What is a Boat Slip vs Boat Dock?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

Are you a proud owner of a watercraft? Or have you bought a waterfront property? In both cases, you will get to hear two nautical terms- Boat slip and Boat dock. The common people generally think of these two terms as the same. Both slip and dock allow the boat owner to store the boat at the end of the day.

Made of strong metal and wood, the dock is a three-sided parking space for water vessels. But, a boat slip refers to a single parking spot. Undoubtedly, the boat slips are better than the traditional dock because they reduce the number of bumps and offer the ultimate protection to your boat.

How to choose the perfect boat slip, and how does it look?

In waterfront residential areas and marinas, you will get to see a number of boat slips. These boat slips have walkways on both sides, and your boat rests in the middle on water. You should choose the boat slip in such a way that you are able to get in quite effortlessly. While choosing a boat slip, you can use a long pole to measure the depth of water in the boat slip. A good boat slip should have significant water depth, which is essential for clearing the propellers of your boat. Also, you should be bothered about the height of the boat slip.

How to choose the perfect boat dock, and how does it look?

In the case of a boat dock, you need to park your boat parallel to the dockside. A proper dock protects your boat from waves, grinds, etc. Before choosing a boat dock, you need to have a clear idea regarding your boat’s shape, size, and weight. You are required to leave an adequate amount of space on the front and back of the boat. Also, study the rules, restrictions regarding the parking of your boat at a dock. Choose those docks only which have dock bumpers, dock lights, dock steps, dock guards, etc.

What are the differences between boat slip and boat dock?

With every passing day, the boat slips are gaining momentum among boat owners, whereas boat docks are considered as more traditional parking stations. Let’s learn about the differences between slip and dock with the help of the following factors.


The boat slips are less spacious compared to the boat docks. The docks feature a T-shaped section for accommodating large water vessels. The boat vessels are more like parking stalls for your boat.


The boat slips ensure proper mooring for your boat. The boat slips are able to mitigate the wave action to some extent. If you wish to park your boat securely, you should definitely go for the slips instead of the dock. Boat slip also protects a parked boat from storms and other natural calamities.

It is needless to say that the boat docks are more affordable than boat slips. So, we would suggest the new boat owners stick to conventional docks. No matter when you come to your dock, the dock guard will help you with dock lines, steps, etc.