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A quick boat cruise along the shores of Okanagan Lake can tell you that dock designs vary from property to property. If you look a little closer, though, you may be able to see which one of these four shapes each one resembles. For a little aluminum dock building inspiration, here are the four top dock design shapes and all the reasons why property owners love them.

1. The U-shape Aluminum Dock

This shape is a Shoreline favourite, and one we always recommend. With a U-shape dock, the main boat lift is located right in the middle, allowing for loading and unloading on both sides. It also helps protect the boat from waves caused by other boaters or severe weather events.

Boaters love how U-shaped docks guide you on to the lift with the help of corner bumpers, improving safety. Being able to walk around the boat also means cleaning and tarping is easier.

Shoreline Pile Driving aluminum u-shape boat dock on Okanagan Lake

If you pride yourself on your beautiful boat, this is the dock for you.

Another reason this option is popular is that homeowners with more than one boat can install additional lifts on either side of the surrounding dock. It also allows guests with boats to tie up away from your lift, keeping both boats safe.

And of course, this leaves plenty of additional deck space for dock accessories, like paddle board storage, swim ladders and storage boxes.

2. The L-shape Dock

This is another common dock layout, and its benefits keep even the most discerning homeowner pleased. For homeowners that appreciate enjoying a hot cup of coffee during the sunrise on their dock or soaking up the sun and swimming a little more than boating, the L-shape dock is the best choice.

Of course, there is plenty of room for a boat lift—or two—on these types of docks, but the spacious large-end is perfect for spending the day outside. It’s also a great spot for guests to moor their boats when visiting.

An L shaped Aluminum dock on Okanagan Lake

3. The Paddle-shape Dock

If you own a narrow property but still want to enjoy all the benefits a great dock and boat lift can provide, the paddle-shape aluminum dock is a superb option. There’s still plenty of room for a lift or two on either side and space to set up a few Adirondack chairs on the end for relaxed summertime living.

Paddle shaped aluminum dock is great for lifts and entertaining

It’s important to note that if your home is in a red zone, the end size of your dock can’t be larger than 24 square metres.

If you’d like to learn more, we recently discussed colour zones in a previous blogs article: 5 Reasons to Plan Ahead for Residential and Commercial Dock Builds.

4. The T-shape Boat Dock

This is the perfect dock for shared dock applications. It provides two separate living areas with a common space where boat lifts can be installed on either side.

The t-shape aluminum dock also provides plenty of additional space for accessories, like paddle boards and kayaks, and allows a spot for guests to moor their boats when cruising over for a visit.

T shape aluminum dock build by Shoreline Pile Driving