Shopping around for accessories for your waterfront can be a task, especially when you have to consider the varieties and styles available as well as the functionality and compatibility with your waterfront dock or landscape. It might seem like an easy thing to do; choose something you like and place it on your dock or shoreline and you’re set. Yet, there are many options on the market that with a little information could give you a far greater result for your investment. If you are interested in “on deck” furniture, that is, furniture elements that are either set on the dock surface or mounted in place, then there are a few things to consider and expect.

Furniture elements that sit “free” or un-mounted on the dock surface can

  • Tip over
  • Be blown off the dock by wind,
  • Be dislodged by waves, or
  • Become an encumbrance during the season when you use your dock the most.

There are also a number of styles of dock furniture that fasten to the dock surface, thereby eliminating many of the issues related to unsecured furniture. Securing your furniture, should it be an available option, is a nice way to eliminate most of these issues. The downside to securing your furniture on the dock surface is that the placement becomes very important and should be thought out well.

Once you place the furniture and secure it, chances are it will not move but may later become troublesome. If you choose to mount the furniture in another, less inconvenient location, you are left with holes on your dock surface that are not only ugly, but may become a hazard to bare feet.

If you are thinking about getting some furniture for your dock you should begin by looking at the material out of which the dock is made and where you think the best location on the dock will be. The placement should be in a location that allows you to use it freely without significantly interrupting the flow of movement to those using the dock.

Further, you should consider what your intended use of the furniture will be. If you want to just sit and relax, then placing the furniture should be a matter of pointing it in whatever direction has the best views. Yet, if you want to be able to sit in a chair to fish, then the placement should be near the edge of the dock with open access to the water. If you are placing a dock bench out at the end of your dock then there are likely to be few obstacles outside of your boat lift. However, if your intention is to place furniture on the shoreline, then you will need to consider any other obstacles that might otherwise obscure your view and use.

There are some options that will give you the security of a mounted system as well as the convenience of an “off-deck” configuration. Shoreline Industries produces a nice furniture set that includes two swiveling dock chairs, a circular table and adjustable umbrella. This system will mount on the edge of your dock, taking up less dock surface and eliminating any issue of displacement due to waves or weather.

However, if you have a Poly Dock and want to have the conveniences of the Shoreline dock furniture set there are a few things you will need. Shoreline Industries makes a nice Poly Dock attaching bracket for the Poly Dock system. These Shoreline dock accessory plates from ShoreMaster come as a set of 3 and will “marry” nicely with the attaching brackets that come standard with the Shoreline furniture set.

The issue of not being able to drill into the dock section is resolved nicely with this attaching bracket system. The brackets included with our furniture set will attach directly to the Shoreline Poly Dock bracket, which hangs on the perimeter “lip” of the Poly Dock section. This gives you the “off” deck configuration that saves you the space that a conventional furniture piece would necessarily take up and the safety and stability of a solid-mount system that keeps the furniture where you want it.

This eliminates the dangers and inconvenience that high winds or waves can pose to standard on-deck furniture. Also, given the nature of the bracketing system you can move your furniture to any location around the perimeter of your Poly Dock relatively easily. The cost of the additional bracket system from ShoreMaster is $58.00.

There are many dock furniture options on the market and getting what you want or need to line up with what you can have is the key to saving you time and money. You may find that your options become limited by space, location, community requirements or money and making this seemingly easy decision may become complicated. If you have questions that we have not addressed in this article we are available to assist you with further information specific to your situation.

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