Building a Dock: Helpful Guidelines You Need to Know

Cargo for ShippingAs explained by Oxford Dictionary, a dock is an enclosed area of water in a port for the loading, unloading, and repair of ships. In some cases, docks are also used as stopovers by other aquatic vehicles. Like any other structures, docks are also subject to government policies and requirements. Here are some things you need to take note of:

Compliance with Chapter 91

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection administers this policy to promote public health and safety while ensuring their rights to fish and navigate near the bodies of water. People who wish to build docks in their private properties should first check on the requirements and regulations stated in Chapter 91.


Like bulkheads that increase the rigidity of the ship, dimensions in building docks in Rockport should also be observed to serve as a secure structure for ships and other aquatic vehicles. In general, the dimensions of a dock should not exceed an overall width of 4 ft., while its maximum square footage should not exceed 100 ft. It should be elevated at least 3 ft. over vegetated wetlands.


There are several types of materials to choose from, like aluminum, rot-resistant plastic, wood, or chrome-plated copper arsenate. These materials are not only durable, but are also non-leaching. This means that it won’t pose harm to the body of water. Chemically treated woods, however, are prohibited as per the Conservation Commission because of its adverse effect on the environment.

Effects on plant and wildlife

Wildlife and aquatic vegetation should be properly documented and included in the dock proposal before construction takes place. It should then be assessed by a professional approved by the Conservation Commission.

There are different types of docks and all of those are subject to other specific policies and regulations. Consult with your local authorities to have an idea on whether or not your dock proposal is feasible or not.