Floating dock cubes are perfect for building modular docks, platforms, and walkways. The practicality and flexibility of plastic modular floating dock systems surpass that of the traditional fixed dock , or even the other kinds of floating docks. The dock systems are simple to install, flexible, and durable. It’s a great solution for residential and commercial docks, walkways and even lifts – but the plastic cube docks are not without their drawbacks. If the sun shines brightly then the plastic cubes will burn bare feet. The cubes are not really that stable when you walk on them and they do not compare to the stability provided by a fixed dock or even a floating dock that is made of larger under deck floats. The cubes do however last a long time and are quite rugged. In addition to just a walking dock, many of the modular dock manufacturers now make additional products basically using the same idea to hold Jetskis, Waverunners, sailboats, power boats and even sea planes.
The floating dock cubes are equally at home in salt sea water as they are in fresh water rivers and lakes as there are no metal components that will rust out. The entirety of the cube is made from a high-density polyethylene plastic composition (but few recycled parts are in there) and many cubes last beyond 25 years of use, which far exceeds the expectations for traditional docks. Floating docks are perfect for anywhere that has fluctuating water levels that change including rivers, lakes and the sea. Fixed docks may be a little cheaper, but the back-breaking maintenance work associated with them is now long gone thanks to floating docks.
Standard Cube Sizing
Although often called cubes, most floating dock cubes measure 20″ x 20″ square x 16″ high. This sizing was adopted following the standard set by the original cube standard by Jet Float in 1974 . With these dimensions, the block are not cubes at all. There are a few modular dock manufactures and each of their products do not integrate well with the others, so the choice of the right solution should also depend on how long the organization will remain around and how long you intend to keep the dock.
How Do Modular Cube Docks Compare To Traditional Docks?
Traditional wooden docks can be slippery from moss and and can deteriorate over time, whereas the plastic docks will never rot or allow organic material to grow on them. If salt or moss does to get a hold, some rain will usually wash it away and power washing will not be necessary.
How Easy Is It To Install Floating Dock Cubes?
One of the biggest advantages of floating dock cubes is the ease of installation. Each corner of the cubes are numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4 and they must be matched up with the corresponding number of the adjacent cubes. They are pinned through the tabs or flanges. The pin is inserted and rotated with a spanner tool. A set of connected dock cubes are anchored in place using post and sleeve pilings at each corner and then driven down into the lake bottom. In especially deep water situations, multiple anchors can be used to hold the dock in position.
Winterizing Dock Cubes
The modular dock cubes do not seem to have no problem with dealing with frozen lakes, as the cubes often rise up as the lake freezes – which means owners do not have to bring them in to protect them from the winter. Even if owners do want to bring them in for storage, this is made a lot easier as the cubes break down into their individual units that weigh no more that 5lb each. This also makes transportation and setup a breeze. Even dragging a section of the cubes onto land is not that hard.
Floating Dock Cube Companies:
Below is the list of cube dock manufacturers and distributors.
This company produces interlocking plastic dock cubes that are about x inches square. They are famous for putting together the surf dock featured in the 2017 YouTube video where a dock is installed as a surf pier in the ocean, from which surfers run and launch themselves in the breaking waves that the pier moves with.
Jet Float started providing plastic dock cubes in 1976 and claims to be the industry pioneer and original modular docking company since that year. The company is based in Ontario Canada, but suffers from so much competition and competitive product confusion that they have fallen into a commerce backwater. Their cubes can be recognized by their classic grey color, maple leaf logo in the center of the block and the black center pins. The longevity of their product is evident with many of their older dock cubes still being seen on Craigslist twenty years after manufacture, but they are no longer seen as the industry leader due to a lack of development and new products.
Jet Dock is often confused with the original Jet Float and the dock cube even looks the same in many ways. They tend to steer clear of the traditional grey color of their competitor “Jet Float”, but in many ways they still appear quite similar. One of the major differences with this dock is that they provide cubes that allow a holding pole to travel directly through the center of the cube, that provides better stability for the dock, but this detracts from the aesthetics of the dock. This company also tries to push their “Drive on Docking” solution, as it provides them their greatest profits and compares well to boat lifts.
With a big variation on the theme, Dock Blocks offers a product that may still be floating dock blocks, but the blocks connect in a radically different way to its competition, leading to integration issues with other systems and visual aesthetic problems. The connector is located on the sides/center of the cube, not at the corners at provides a stronger join. History has shown that join part of the floating dock cube has never been a weakness of other dock cube design, unless the dock is often in category 1 hurricane type seas and winds and even then you might want it to break apart as the whole dock staying whole could become be a dangerous missile capable of causing catastrophic damage.
Cube Docks is another cube dock manufacturer with a few of features that set them apart from other manufacturers. They offer a 45 degree corner cube which is designed to improve the docks looks and may even make the dock stronger, although cube docks do not generally suffer from weak spots unless they are in placed in raging rapids or in hurricane winds, this seems like a nice addition. They offer a service and lighting cube that allows users to run wiring or lighting onto the cube dock and they also have a hole cube, that allows a pole through the center of the cube, rather than at the tabs. which are really meant for connecting the cubes.
Various Chinese Knock–Off Brands
If price is the most critical concern, then there are a few cheaper Chinese knock-off brands that do not have the track record or support of the above established brands. Some of these products include, Patriot Cubes, Seaflo and Clark Cubes. The size of these cubes is different from the US size and may have problems integrating with other dock systems. The Chinese varieties often come in at a metric measurement of 50cm square (which is 19.685 inches) and 40cm high (which is 15.748 inches)