Size considerations for your project
Cost is not the only thing affected as the size of your dock section increases or decreases. Most importantly, the size of the dock will factor into the usability. If a dock system is too narrow or too short, water-lovers will experience frustrating or unsafe usage. Also, the tidal action of your project site may affect what size each floating dock should be. By consulting with a local engineer, you can determine this as well as optimal pile guide placement based on your specific project environment characteristics (tide, wind, soil, etc.). Finally, in your design, take shipping logistics into account when determining the number of sections and their size. All of Gator’s docks, piers and gangways arrive fully fabricated (unless the customer asks otherwise), so dock section size can also affect installation ease.
Span for Fixed Piers
If you have visited our fixed pier page, then you already know that aluminum piers can span longer between supports than wood piers. Choosing a Gator pier over a wooden pier or boardwalk could cut the number of piles you need to purchase and install by half! That certainly affects how much a pier costs. And if spanning 20 feet between supports is not enough for your project, we can build a structure that spans even longer. (Have you seen our bridges?)
The cost / size ratio
Any dock can be broken down into a price per square foot cost. Every project starts with our E-channel frame, which is the foundation for our docks, piers and gangways. This Gator design feature allows us to build any shape and size dock project. Maximizing the efficiency of the E-channel frame is one of the key factors in determining the most advantageous cost / size ratio. The rule of thumb for this is that for the same square footage, wider docks are more cost effective than narrower docks. Try starting your cost-effective marina design with dock sections 8-10 feet in width by 40 feet in length.
If you are looking to fit your project within a budget, be aware that decking may influence the overall size of your dock. Decking runs from side to side on our docks. Depending on your decking choice (see the decking blog post here), exceeding a certain width will require Gator to add additional decking support to the frame, which can increase the price per square foot. We can help you determine exactly what this width is in combination with your other design parameters.
At Gator, we build docks to suit. We have built dock systems that start from $25 a square foot up to the hundreds-of-dollars-a-square-foot range. The best way to stay in budget is to let a GatorDock team member help!