A dock deck is a structure extending out from the shoreline into a river, a stream, a lake or any other water body onto which a water vessel, such as a ship or pontoon boat, can be moored. In general, dock decking materials should be able to hold up well against harsh elements, such as water, direct sunlight, sediment and marine organisms. 

If you are thinking about building a new dock decking for your pontoon boat, it is only natural to consider the choices available out there. Here is a look at some of the dock decking options you can choose from.

Wood dock decking

Wood is the most widely used decking material in many homes across Australia, but its use in the marine world as a dock decking material is also quite common. Now, this is going to raise eyebrows because wood is known not to survive long in water-based environments. While water typically causes wood to quickly decay, the wood used for dock decking is of a special grade known as marine wood. Marine wood is made from tree species that contain natural oils and tannins, which provide natural resistance to water-induced damage. 

What is more, dock decking made from marine wood is pre-treated to resist insect incursions and veneered to withstand the damaging effects of exposure to direct sunlight. Therefore, if you love that natural, traditional look of wood, you can build your dock decking with wood!

Composite dock decking

If you want something a bit modern-looking, composite decking is a great alternative to decking made from wood. Composite decking material is composed of a mix of recycled plastics and recycled wood fibres. One major upside of composite decking over wood is that it generally requires less maintenance attention. This is because unlike wood, composite decking never needs to be sanded, repainted, stained or refinished. 

The decking only needs to be occasionally hosed down with water and manufacturer-recommended cleaning products to keep looking nice. Composite decking cannot rot or be attached by insects, but it generally tends to break easily. If you are operating on a low budget and want a low-maintenance dock decking option, you should go for composite decking.

Aluminium dock decking

If you are looking for a long-lasting dock decking option that will demand little to no maintenance service, you should opt for aluminium. While rust is a major concern when it comes to the use of metal materials for marine applications, aluminium dock decking offers superior resistance to rusting. This is because aluminium does not usually exist in itself but rather as an oxide of the metal. 

Aluminium readily reacts with oxygen to form a layer of aluminium oxide, which protects the metal from rusting. Plus, aluminium is usually given an extra layer of paint or powder-coating to provide extra rust protection. As an added bonus, aluminium dock decking will not rot or warp and will only require periodic cleaning to look good. 

As with most top-rated marine construction products, however, be ready to pay a premium price for this decking choice.