You can't have a dock without decking! Choosing your dock decking options can be one of the hardest and most important decisions when designing your dock. Wood used to be one of the only options you had when designing your dock, now so much has changed.
Decking materials for aluminum boat docks are typically 25% to 50% of the budget when purchasing a new dock. It is always going to be worth it to consider the higher cost for the decking. It will end up paying for itself in the long run as you will save time and money maintaining your dock every season. Wooden docks are prone to rotting, warping, and cracking, which makes for a troubled situation. They will likely require annual maintenance and won't last you as long.
When thinking about the type of dock you may want, think of what your dock will be used for. Will it just be used for getting on your boat, or will you use it as a hang out spot? That is for you to decide! You also need to figure out if your dock will need to be taken down in the off-season. Wooden docks have a natural look, but can be hard to stand on if it is a hot sunny day. Aluminum decking is light and easy to move and stays cooler in the sun.
In general, wood decking requires much more maintenance than aluminum decking. Wooden decking requires annual power washing and a finish or stain every few years. It is also prone to warping, decaying, rotting, or twisting over time. Aluminum decking does not require much work at all. Even with little to no maintenance it performs well and looks great even over time. It also does not get damaged easily!
We get it, some people like the look of wood decking. It is not ideal - water will find its way into the joints and cracks of the wood giving rise to perfect conditions for rot. While it may have an appealing look, it does not have the convenience and low maintenance like aluminum decking does. Nothing beats being able to sit back and relax, instead of having to keep up on your dock to keep it looking nice.
There are so many options of decking for your dock. We promise, you won't be disappointed in the long run when you say goodbye to your wooden decking!