If you’re designing a boat deck, it can be difficult to know where to start. How do you create something practical yet beautiful? Do you need to include space for other features? And how will it work with the local landscape and weather?
If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got 27 boat dock design ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
So if you’re ready, step this way to find what just might be your perfect design …
Boat Dock Design Ideas
1. Two-Storey Style
This clever design incorporates an upper storey for style and practicality. The top deck provides space to lounge and watch the world go by. Below, it creates a sheltered area for boarding and mooring.
The use of natural timber blends seamlessly into this tropical backyard. But it would look just as good surrounded by temperate trees and foliage.
2. Minimalist Elegance
This super-stylish dock uses simple lines and natural materials to create a contemporary minimalist look.
One step down to the water makes boarding your boat easy. And a covered area provides the perfect spot for some comfortable outdoor furniture.
Wide deck boards create a feeling of luxury, while angling the walkway to the shore adds interest. Note, though, that here you’ll need to walk over grass to reach the dock. If you’re somewhere that gets a lot of rain, you may prefer a more solid walkway.
3. Lake View Luxury
This design provides an altogether more substantial outdoor space. The large area is sheltered by a timber roof supported on stone columns. Electric fans overhead will keep the area cool on hot days, while you lounge on the luxurious outdoor sofas.
There’s plenty of space here for mooring. A couple of large pots with plants add extra detail. They’re also a clever way to draw attention to the edge of the dock, acting as subtle safety markers.
4. Hammock Time
Adding a hammock or swing seat to your dock creates the ultimate chill-out zone. Here, the seat is suspended from a simple wooden awning, making the most of the view out over the water. And it has the added bonus of being under cover if there’s a shower.
There are plenty of mooring posts on either side, making this a very practical design. Natural timber decking is both practical and beautiful.
5. Natural Harmony
This floating dock design barely intrudes on the surrounding landscape at all. A simple walkway leads down to a square dock with just enough room for a chair – and a small boat.
The natural wood used in the walkway blends in beautifully with the surrounding greenery. And steps at one end make for easier boarding.
If you want your dock to feel part of the landscape, a design like this is a great choice. And it’s easy and inexpensive to construct too.
6. Clean and Simple
Here’s another floating dock design that keeps things simple and elegant. A wooden walkway leads to a square dock surrounded with balustrades that double as mooring posts.
The wood here is stained a darker walnut shade, giving it a more luxurious feel. A pair of steamer chairs in the same finish provide somewhere to relax and watch life on the water.
The choice of timber also echoes the building behind, bringing coherence to home and garden. There’s no awning here to provide shelter or shade. But the house with its large windows provides other options for lounging with a waterside view.
7. Form Follows Function
This eminently practical design provides plenty of space for mooring several boats. The zigzag walkway is surrounded by mooring posts, each of which is covered in weather-resistant bamboo. And the surface of the deck is ridged to provide a non-slip surface.
The wooden construction is simple and robust enough for this tropical environment. And while there’s no shade or shelter, the low profile blends into the waterscape.
8. Gradual Gradient
This design shows how to handle a gradual slope from bank to water. The steps are easy for those on foot. But next to them, a ramp allows boats to be transported with less effort. This approach works particularly well for docks that sit next to a boat house.
The long, simple jetty allows for easy embarkation. And it’s also a pleasant spot to dangle your toes in the cooling water.
9. Boat House Charm
Here we see a solidly constructed boat house combined with a simple dock. The latter is just a strip of decking with a series of mooring posts. It provides just enough space for a couple of comfy seats. And the clever use of an inset porch allows those seats to be positioned in shade and shelter.
This is a great way to combine functionality with understated luxury.
10. Chateau Chic
There are boat houses, and then there are Boat Houses. And this is definitely the latter!
The chic chateau-like design includes space for two boats, plus an interior lift for smaller craft like jet skis. The generous upper level provides space for lounging, and includes fans to keep the air circulating on warmer days.
In contrast, the docking area is small and simple, with practical steps to assist boarding.
11. Crisp and Modern
If you’re looking for a dock design that’s breathtaking in its apparent simplicity, your search ends here. This gorgeous contemporary dock appears to float above the water, casting its own shadow below.
The natural timber is the perfect choice for the grassy surroundings. And there’s space here for a generous table and chairs, creating the ideal spot for waterside dining.
12. Hot Tub with a View
For a truly luxurious dock, why not combine it with a hot tub? Here, a large area of decking is separated by a short walkway from the water. It provides space to relax in the hot tub while you watch the boats go by.
When you’re ready to head out onto the water, a porch area provides shelter while you await your ride.
13. Geometric Style
This is a great design for any area that experiences a big difference in water levels between high and low tides. The long walkway crosses muddy banks, keeping feet clean and dry.
