What to Look For In a Dock Box – Don’t Be Fooled

Looking for the best dock boxes for your harbor or pier isn’t difficult, however, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Dock boxes can be constructed of various materials. The most popular compositions are fiberglass, polyethylene, or wood. Before you choose your dock box, be sure to check your marina rules and regulations. Many marinas wish to preserve the aesthetic appeal of the docks and slips and have specific criteria for marina equipment.

Plastic Dock Boxes (Polyethylene Dock Boxes/Rotomolded)

Many marinas are now doing away with polyethylene dock boxes for a number of reasons. Polyethylene Dock Boxes fade and discolor over time, causing the aesthetic value and its functional durability to depreciate. Additionally, the plastic material creates a cheap looking environment. Most plastic dock boxes require assembly in the field eliminating the quality control inspection needed for long-term durability with moving parts. Assembly also will add an unforeseen added labor cost usually not calculated when making a “price conscience” decision.

Boats aren’t made of plastic and your dock box shouldn’t be either. Plastic has a short lifespan when used in highly corrosive environments with varying temperatures, plastic will not hold its original shape and condition under extreme environmental stresses. UV light causes degradation of plastic, rendering it brittle and vulnerable to cracking. Many of these plastic or poly dock boxes use plastic hinges and hardware as well (not stainless steel so be aware). These hinges often break and need replacing within 1 to 3 years and sometimes sooner. Although plastic may serve as an alternative for wood dock boxes, it does not compete with the strength and durability of fiberglass.

Wood Dock Boxes

Despite the most careful efforts, wooden dock boxes naturally allow in at least some water. It’s not as waterproof as other dock box options available, and is not rodent‐proof. Additionally, fresh water and salt water can be very damaging to wooden dock boxes to both structure and aesthetics. Yearly (and sometimes more often) sanding and refinishing can prove costly and time consuming.

Most marinas with a commitment to uniformity and aesthetics will not invest in wooden dock boxes. They understand fiberglass dock boxes prove least costly in the long run and provide a consistently pleasing look to their docks and slips. Because of our commitment to providing only the best, long‐lasting marina products possible, Dock Boxes Unlimited® does not provide wooden dock boxes.

Fiberglass Dock Boxes

Fiberglass dock boxes offer a glossy Ultra-Violet gel coat protective finish, much like your boat. They add style and enhanced value (curb appeal) to your dock or marina. Because it’s very attractive and has a high end stylish appeal, fiberglass dock boxes are the dock box of choice at many harbors and marinas because they do not diminish the value of your surrounding area like other materials WILL do.

Fiberglass dock boxes are as durable as they are stylish. If your boat is made of fiberglass, shouldn’t your dock boxes also be made of fiberglass since they are exposed to identical environmental conditions? Fiberglass Dock Boxes are built to stand up to severe marine environments and harsh weather conditions. Because expansion and contraction in various climates is very minimal with fiberglass, dock boxes that are subjected to climate changes in the environment calls for fiberglass to add to the durability and longevity of the material.

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