public landing or drive to the marina. While private docks might have a high upfront cost, they eliminate the need for monthly slip payments. Public marinas usually become crowded in the busy boating months. With a private boat dock, you don’t need to keep shopping around looking for available slips, which could be far away from your home.
Enhanced security and privacy
Some boat owners love the communal marinas’ open nature plus the boating community it comes with. Public marinas constantly have people around most weekdays, either doing boat maintenance, living on the boats or heading out on the water. Owning a boat dock is a perfect solution for those who appreciate privacy. A private dock gives you control over who to let into the dock, as it’s your personal property.
Owning a boat dock also offers a security benefit. This is because lesser people are allowed in, reducing the risk of theft or vandalism. As a private boat dock owner, you can beef up your security level by installing alarms and cameras or recruiting a private security company.
Over the Long Run Docks Save Time And Money
Without a private dock, you waste a lot of time going to a public marina or commercial dock each time you need to use the boat. Besides speeding up your vehicle’s wear and tear, it results in more gas usage. Owning a boat dock allows you to enter and leave the water as you please without traveling anywhere. You also don’t need to pay anything like you would at a public marina. This saves time and gas while reducing boat ownership costs.
Docks Protect Your Watercraft Investment
Investing in a boat is a significant decision, and protecting that investment is of utmost importance. One of the best ways to do this is by having a private boat dock. Here are some key ways in which a dock can protect and enhance your watercraft investment:
- Damage Prevention: The constant lapping of water against your boat, debris in the water, and the growth of marine organisms can all contribute to wear and tear of your watercraft over time. With a private boat dock, you can lift your boat out of the water when it’s not in use, thereby preventing potential water damage and extending the life of your vessel.
- Secure Mooring: Weather conditions can be unpredictable, and the last thing you want is your boat being battered against a harsh, rocky shore in a storm. A dock provides a secure place to moor your boat, protecting it from harsh weather conditions and ensuring that it remains safely in one place.
- Easy Maintenance: Having a dock allows you to perform regular maintenance tasks more conveniently. Whether it’s cleaning the hull, checking the motor, or any other routine checks, you can do these tasks on your dock, without the need to transport your boat to a special facility.
Five Essential Amenities for Your Boat Dock in Michigan
Boat docks not only provide convenience and increase the value of your property, but they also serve as a versatile space for incorporating various amenities. Here are five essential amenities you can consider adding to your boat dock in Michigan:
- Dock Lighting: Adding lights can transform your dock into a safer and more welcoming space during the night. Options range from solar-powered LED lights, which are cost-effective and easy to install, to more ornate lighting fixtures that can provide a touch of elegance. The right lighting can also create a beautiful ambiance for night-time gatherings or fishing.
- Boat Lift: A boat lift is a fantastic addition to safeguard your boat from potential damage due to constant water exposure. By lifting the boat out of the water when not in use, you can prevent wear from waves, reduce hull cleaning needs, and prolong your boat’s lifespan.
- Storage Boxes: Storage boxes or chests provide a handy place to store boating accessories, life jackets, fishing gear, or cleaning supplies. Opt for weather-resistant materials to protect your belongings from the elements.
- Seating Area: Installing a seating area or even a full outdoor living space can make your dock the perfect spot for relaxation or social gatherings. From a simple bench to a luxurious patio set or hammock, seating options abound to suit your style.
- Water Sport Accessories: If you’re into water sports, consider adding amenities like a kayak or paddleboard rack for easy storage and access. A dock-mounted slide or diving board can provide hours of fun for the whole family.
By carefully selecting amenities that match your lifestyle, you can create a boat dock in Michigan that serves not only as a functional space for your boating needs but also a personalized waterfront haven for recreation and relaxation.
Dock Types and Materials Suited for Michigan’s Climate
Choosing the right dock type and materials is another crucial aspect of making your boat dock investment in Michigan worthwhile. The state’s varied climate and potential for harsh winters necessitate selecting dock types and materials that can withstand such conditions.
- Floating Docks: These are highly adaptable and can adjust to changing water levels, a characteristic beneficial for Michigan’s fluctuating lake levels. Built with buoyant materials such as foam-filled plastic tubs, floating docks remain on the water surface, making them a popular choice for many Michigan property owners.
- Stationary or Standing Docks: Also known as “pile docks”, these are built on piles driven into the lake or river bed, providing a sturdy and permanent docking solution. However, they are less adaptable to changing water levels and might not be the best choice for areas with significant water level fluctuations.
- Roll-In or Wheel-In Docks: These docks are advantageous for areas that freeze over in winter, as they can be easily rolled in and out of the water. They are generally constructed of lightweight aluminum, making them easy to install and remove according to seasonal changes.
When it comes to material selection, durability and weather resistance are key factors to consider. Wood, while traditional and aesthetically pleasing, requires regular maintenance and might not fare well in harsh winter conditions. Aluminum is a popular choice due to its lightweight, rust resistance, and durability. It can withstand Michigan’s freezing winters and hot summers. Composite materials provide the look of wood without the maintenance hassle and are also resistant to the elements.
Remember, each dock type and material has its pros and cons, and what works best depends on your specific location, water depth and variations, and personal preferences. Consult with a dock installation professional to make the most informed decision for your Michigan waterfront property.
Protecting and Maintaining Your Boat Dock in Michigan
Owning a boat dock in Michigan comes with the responsibility of regular maintenance and protection, especially due to the state’s seasonal climate changes. Proper upkeep will ensure your dock’s longevity and safety for everyone who uses it. Here are some key tips on how to protect and maintain your boat dock:
- Regular Inspections: At the start and end of each boating season, thoroughly inspect your dock for any damage. Look for signs of wear, such as loose boards, rusty hardware, or eroding support posts. Regular checks will help you catch minor issues before they turn into costly repairs.
- Cleaning: Keep your dock clean to prevent the build-up of algae, moss, or other debris that can create slippery and unsafe conditions. Using a pressure washer can be effective, but remember to use environmentally-friendly cleaners, as harsh chemicals can harm the local aquatic life.
- Sealing and Staining: If your dock is wooden, it’s crucial to regularly seal and stain it to protect against the elements. This can prevent rot, sun damage, and water damage, preserving the dock’s appearance and structural integrity. Depending on the weather and use, this should be done every two to three years.
- Winter Preparation: In Michigan, preparing your dock for winter is an essential maintenance step. For stationary docks, ensure all loose items are removed and stored. For floating or roll-in docks, it’s advisable to remove them from the water to prevent damage from ice and freezing temperatures.
- Professional Check-ups: Occasionally, have a professional dock maintenance company assess your dock. They can spot issues that you may miss and can handle significant repairs, ensuring your dock remains safe and secure.
- Insurance: Ensure your dock is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. This can protect you financially in case of severe weather damage or accidents.
Remember, protecting and maintaining your boat dock in Michigan is a continuous process that can save you from costly repairs in the long run, keeping your dock beautiful and functional for years to come.
Final Thoughts About Owning a Boat Dock in Michigan
The investment in a boat dock in Michigan delivers multiple benefits, making it a worthy consideration for any waterfront property owner. From increasing property value and ensuring privacy to saving valuable time and money, owning a boat dock can truly enhance your lakeside living experience in Michigan.