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Dock Anchoring

you never want to watch your hard-earned dreams just float away

There Are Some Times You Should Never Take A Shortcut

dock anchoring method & quality directly impact durability

When you commit to a dock builder, you expect your dock to last. At Wahoo, we also believe that when you commit to this investment, you deserve a dock that is not only functional and fun, but that can withstand the elements and time—with as little ongoing maintenance and expense as possible. Your dock anchoring method is a big part of making this reality.

Don't Settle For Good Enough...

our expertise ensures your dock anchoring is done right

For the most part, floating dock anchoring is intended to keep the dock in place and is not for dock stabilization purposes.

Factors used to determine which dock anchoring method to use include:

  • The depth of the water
  • The distance of the dock from the shore
  • The potential amount and frequency of water level fluctuations
  • The amount of wind and wave loads on the dock
  • The dock configuration
  • Local regulatory restrictions
  • And more…

How are Wahoo’s dock anchoring methods better than the competition?

Because the anchoring points on a dock are subjected to exceptionally high stresses, we give our docks extra reinforcement at all anchoring points and use intelligent design to minimize any stresses that result from the constant, multi-dimensional forces exerted on floating docks.

Since floating dock anchoring is so important, we highly recommend that you take the advice of your local Wahoo Docks dealer when you decide which anchoring method to use.

All Wahoo Docks dealers have extensive training and experience with dock anchoring methods.

Sometimes, the dock anchoring method a dock owner has in mind is not the best option for the long-term protection of their dock investment. Anchoring is perhaps the area most susceptible to issue. Because of this, it is vital to your project that you consult with your Wahoo Dealer before making a decision.

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the best anchoring method to secure your dock investment

Although we have used a wide variety of anchoring methods over the years, most Wahoo docks are anchored using one or a combination of the methods described below.


cable anchoring dock anchoring method


pole sleeve dock anchoring method


piles dock anchoring method


stiff arm dock anchoring method


Different Choices

Comparison of the Most Common Dock Anchoring Methods

Pole Anchoring Pile Anchoring Stiff Arm Anchoring Cable Anchoring Cable Anchoring Cable Anchoring Cable Anchoring
Dock to Shore Dead Weights Combination Self Adjusting
Depth 15′ 20+ Depending on location Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Fluctuation Unlimited 15+ Depending on location Variable Dependent on Stiff Arm length Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Action Heavy Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate
Cost Moderate Moderate to High Moderate Low High if not aligned correctly. Moderate Moderate Moderate
Maintenance Low None None Low High High Moderate

= the dock anchoring method just right for you

Cable Anchoring

Cable Anchoring – Dock Anchoring Method

Cable Anchoring is the most common, cost-effective, and simple method for anchoring a floating dock. (It is often also the best method.) This flexible dock anchoring method is commonly used because it is economical and suitable for situations that can be challenging for other anchoring methods—such as in areas where water fluctuations are frequent and severe or where water depths are extreme. Cable anchoring for docks can also be used on docks that need to chase the water during seasonal fluctuations.

There are four general forms of cable anchoring for docks, and each offers a unique set of advantages based on different needs.

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Pole & Sleeve Anchoring

Pole & Sleeve Anchoring – Dock Anchoring Method

Pole & Sleeve dock anchoring is a useful anchoring method for docks that experience heavy wind and wave loads but require the flexibility to move toward and away from the shore to chase seasonal water level fluctuations. This system consists of a rigid sleeve attached to the dock, through which slides a 4″ or 3″ diameter, 20′ long galvanized steel pole. Because the sleeve keeps the pole vertical, the pole buries itself into the lake bed and does not need to be driven (unless the bottom is rocky.) A winch is secured to the sleeve reels in a cable attached to the bottom of the pole to facilitate its withdrawal from the ground when the dock needs to be moved.

dock anchoring pole sleeve large

Piles Anchoring

Piles Anchoring – Dock Anchoring Method

Pile anchoring is a stable dock anchoring system suitable for heavy load locations and is a good option for docks that do not need to chase large seasonal water fluctuations. Two-piling and multi-piling options are common and can consist of a variety of materials including wood, steel, concrete, and fiberglass.

Wahoo docks are secured to dock anchoring piles using pile rollers, which consist of UHMW-PE rollers (an ultra-hard plastic material) enclosed inside of an aluminum frame or UHMW-PE rub rail enclosed in an aluminum frame.

pile dock anchoring large

Stiff Arm Anchoring

Stiff Arm Anchoring – Dock Anchoring Method

Stiff Arm dock anchoring is an economical and effective means for dock anchoring when a dock layout runs primarily along the shoreline and the dock does not need to chase seasonal water level fluctuations. Cables can be run diagonally between the stiff arms to secure a dock if needed. In many instances, the gangway provides one ‘leg’ of the stiff-arm arrangement in residential dock applications.

Wahoo incorporates several Stiff Arm dock anchoring designs depending on the expected loads that will be placed on the system and the overall distance from the shore to the dock. Stiff Arms can be provided in lengths of up to 60 feet.

dock anchoring stiff arm large

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