How to Build Your Own Floating Boat Dock

You may think that building a dock for your boat is out of your price range, but you can have a small floating dock made by yourself for less than you think. This project doesn't take too long to make, but requires an extra hand or two. See below for instructions.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • 4 - 30 gallon plastic drums (to withstand about 250 pounds)
  • Silicon caulking
  • 2x6 pieces of treated wood
  • 6' deck boards
  • 3" deck screws
  • Heavy duty rope
  • 6 eyebolt screws


1. Start by taking the plastic drums and applying silicon caulking to the barrel plugs to help prevent them from filling up with water and sinking. Repeat this for all four drum plugs. 

2. Next, you'll need to make a wood form for the dock using the 2 x 6 pieces of wood. The form will be 6 feet square and held together using the 3" screws. Once you have the square complete, add another piece of wood on either side inside the form two feet in. This area is where the barrels will sit on each side of the form (two on each side).

3. Drill a hole on each side of the form where the barrels will sit and run a piece of rope through the holes and around the barrels to help hold them in place. Tie the rope off tightly, so barrels are all secure. Then using a helpful hand or two, turn the entire form with the barrels over so the barrels are on the ground.

4. Use the screws to attach the deck boards to the top of the dock. Leave at least a 5/8" gap in between the boards to help allow the boards to dry thoroughly and prevent warping.

5. Now you can attach the eyebolts to each side of the dock and run rope through it. You can attach the rope to land to prevent your dock from floating away. You can also use the eyebolts to attach an anchor to it (on both sides) and leave it in the middle of a small pond/lake. Make your own anchor out of concrete or use heavy concrete blocks.

This floating dock can be built in a single day and won't break the bank. It isn't for a large boat, but is perfect for a small fishing boat, kayaks/canoes, or jet skis. It can also serve as a nice place to sit and enjoy the sunshine, just add a few deck chairs.