Square platforms at intervals provide handy passing points, as well as creating a more interesting look. The simple approach could be used to cover pretty much any distance from shore to boat.
14. Island Style
This dock is surrounded by water on all sides. The complex arrangement of walkways allow you to board your boat from any direction. And the two-storey design provides shade for the lower level, along with a great vantage point from which to view the water.
We love the contrast between the natural timber uprights and the cream painted deck. Adding furniture with cream upholstery to the upper levels would complement the scheme perfectly.
15. Traditional Elegance
We love the natural, rustic look of this traditional dock. The T-shaped deck is surrounded by mooring posts in natural timber. And the lines are softened by the attractive planting in the foreground.
The design also blends in perfectly with other nearby docks. So if you’re building in an area with neighbors, you won’t upset the apple cart!
16. Poolside Dock
If you’ve got lots of space to play with, why not combine your dock with a swimming pool? This design shows how well the two can work together.
The transition from the dock to the pool area is via a short walkway. The dock itself is the epitome of simplicity, leaving all the glamor to the elegant pool patio. Note that there’s no shelter here, though, so this design will work best in milder climates.
17. Sculptural Detail
This deck overlooking a basic dock shows how one big detail can transform a space. Here, a life-size wooden sculpture provides a striking focal point.
You could create a similar effect with a large plant, tree or statue. Whatever you choose, consider the colors and materials to find a look that will work for you.
18. Outdoor Living
This dock doubles as an outdoor living space, complete with comfortable furniture. Sit and while away the hours with a good book and a cool drink – what could be better?!
The open balustrade here is reinforced with mesh for an unobtrusive yet safe barrier. There’s no shade or shelter here, so this is another design that will work best in temperate climates.
19. Temporary Shade
This simple open dock design makes the most of the large waterfront. And while there’s no awning here, temporary shade has been provided using parasols. This is a great solution for areas where the weather is changeable.
There’s no kind of barrier here between the dock and the water, so you’ll get an uninterrupted view. But it won’t work for families with smaller children, where safety is an issue.
20. Simple Serenity
This stylish dock and boat slip is made from gray composite decking. It’s hard wearing, and looks beautiful against the lush green grass. It also makes simple work of creating a large area for relaxing and dining.
A flagpole adds vertical interest – and it’s also a great landmark when you’re out on the water.
21. Dramatic Lighting
This stunning dock shows what an impact lighting can have after dark. Here, spot lamps cast pools of light on the walkway, tempting you towards the water. The two storey platforms are floodlit to provide brighter conditions for sitting and chatting.
Green underwater lighting will also tempt fish after dark, providing hours of entertainment on a summer evening.
22. Dock and Patio
This simple combination of dock and patio provides a convivial space for friends to meet. Bench seating around the outside makes the most of the waterside views. And the tiled patio area would be a great place to fire up a barbecue.
The contrast between the natural wooden deck and terracotta tiles works beautifully too.
23. Steps to Heaven
If you’ve got a steeper bank to navigate, a sturdy set of steps is a must. These are constructed from natural timber with robust handrails on either side. The treads are ridged to provide more grip in bad weather.
If you choose timber for a location like this, though, you’ll need to keep it scrupulously clean. Any moss or algae will make the surface slippery and risks an accident.
This simple and attractive Y-shaped dock uses aluminum pipes to secure it in place. It’s a less permanent approach than docks constructed using pilings. And it has the added advantage that the pipes can double as mooring posts.
This type of dock works best in water that’s not too deep, with a fairly stable and even bed. The pipes simply rest there, and the dock should be removed in the winter months.
25. Floating Tranquillity
This dock is formed from interlocking pieces that literally float on the water. The ultra-low profile makes minimal impact on the scenery.
These kind of docks are simple and relatively inexpensive to build. But as there’s very little to secure them in place, they’re best suited to tranquil water.
26. Mobile Docks
If you’re in an area where you’re not allowed to keep a permanent dock, a mobile version could be the answer.
This design is known as an “articulating dock”. It might not be the most attractive option on our list. But it has the major advantage that it can be raised out of the water when not in use.
27. Crib Docks
If you need a very resilient dock, a crib design like this one will be perfect. The foundation is formed from large crate-like structures filled with rocks. These are the cribs. The rest of the dock is then built on top.
Here, the simple rectangular design provides plenty of space for seating and planting, as well as an abundance of mooring posts. And while there’s no awning here, this kind of dock can support heavier super structures without breaking a sweat.
Ready to Choose Your Boat Dock Design?
That brings us to the end of our look at 27 brilliant boat dock designs! We hope it’s given you ideas to use in your own project. Whether you’re looking for minimalist style or opulent luxury, there are options here to suit.
Whatever design you choose, we hope you’re soon mooring your boat at your very own dock.