What Are the Parts of a Dock Called?

Docks can be very simple or amazingly complex with different configurations and add-ons. But what are the individual parts called, and what are they for? It’s important to learn about the different parts of a dock so you can understand what your dock may need. After reading this article, you may decide to add some of these components to make your dock the best setup for you!

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All docks have some kind of decking. Whether it’s old-fashioned wood, aluminum or no-maintenance, long-lasting plastic decking, it is the main part of every dock. The best decking is slip-resistant and tough and requires little maintenance. 

Gangways and Ramps

Gangways and ramps help you get from the land to your dock safely. Gangways normally have railings while ramps do not, and they can consist of polyethylene or aluminum. Gangways and ramps can also make your dock ADA-accessible. 

Transition Plates

Transition plates go between the gangway or ramp and the dock. They provide a gradual transition to the new elevation and help prevent trip hazards. Like gangways and ramps, transition plates can also help make your dock more ADA-accessible.

Flotation Supports

Flotation supports keep floating docks stable so the structure can sit level with the water, no matter what the water level is.


You can place railings on your dock to increase safety and accessibility. You can install hand and wheel railings to make your dock safe for people in wheelchairs. 


A slip is the part of the dock where you store your watercraft. There are typically thin parallel strips on either side — the boat ties into the main part of the dock.

Dock Protection

Dock edging, bumpers and fenders are all pieces that attach to a dock to help protect it from impacts. These are especially important to have in the slip area and other places where a watercraft may come into contact with the dock.

Understanding Your Dock With EZ Dock

Now you understand the basic parts of a dock and what they are for. Quality decking makes your dock durable and long-lasting. Gangways, transition plates and railings help make your dock safe and accessible. Slips are needed to park your watercraft, and dock bumpers help protect your dock from boat impacts.

You can customize these parts and add others to make your dock perfect for you and your family or business. From gangways to railings to essential dock accessories, EZ Dock has what you need. We also offer boat ports, storage boxes and even dock slides. We’ve used our 30 years of experience to perfect products that make your access to the water convenient and low maintenance.

If you’re considering building a new dock, check out our premade dock configurations. These options make it easy to make your dock look exactly how you want. We use durable, long-lasting and maintenance-free plastic decking to construct our docks. Additionally, the surfaces are slip-resistant and can’t warp or splinter. 

Contact us today to request a quote for our products, or browse our blog for more information and dock tips.