General Questions

Q: I live outside the Finger Lakes. How will you ship my dock and how much will it cost?
A: We strive to keep shipping costs as low as possible and use a variety of methods to do so. For more complete information, please check out our shipping page.

Q: I see you have your pricing set for 4ft x 8ft and 6ft x 8ft section sizes only. Do you make other sizes?
A: Sorry, but to control costs we've elected to manufacture just these 2 sizes which seem to cover 95% of all applications.

Q: I've decided which style of Bestmade Dock I would like, how do I proceed?
A: The best place to start is to use our Dock Builder App on the home page or by clicking here to create a layout drawing and parts list.  This will serve to communicate with us what you want in a dock and also give you a parts list, layout drawing, and delivered price for your system.  From there, you can check mark the "Submit for approval" box on step 5 and we'll review your design and advise on any changes and a possible ship date. 

Q: Is there any place where I can view your products? Can you refer me to a customer in my area?
A: We're sorry but we don't do customer referrals. It's very difficult to coordinate and we don't care much to bother our customers to entertain strangers on our behalf (although they often offer to). Not being able to "touch before you buy" is often a point of contention with customers and we are sympathetic to that, but we have elected to run our business completely online.  This is one of the ways we keep costs low. Showrooms and dealer networks are very expensive and that cost gets spilled down to the consumer.  We do however encourage you to browse our independent Google and Facebook reviews to build your confidence that doing business with us is a great experience.

Q: Do I need to know my exact water depths?
A: Yes and no. We don't exactly need water depth down to the nearest half inch, but if you tell us the water is 6ft and it's actually 4ft or 8ft the parts will not be spec'd properly for the application. If you can tell us for example that the water is less than a foot at shore and between 3-1/2 and 4ft at the end of the dock with a gradual drop, we can work with that.

Q: Aside from water depths and desired layout, what other information might you need?
A: Anything noteworthy is worth mentioning. For example, if you have a mucky bottom let us know how deep the muck is as that might necessitate a floating dock. If you're mooring a boat for the season let us know how big of a boat and how rough the lake you're on gets. If your lake has water fluctuations in season of more than a foot that's worth mentioning as it can impact parts spec'd with a dock.

Q: Do you perform seasonal installations and removals?
A: We are currently unable to perform seasonal removals and installations. We may be able to recommend a dock removal service for deliveries in the Finger Lakes.

Q: I'm a new cottage owner and am unsure of what I need for docks. Do you do site visits?
A: Every situation is unique and there is no better way to dial in a customer's exact needs than to get a first hand look at the application. However, due to the distance between customers they are not always practical. When we can, we're happy to come check out the property. Visits are always no charge. We're great at dialing in your needs over the phone, so call to talk!

Q: What is your warranty on your products?
A: Bestmade warranties all products we manufacture for a period of 10 years after date of purchase. This includes things like frames, foot pads, and connecting brackets. You can view our complete warranty here.
Product Questions

Q: Q: For the tip in dock, how do I adjust the dock height without getting in the water?
A: First time set up can be a bit of a guessing game. Suppose you tip a dock in the water and it's 12" too low. There's not much you can do except pull it out, adjust up, and tip it in again or get in the water and adjust. It should be noted that this guessing game is typically a one time problem. Most users find that if they put the dock in the same place every year that the dock needs very little adjustment. To adjust, simply loosen the set bolts on the legs and raise or lower the dock. The leveling winch is a great tool for this. If you like to remove your dock legs every season, be sure to number and mark the legs so you can put them back in the same place the following season!

Q: How do the aluminum docks connect to one another?
A: The Cottage Style dock uses a Quick Clip tip in system. Once the dock has been flipped into place, just slide the frame back slightly and pinch it with the supplied set bolt to keep it in place.

Q: Can I connect and tip in docks side to side as I can end to end?
A: Absolutely. Because our frame is uniform on the sides and ends, you can connect the Quick Clip tip in brackets to the 8ft side of the dock just like you can the 4ft ends.

Q: How many and how long of dock support legs come with your boat docks?
A: The length of support pipes that are provided is dependent upon water depth at a given spot in a dock system. For example, at the end of a dock where the water is 4ft deep, 6ft legs are typically used. We provide you with the support pipe lengths you need for your docks at no additional charge to the per section price. We stock legs in 1ft increments from 2ft to 8ft

Q: Can I cut my dock legs to be a consistent height above the deck surface after the dock is installed?
A: Definitely. Because we provide legs in 1ft increments, unless your lake had a perfectly gradual drop your leg heights above the deck will vary. For example one leg may be sticking 12" above the deck surface while another is 19" above. A battery powered sawzall with a fresh metal cutting blade or a pipe cutter will make short work of trimming posts. 6" is about the minimum height above the deck you should maintain.

Q: What types of dock layouts can I create?
A: We can provide a dock system in most any layout you would like. The Quick Clip tip in brackets can be positioned in an infinite number of locations to create a variety of dock configurations. The patio dock is by far the most popular dock layout.

Q: Should I anchor my dock to shore?
A: This has a 2 part answer. If you have a shore deck that you'd like to connect to for the purposes of ease of installation and continuity to your bank, we have a fascia mount which can be fastened to your shore structure (customer's responsibility) so it's as if you're connecting to another section of dock at the start. Supposing you were just using a ramp section coming off of a beach or rocky bank and were considering driving posts right there that would not be a requirement of the system, but you're welcome to do it if you like.

Q: What keeps the dock in place?
A: Provided you keep the decking surface out of the water the weight of the system is enough to keep the system in place as wave action will easily flow around the dock legs without causing an issue. If you're mooring a boat for the season, you should consider adding anchor posts (2 for small lakes and boats 4 for bigger lakes). Anchor posts are additional dock legs with auger tips that clamp to the side of the dock and twist into the lake bed to keep your dock in place even with a boat tugging on it.

Q: I see you offer a ramp section. How is that different from any other section?
A: A ramp section is actually just a Cottage Style dock but sold with a bar and pin hinge package and no dock legs. Supposing you ordered 4 docks and a ramp, you'd have 5 identical frames and could pick anyone to be set up as the ramp. A hinge will connect the ramp to section 2 which will accommodate a change of angle. A ramp is a great option when you have to change grade from where you get on the dock to where you'd like the dock to be over the water. For example you could pitch down from a break wall or up from a beach to your finished deck height. Be advised when using a ramp that section 2 (a 4-leg section) has to go in the water first, and then the ramp (no legs) is supported by that. This is particularly noteworthy if using a tip in dock because it may mean getting your feet wet at the start of the dock. Ramps do not need to be anchored to shore.
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