“Boat waves, sun rays, ain’t nothing like lake days!” 

Building a dock on Lake Wylie is a game-changer, as it creates ripples of possibilities for recreation and relaxation. The reasons for starting the process are plenty—from the practical side of docking your boat or watercraft—to the endless customizations that allow for lounging and dining on the water. As you research floating vs. fixed docks, knowing where to begin and what considerations to make will keep you in good spirits and your dock in great shape. 

As a licensed marine contractor who has had the privilege of building docks on Lake Wylie and surrounding lakes since 2003, I understand first-hand the difference that strict construction practices, Grade A materials, and the right reinforcements make in creating a dream dock that lasts. As an award-winning dock builder on Lake Wylie, WaterJack Marine Construction specializes in building the waterfront of your dreams that your family can enjoy for years to come. In today’s blog, we’re covering the floating versus fixed dock debate for Lake Wylie property owners. 

Making Waves

Our fast-growing region feeds into an increase in activity on the water, an important consideration in the dock selection phase. Benjamin Simon for The Post & Courier reports, “From 2010 to 2020, the population of Lake Wylie jumped from 8,841 to 13,655 people.” Lake Wylie’s 325 miles of shoreline provides the perfect backdrop for everything from boating and jet-skiing to wakeboarding, tubing, fishing, and beyond. 

With this rise in activity on the water, Lake Wylie property owners have raised concerns about wake boat use and its impact on shoreline property and docks. A Lake Wylie Marine Commission press release reads, “Public comments were received from active wake surfing and boarding enthusiasts as well as lakefront property owners who have sustained costly damage from the high wakes generated by these boats and other watercraft.”

As another backup to how busy the lake is:  

  • I’ve been a River Hills Marina Member since 2005 and still today maintain 2 of the same slips that I’ve had since 2010.  There is currently a 4 year waiting list for most slips and they’re no longer allowing non-residents.  We have a home for sale in River Hills as of this blog post and lost the sale because they wanted a home with a marina slip.  
  • Most marina and dry storage facilities are full with waiting lists too.  

What Is a Floating Dock?

As their name indicates, a floating dock floats on the water’s surface with the help of encapsulated flotation billets, or “floats” as they’re sometimes referred to.  It’s important to note that floating docks are always in motion due in part to fluctuating water levels, traffic on the water, wind, and more.  One advantage 

What Is a Fixed Dock?
In comparison, a fixed dock (also called a stationary dock) is framed on pilings driven into the lake bed.  Pilings are driven to refusal which simply means as soon as our 1500 lbs. Crane-Mounted Hammer bounces off the top of your new pole, we’ve hit a solid footing.

When Should One Consider a Floating Dock?

If your dock will be in quiet, shallow waters and your budget is constrained, a floating dock may be one option.  Along with shallow water comes the risk of bottoming out and damaging your floatation.  

When Should One Consider a Fixed Dock?

Larger lakes such as Lake Wylie come with wave motion, deeper waters, and environmental factors where a fixed dock is the longer-lasting solution with a host of benefits. 

Not All Docks Are Created Equal
As avid boaters who call Lake Wylie home, my family and I fully appreciate the thrill and challenges of boat ownership, as well as the importance of configuring a dock for both safety and convenience. 

While the price and process of building a floating dock may have some appeal, we wholeheartedly recommend fixed docks, and here’s why: a fixed WaterJack dock is built to take all of the abuse that anything on Lake Wylie can throw at it, including a flurry of wakeboard boats and the occasional 40-foot cruisers. 

The pilings on our fixed docks are built to last some 40 years. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for floating docks, especially those in heavily trafficked areas on the water. In fact, in busier areas on Lake Wylie, we have seen floating docks fail around the 10-year mark. 


Fixed Docks For Longevity and an Enhanced Waterfront Experience
Fixed docks are known for being more durable and customizable, adept at handling the wear and tear of lake life while providing ample space for entertaining, storage, and more. Every WaterJack dock we build is truly one-of-a-kind, meticulously tailored to fit our clients’ needs and lifestyles. The best boat and jet ski lifts on the market, lounge areas, LED lighting, the latest in electronics, ceiling fans, storage, finished roofs, and beyond. 

The WaterJack Way

At WaterJack Marine Construction, we have built our reputation by following strict construction practices that meet or exceed all building codes and safety regulations required by law. Drawing on years of Lake Wylie experience, all construction drawings are engineered based on what we know will last. We use only Grade A materials and structurally reinforce all tall pilings, girders, and roof support systems.

WaterJack Process Video

Pilings Driven Until Refusal
Our pile-driving barge was built to have the most accurate piling placement possible (watch a clip of our barge in action). Pilings are driven into the ground until refusal to ensure a stable base for your new pier or boathouse. 

Contact Us

Your custom dock should be the cornerstone of your lakeside retreat. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your Lake Wylie property and the dock of your dreams. Contact us today and check out our featured dock gallery

What Our Clients Are Saying

Cannot recommend WaterJack enough!! My husband and I are currently building a home on the lake. Being in the real estate industry it was very important to us to find someone who could build a quality dock to complement our home. – Joni Taylor

I can’t say enough great things about WaterJack and the owner, Casey Nicholls!! Casey and his team take great pride in their work. There is an extra attention to detail that I rarely see in the construction business. – Jill Trotta


Casey and his team built a beautiful dock. He may not be the lowest-priced dock builder in the area, but his craftsmanship and timeliness on this project are well worth it. – Jeff Zavitkovsky