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How To Anchor Your Dock

Anchoring your dock is the most important step in building and installing your new CanadaDocks system. It is a requirement to have sufficient anchoring to ensure that your dock is stable in the water. Unlike other docks, ours are designed to be as lightweight as possible, which make it easier to install and remove each year. Although, the lighter the dock, the more susceptible it is to be moved in a large storm. Therefore, anchoring your dock properly is one of the most important steps and best way to protect your investment. Anchoring your dock can be a tricky task but thankfully you only need to do it once! We also have dealers located all throughout North American who can do it for you.

First Steps To Anchoring Your Dock

There are a few questions we ask customers before we give them our best recommendation on anchoring.

What Type Of Body Of Water Are You On? (Lake, River, Pond, Canal, Swamp)

The larger the body of water, the more intense the waves and storms can be.

How Protected Is Your Body Of Water? Where Is Your Dock In This Body Of Water? (Protected Bay, Open Water)

Where your dock is on the waterfront can affect how rough the water is. Protected bays usually have some land to the left, right or both sides so the dock is protected from strong winds and large waves.

How Deep Is The Water? (Known depth up to where you are planning to end the dock)

You’ll need to know how deep the water is especially at the further part of the dock to make sure you have enough chain to reach the bottom. Also, the deeper the water, the more weight you will need to keep the dock from moving.


What Is Needed To Anchor Your Dock

Concrete Anchors – We make and sell 150lbs Concrete Anchors available for pick up from our shop in Beeton, Ontario. If you are a DIY type of person you can make your own using our Concrete Anchor Forming Kit

Galvanized Chain – We sell 1/4” Galvanized Chain to connect your concrete anchors to your dock. We do recommend upgrading to 3/8” chain for larger bodies of water. Bigger is always better, right?

Eye Bolts or Chain Retainers – Eye bolts come with every Floating Dock we sell and it is used to attach the chain to a Chain Quick Link. Dock Chain Retainers are for Standing Docks and bolt to the main structure, giving you a place to attach your chain to.

Chain Quick Link – These nifty Chain Quick Links are used to attach the chain to the rebar in the anchor or dock eye bolts on floating docks and easily remove when necessary. These are available for purchase on our website for $7.00 each.

Making Your Own Anchors At Home

Sometimes transporting 150lb Concrete Anchors is not the easiest task. So we have designed this Concrete Anchor Forming Kit to make anchoring your dock as easy as possible.

This kit can make up to 4 concrete anchors, 22″ Length x 16″ Width x 11″ Height weighing roughly 150 lbs.

Our Concrete Anchor Forming Kit comes with:

  • One (1) Plywood form
  • Four (4) 5/8 Rebar Formed
  • Eight (8) Wood Pin


How Much Weight Is Needed And Where?

The best advice we can provide is that too much weight is better than not enough. Remember, once these anchors are in the water there is no need to remove them. Always increase the number of anchors if a large boat will be tied to the dock.

(Remember due to Archimedes’ Principle each 150lbs anchor weighs roughly half when submerged in water)

Floating Docks – We recommend a minimum of 600lbs at each corner at the very end of the dock. Closer to shore we recommend 450lbs each side.

Standing Docks – For a traditional straight dock we recommend a minimum of 450lbs at each corner of the dock.

For docks with fingers we recommend additional anchoring for each finger.

We also recommend anchoring your dock every 24 feet.

(These recommendations are based on a medium sized lake with moderate wave conditions. Increase weight and chain for rough bodies of water)


Now that you know what you need, how many anchors, and where they are going, let’s talking about installing. We recommend placing the anchors on long planks of wood to avoid damaging your decking. Once you have your 3-4 anchors together on your dock, now is a good time to run a chain through the rebar in each anchor to tie them together. Don’t cut the chain just yet. Now that all of the anchors are tied together, lift one side of the wooden planks to slide and drop the anchors into the desired spot. Don’t worry if an anchor ends up on top of another.

Standing Dock Anchor Layout

Now that your anchors are swimming with the fishes it’s time to attach the chains to the dock. We recommend using the “crisscross” or “X” configuration for both Standing and Floating dock systems. To achieve this, attach the chain to the anchors on the right side to the left side of the dock. Then, attach the chain on the anchors on the left side to the right side of the dock.

As long as the chains are tight this will prevent the dock from swaying to the left or right and keep it exactly where you want it.

Floating Dock Anchor Layout

Cutting & Adjusting Chains

It is best to leave 1’ – 2’ of extra chain when cutting and attaching them to the dock. Water levels can change throughout the year depending on your lake. The more slack on the chains means that the  dock will move more in stormy conditions. If the chains are too tight this may cause the dock to sit lower in the water and cause additional and unnecessary stress on the dock. It is best to check and adjust your chains throughout the year, especially if the water level changes. 

Anchor Chain Tension Chord

Floating dock owners with drastically changing water levels should consider our Anchor Chain Tension Cord. With this installed you can leave some slack on your chains, and the Anchor Chain Tension Cord will keep tension between the dock and anchor, preventing the dock from moving. As large waves roll in, or the water levels rise, the Anchor Chain Tension Cord will expand, allowing the dock to use the slack on the chain without creating additional stress on the dock.

There are many variables to consider when anchoring a dock. If you have any questions, our dock experts are available. Call us at 1-877-434-0359 or email us at [email protected] and one of our dock experts will be happy to help!

Pro Tip: How To Keep Your Chains From Sinking In The Winter

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