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As its name implies, a suspension dock is a fixed dock type which is suspended over water, much like a bridge. This dock has cables and is anchored to the land for additional support. As with a drawbridge, a suspension dock allows for water to flow freely beneath. Suspension docks are sometimes also called cantilevered docks.

The Radtke team recommends suspension docks, especially if you’re looking for a solution for a private boat lift rental. If a suspension dock is the dock you’re considering building for your property, please contact our team for an estimate by calling us at (920) 582-4114 or contact us online here. Radtke Contractors serves the Appleton, Oshkosh, and surrounding communities.


We recommend building a suspension dock if you’re looking for an attractive recreational or living space. If you don’t have any water depth fluctuation, this can also be the perfect dock type. Some suspension dock models can even be raised up out of the water like a drawbridge when not being used.

Suspension/Cantilevered Dock


For water conditions, we recommend that you have either fresh water or non-tidal water. Your water levels must also be pretty level (if the water level becomes too low or too high, you won’t be able to access your boats or other watercraft.)

For shoreline conditions, you’ll need to install your suspension dock at the front of a building or at the shoreline to accommodate deep pilings and heavy weight.


  • Less Environmentally Invasive: A suspension dock is less environmentally invasive than, for example, a crib dock or pile driven docks. If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly dock type, suspension docks should be one of your considerations.

  • Aesthetically Appealing: A suspension dock is a unique dock type that’s often chosen thanks to being visually appealing and raising property value. It is a beautiful dock choice if you’re looking for something that allows for waterfront relaxation, dining, swimming, fishing, and boating.


  • Expensive & Lengthy Build Process: A suspension dock can be a costly and time-consuming dock building process. Overall, the engineering and equipment required for a suspension dock is more significant than other dock types. The Radtke contractors can provide more details about what to expect for a suspension dock construction.

  • Permanent: Since this is a fixed or permanent dock, a suspension dock cannot be removed if harsh weather or water conditions arise. You may want to consider a seasonal dock instead. Take a look at our main permanent docks page here for more info.

  • Costly Repair: It’s also worth noting that these docks can be more costly to repair, particularly if manufactured from wood or aluminum materials.


Besides suspension docks, Radtke Contractors also can build you a custom configuration for a:

  • Piling dock

  • Fixed dock

  • Crib dock


If you are interested in investing in a permanent dock where you don’t foresee needing to adjust or remove it, you should contact the Radtke team for a quote. More information in this article about 6 types of docks to elevate your water adventures.


What is a suspension dock?

True to its name, a suspension dock is a type of fixed dock that hangs over the water, resembling a bridge. This dock is secured with cables and connected to the shoreline to provide extra stability. Pros to a suspension dock include being an aesthetically appealing dock, while also being environmentally-friendly.

What are the different types of docks?

There are multiple different types of docks for both residential and commercial properties: floating docks, fixed docks, suspension docks, piling docks, crib docks, rolling docks, and large commercial docks. There are pros and cons to each dock type. Some are versatile, with the ability to rise and fall with changing water levels. Others are driven into the waterbed, providing a permanent, stable solution for year-round use.

What is the difference between a dock and a slip?

A dock is either a fixed or a floating structure that’s built along the water’s edge to provide access to the water, usually for mooring boats, watercraft, or other aquatic activities. Meanwhile, a slip is a designated space or area within a dock, marina, or harbor where boats can be parked or moored. A slip is essentially a defined berth or space where boats are secured.

What is the minimum depth for a permanent/suspension dock?

The minimum water depth required for a permanent or suspension dock will ultimately depend on various factors. This includes the type of watercraft you need to store, local regulations, and water level and fluctuation. A common guideline is to have a water depth of at least 3 to 4 feet. This is to ensure that boats can safely approach and dock without running aground. Check with your local dock builders for your necessary water depth.


What is the life expectancy for a permanent/suspension dock?

How long your permanent or suspension dock will last you will depend on several important factors: how well you maintain your dock, the docking materials used, the quality of the construction, exposure to the elements, and local weather conditions. A well-maintained and well-constructed permanent dock can last you between 20 and 50 years or more. If you have questions, be sure to check with the Radtke team.


Ready to get started on your suspension/cantilevered dock installation project? At Radtke, we’ve been providing dock building services for both floating and fixed docks for decades. With our industry experience, you can rely on quality and professional knowledge to get the job done right. For reference, here is our guide to dock building.


Contact our team by calling us at (920) 582-4114 today!

Seasonal Dock Suspension Temporary Pier
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