Dock Building

Boat Dock Bulkheads

Bulkheads are necessary for any structured waterfront, not only because they help make your property safer for dock users and visitors (and help avoid lawsuits) but also because they can be constructed to look good. Pile/panel and sheet pile configurations are relatively economical materials with service lives of up to 30+ years. However, they have limited strength characteristics for high wall heights.

Dock BuildingBoat Dock Bulkheads Charleston SC are key component of the marine construction system that protects waterfront properties from erosion. They help retain the optimal conditions of soil and sand on the land directly adjacent to a body of water, while also providing support for docks and other structures. These structures are usually made of materials that can withstand abrasion and weathering, such as concrete or vinyl. They can also be made from materials that are less prone to water absorption, such as riprap.

The cost of a bulkhead depends on the type of material and the length of the structure. In general, a marine bulkhead can be built for around $200 per linear foot. Wood bulkheads are typically the least expensive, while metal and concrete ones are more costly. The type of bulkhead chosen for a particular project will depend on the location and soil conditions. A more rugged, heavier structure is required in areas with severe wave action, whereas lighter, more flexible designs are better for calmer water.

Whether it’s for residential or commercial use, marine bulkheads can increase the value of your property and reduce maintenance costs. They are also useful for preventing beach erosion and protecting adjacent properties from storm surges, pounding surf, and coastal erosion. In addition, a marine bulkhead can be used as the foundation for a dock walkway, pier, or boat lift.

A marine bulkhead can be constructed from a wide variety of materials, including vinyl, steel sheet pile, and concrete. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but all can withstand erosion and are aesthetically pleasing. The most important thing is to choose a design that suits the needs of your home or business.

Marine bulkheads are a vital part of any waterfront property and can be an excellent investment in your future. By preventing erosion, they can protect your property from the damage caused by changing sand levels and help you save on future maintenance costs.

The cost of a boat dock bulkhead is determined by the type of materials used, the number and length of pilings, and the installation process. Labor costs are the biggest factor and range from $40 to $110 per hour. Other costs include permits, equipment rental, and electrical wiring for mooring mechanisms.


A bulkhead is a simple yet effective way to prevent shoreline erosion. It is made of durable materials that resist deterioration caused by the constant exposure to water. Erosion of a waterfront property can result in loss of valuable space for boats or other recreational activities. A bulkhead can be constructed of wood, vinyl or concrete and is a cost-effective way to protect your property. However, not all bulkheads are created equal and the type of material you choose will influence its durability.

A wooden bulkhead, for example, may begin to rot from the constant contact with water, which can create a dangerous situation. On the other hand, a vinyl or concrete bulkhead is less prone to damage due to its ability to better withstand water. A vinyl bulkhead is also more affordable than a wood bulkhead.

The construction of a bulkhead begins with the installation of the supporting piles, which are driven into the bedrock or mud. The piles are then covered with a reinforced concrete slab, which is then topped with decking and the remainder of the waterfront structure. During the construction process, it is important to ensure that the bulkhead is properly anchored. To achieve this, a dead man piling is installed behind every support pile and galvanized all-thread rods are connected to the dead men. The rebar is then placed and the bulkhead is poured with a 4000-pound mix of concrete. After the concrete is poured, the forms are wrecked and hauled away. The rebar is then wrapped in a wire mesh and the concrete is poured in four layers.

Steel bulkhead components should be coated or hot-dip galvanized to achieve the degree of corrosion protection required for the specific exposure. Field welds and abrasions to the coatings should be touched up as soon as possible after erection or installation. Aluminum bulkhead components should be galvanically and physically isolated from steel connections, and connection hardware should be stainless steel if possible.

Typically, a marine structural engineer will evaluate an existing bulkhead or seawall to determine its condition and whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. The engineer will consider factors such as the following:


Bulkheads are a great way to protect your waterfront property, but they must be properly maintained. If not, they can erode or even damage your home or property. The best maintenance plan is a routine above and below-water inspection of the bulkhead. During these inspections, look for members that are missing, bowed, bent, leaning, or leaking. Also, check for settlement or sinkholes in the ground landward of the bulkhead. In addition, you should regularly check for backfill deposited in the lagoon seaward of the bulkhead.

These are all signs that the bulkhead is in need of repair or replacement. If you notice these symptoms, call a professional engineer immediately to assess the situation. The engineer will inspect the structure and develop a maintenance plan that suits your needs.

Whether you have a concrete, metal or vinyl bulkhead, you will need to maintain it to prevent erosion. It is important to choose the right material for your bulkhead, as it will determine how durable and long-lasting it will be. For example, wood is a common choice for bulkheads, but it can rot after repeated exposure to water. However, metal and vinyl are much more resistant to water, so they require less maintenance.

If you are planning to install a new marine bulkhead on your property, make sure it is designed by a professional engineer. The engineer will ensure that the structure is structurally sound and can handle the loads it will be subjected to. The engineer will also determine if the site is suitable for a marine bulkhead.

When a marine bulkhead fails to meet these requirements, it can cause damage to the surrounding area and lead to flooding or erosion of adjacent properties. The Berkeley Township code requires that all marine bulkheads be kept in a state of repair that will not result in the destruction of abutting, adjacent, or adjoining properties, or the lagoon on which it fronts.

Bulkheads are often built with a mix of materials, including steel and wood. A marine bulkhead is usually a form of hard armoring along the shoreline. This is in contrast to soft armoring, such as rip-rap, which is not allowed for public waterfront docks in the township.


Bulkheads are a form of hard armoring along the shoreline. They are similar to seawalls in that they prevent erosion, but they are designed to stand up on land and be submerged underwater. They are typically tall, vertical structures and can be made from wood, concrete, or vinyl. Wood is the most common material, but it must be treated and protected to prevent rot. A rotting bulkhead can cause the ground to suddenly give way, leading to injury. Other materials, such as metal and vinyl, are less prone to water absorption, making them safer choices for marine construction projects.

The design of a bulkhead should consider local site conditions, as well as the performance of the structure in service. The potential for erosion and scour should also be considered. Additionally, the size of vessels moored to the bulkhead should be taken into account.

If you plan on building a seawall or bulkhead, be sure to check with your local government. Many states have laws regarding coastal resources, and a permit is usually required for any kind of construction or renovation that affects the coastline. The laws are designed to protect the ecosystem, and changing the landscape too much can destroy habitats and hinder plant life.

All bulkheads and seawalls must be designed by a registered design professional and undergo a special inspection. The requirement for a special inspection is waived for residential and farm docks and piers and other privately owned waterfront structures. Public waterfront piers, docks, and catwalks must be constructed of noncombustible materials.

The best materials for bulkheads and seawalls are those that can withstand the water’s constant contact with them. This includes a concrete, steel, or metal base, which is more durable and requires less maintenance than wood. Wood is more prone to damage from the elements, and it can rot if it is not treated or protected with a preservative. If you’re using wood in your bulkhead, make sure it’s CCA (treated with a chemical preservative) and AWPAC2 or C18.

In addition to choosing the right materials, you must also take into consideration the location of your bulkhead. If you are building a bulkhead in saltwater, be sure to use a marine grade preservative, such as ACQ or CA-C, and use stainless steel fasteners.